Television

Zee readies a Bengali news channel

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MUMBAI: Star Ananda might soon have competition as Zee News Pvt Ltd readies plans to launch a Bengali news channel.

Going by a working name of Chobbees Ghanta (24 Hours), the proposed news channel is awaiting government and other procedural clearances.

When contacted by Indiantelevision.com, Zee News Pvt LTD confirmed the development with a senior executive saying, “We are planning to launch a Bengali news channel as we feel there’s a market for such a product.”

The new channel will be launched and managed by Zee Akash, a new company that is likely to be managed by Zee News Pvt LTD in association with Akash Bangla, a channel that is said to be funded by supporters of the Left parties.

The company is targeting to launch the channel this quarter, provided various clearances come through by March.

After having restructured itself in September last to conform to government norms for news channels, Zee News Pvt LTD is now charting out a growth path.

In the restructured news entity, Zee Telefilms' equity stake is 35 per cent, which works out under a complex formula on a pro rata basis to about 20 per cent of foreign holding to comply with the 26 per cent cap.

The restructuring of the news business was necessitated as being part of Zee Telefilms LTD, the foreign holding in the news channels, Zee News and Zee Business, were way above the stipulated government norms.

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