B.A.G Films to launch glamour channel in January, 2 more by mid-2008

NEW DELHI: B.A.G Films & Media Ltd. will launch its glamour channel E24 by January-end and the spirituality and lifestyle channels will be up by the middle of 2008.

This was disclosed by B.A.G Films MD Anurradha Prasad while stating that the Hindi news channel, News 24, would launch on 13 December, 5.30 pm onwards. had earlier reported that B.A.G Films would invest Rs 4 billion in its broadcast venture and the Hindi news channel would launch on 13 December.

News 24 is aimed at the "Young Adult." Said Prasad, "Why another channel in this already cluttered Hindi news channel space? We feel that news has vanished from the channels. The youth particularly do not take any interest in the news channels. That's why we decided on a new channel addressing that target group."

The entire editorial guideline of the channel is based on reporting, analysing and presenting hardcore news for the youth. "There is no room for infotainment in our channel, since I have a hard news background. This is what we are going to restore in the Hindi TV news space," said Prasad.

Asked about the differentiator between her channel and channels like IBN 7, which also thinks on similar lines, Prasad said that this would be finally decided by the viewers.

With regard to marketing research for positioning her channel, she said, "I consciously avoided research because my experience is that people get influenced by researches. I am sure that any research agency would ask me not to get into this cluttered market. We are in the content business, and content is a gut feeling. So we went with our gut feeling. But yes, on taking that decision, we did some focused research on what the target group would want to see."

The channel will have a dedicated 30-minute programme daily focused on youth and the issues that concern them. They will also feature a programme on campus life and issues relating to coming of age, presenter of the campus programme Anjana Kashyap said. She added that there is a separate group of 30 reporters for the youth programming, which is distinct from the general news set-up.

Prasad said that the channel will be "hugely interactive" with a clear presence on the Internet and not just the use of the SMS system.

News 24 will use state-of-the-art technology for all editorial inputs from its 42 reporters, and 300 stringers across the country who will come on the Internet using FTP.

News 24 is adopting tapeless cameras making time-consuming physical delivery of tapes completely redundant. Moreover, the innovative IT News Gathering Technology will enable on-field journalists to upload/uplink recordings instantly, thus ensuring immediacy of news. The entire network is transparently connected across the 13 bureaus. The network has implemented a revolutionary digital archiving system that can store up to 5,000 hours of coverage with expandable memory.

The channel has tied up with Reliance Infocomm to gather news from wherever their own reporters or stringers are not present, giving them a much higher penetrating news gathering machinery, an official from the channel explained during a tour of the studio.

The channel will be seen in most states across north India but not in some of the southern states, which would happen in the second phase, a distribution official said.

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