Television

Network18 to launch News18 Bharat

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MUMBAI: Network18 is adding another feather to its cap. The network is all geared up to launch a new Hindi news channel, News18 Bharat, to its bouquet of 20 news channels. According to a source privy to the information, the channel has begun testing but the launch date is still not clear.

Network18, however, denied the development when Indiantelevision.com reached out to the network.

Out of Network18’s portfolio of 20 channels, 14 are regional channels, four are business news channels and the remaining are general news channels. The network already has five regional channels for the Hindi-speaking states—News18 India, CNBC Awaaz, News18 Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand, New18 Madhya Pradesh- Chhattisgarh and News18 Punjab-Haryana-Himachal.

With New18 Bharat entering the fray, competition in the Hindi news genre is expected to hot up. The channel will be free to air to begin with but may shift to the pay model with 24x7 news programming. The format of the channel will be MPEG4/DVBS2 while the frequency rate is 4035 Hz. The testing of the transmission service has started on Intelsat20 at 68.5 degrees east.

If we have a look at Broadcast Audience Research Council’s numbers in the Hindi news genre, New18 India is in the top-five list in the Hindi-speaking market (HSM U+R) and urban. News18 Bharat is likely to be targeted at rural India.

Recently, Network18 elevated Avinash Kaul as the chief operating officer (COO).

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