Television

Jaya TV obtains clearance for news channel

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MUMBAI: This is a piece of news that would bring some cheer in the Jayalalitha camp, after the assembly election debacle. Mavis Satcom Ltd, which operates Jaya TV, has been awarded the Wireless Protocol Clearance (WPC) to launch its news channel Jaya Plus.

"We have now obtained all the necessary permission to launch Jaya Plus. We have the infrastructure in place and a recruitment drive will be launched soon. The channel will be launched at the earliest, after the Tamil Nadu assembly election results," Jaya TV vice president of administration and legal S Ranganathan told indiantelevision.com.

That puts an end to a clueless wait and a series of court battles for Mavis Satcom. The broadcaster had obtained the required permission from the information and broadcasting ministry way back in 2004, and since then it had been fighting for the WPC certificate.

To speed up the proceedings, Mavis Satcom approached the Madras High Court early this year. In February, the Centre had assured the court that it would take a final decision on an application by VSNL to permit it to receive and uplink Jaya Plus on or before 9 March. The broadcaster didn't press on the matter further as assembly elections were approaching.

"At this crucial time, we can't afford to indulge in court battles. We don't want our attention to get diverted. We are making our best efforts possible covering the elections," Jaya TV VP News Sunil K P had told indiantelevision.com at the time.

Jaya Plus will primarily be a news and current affairs channel but have small doses of talk shows and quiz programmes. The channel will have seven to eight news bulletins. Reportedly, Jaya Plus will be politically aligned towards Jayalalitha.

The entry of Jaya Plus as a news channel will end Sun TV's solo run in the television news space in Tamil Nadu. Presently, Sun TV and its news channel sibling Sun News literally control the space since competitors Jaya TV, Raj TV and Star Vijay don't have the necessary permission to telecast news and live programmes.

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