Television

NDTV to launch MetroNation Chennai on 16 May

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MUMBAI: The recession may have sucked profitability out of NDTV Ltd, but it has not stopped the Prannoy Roy-promoted company to go ahead with the launch of MetroNation Chennai with The Hindu Group as a joint venture partner.

The channel will, after much delay, finally launch on 16 May. Says NDTV MetroNation CEO Rajiv Lulla, “MetroNation Chennai had a soft launch on 5 May. We will officially launch the channel on 16 May.”

NDTV has signed up with several multi-system operators (MSOs) including SCV and Hathway Cable & Datacom to distribute the channel. Says Lulla, “We are in talks to make the channel available on Sun Direct and Tata Sky as well.”

As for the content, the channel will have seven and half hours of live news during prime time. Features like I Spy With My Digital Eye, Worked Out Victim, Unclocking Life and Big Pic will take up the remaining hours.

MetroNation Chennai has 118 employees and hopes to capitalise on the brand strengths of The Hindu and NDTV.

Meanwhile, MetroNation Delhi, which has frozen fresh content, is readying for a revival. “We will be reviving MetroNation Delhi by end of July. It is by then that we will start hiring for the channel once again,” avers Lulla.

The channel has stopped live broadcast of news completely and is airing old shows. Says Lulla, “While it is true that there is no fresh content on MetroNation Delhi, we are still running news tickers.”

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