KOLKATA: The erstwhile Northeast Bangla (NE Bangla), recently rechristened Focus Bangla, is in talks with direct-to-home (DTH) players like Tata Sky and Dish TV to increase penetration. At present, only cable TV subscribers and Airtel Digital TV customers can view the channel.
The 24x7 Bengali news channel also plans to put up 200 hoardings across the state of West Bengal from mid-April to send out the message that the channel is neutral and believes in airing unbiased news. It has even changed its logo to suggest that it will be more ‘focussed’ in presenting news from all angles.
“We are in talks with Tata Sky and Dish TV though nothing has been finalised. We aim to reach 95 per cent TV homes in the state sooner,” Focus Bangla editor-in-chief Biswa Majumdar told indiantelevision.com.
He also said that last week, the viewership of the new channel increased by around 22 per cent as compared to the week before. “Focus TV is in focus now. Focus Bangla is a news broadcasting and entertainment network,” he said and added that the channel would focus on political news with the impending elections and would interview most of the big names in the polls.
Focus Bangla has more than 150 employees on board and is further recruiting people to cover all aspects of news, current affairs and especially, the Lok Sabha elections, to make a mark all over again on the Bengali audience.
“For elections, we have 14 special programmes. Celebrities will go to places and interact with people,” Majumdar said.
Apart from the ‘Khabar Aajke’ section, the channel has a separate Bollywood entertainment section.
According to sources, Matang Sinh, a former minister of state for parliamentary affairs in the PV Narsimharao government owned Focus TV and NE Bangla. Last year however, Naveen Jindal, chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) bought a stake in the channel through his family and associates. “Jindal had taken over Focus TV in Delhi last year,” said one of the sources.