ETV Bangla earmarks Rs 150 mn capital expenditure for its Bengali news channel

KOLKATA: Earlier in January, reported how the Bengali general entertainment channel ETV Bangla of the Network 18 group is looking at a news foray. The latest word is the Network has earmarked a capital expenditure of Rs 150 mln for launching a 24-hour Bengali news and current affairs channel.

The channel would be launched by March 15 and will have a team of 200 professionals, including journalists and technical staffs, said one of the editors of ETV.

The programming for the news channel will be uplinked from Hyderabad for the time being. By the end of the year, the company plans to set up a transmission system in Kolkata to be able to uplink directly. The company has already received a license from government authorities.

Dhrubajyoti Pramanik, formerly with ABP Ananda – a 24-hour news channel from the house of Kolkata headquartered ABP Group, will is joining as the Editor of ET’s Bengali news channel. “He is likely to join the organisation from 1 March,” said a reliable source from ETV.

An official from ETV Bangla said, “We had the set up and infrastructure for running a 24-hour news channel and now we will be using it. To run the news channel, around 200 people would be required.”

ETV Bangla, which airs three news bulletins at present, will no longer telecast news once the news channel is launched. ETV Bangla will strictly become a general entertainment channel (GEC) going forward, the official said.

Recently Viacom18, the 50:50 joint venture between US-based Viacom and India’s Network 18 Group, completed its acquisition in ETV Bangla. It should be noted that ETV Bangla, a part of the ETV Network  group of channels, was launched in 1999.

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