STV to launch three regional news channels

NEW DELHI: STV Enterprises Ltd will launch three regional news channels, group chairperson J K Jain told The company, which already runs Punjab Today, will formally announce the launch on 30 August.

The channels - Goa News, Haryana News and UP News - are on test signals. While in Goa and Haryana, the channels have achieved almost total connectivity, in UP there are distribution issues which are yet to be sorted out.

The three channels will function independently for their day to day work and operations will be headed by executive director Gokul Kumar in Goa and Dharampal Dhankar will look after Haryana while Pradeep Sharma will look after Punjab Today. The CEO chief editor Sanjay Dwivedi will be in charge of all the three channels.

"Regional channels are the most happening thing today and I believe that advertisers will flock to them because of higher penetration into all areas of the state. Hence we are avoiding going national at the moment," Jain said.

When asked how a small state like Goa would manage to run a 24x7 news channel, he said, "Local content is exploding and there are so many things that are specifically Goan, like football, local culture. Hence programming is not an issue that is of worry."

Meanwhile, STV has already applied to run on DD Direct Plus, Prasar Bharati's DTH service platform. "When that happens we shall be seen everywhere in the country and outside," Jain said, adding that he is in discussion with the private DTH players Dish TV and Tata Sky.

Punjab Today, the news channel that had faced political repression, is recovering gradually, Jain said, adding that it has been forced out of the local cable operators only in some places of the state. "They did so initially, but gradually many LCOs have returned because it is a hugely popular channel in the state," he said.

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