Television

Three news channels set to launch in Telugu

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MUMBAI: Down south, fierce competition between Telugu channels continues. Three more news channels are set to launch this year - Hyderabad-based Maa TV and the Sun TV network-owned Teja TV will be unleashing their news channels in two months, while Chennai-based Raj TV's Telugu channel, Vissa TV, is scheduled to launch Vissa News by December.

All the three will have to contend with early movers TV9 and ETV 2. Of course, the trade will be closely watching the moves made by Chennai-based Sun TV network, which is planning its third channel in Andhra, tentatively named Teja News. In the Telugu entertainment space it is Sun's Gemini that leads all comers followed by ETV.

Teja TV news bureau chief, Madhu P, told indiantelevision.com that the manpower for the upcoming channel had already been resourced.

"We have already recruited journalists and anchors for our upcoming news channel. Now we are starting the training programmes for our new team. The conceptualisation of programming is currently underway," he said.

Vissa TV chief news editor Jayaseelan, meanwhile, told indiantelevision.com that his channel was technically very well equipped for the launch. When queried whether the presence of two news channels in Telugu had forced Vissa to launch one of its own, Jayaseelan said the whole idea was to bring original and exclusive news to audiences.

"We are not afraid of competition. Just by having a handful of channels, you can't survive. To fight the competition, you need to come up with quality content and that is what we are striving for," he said.

Meanwhile, Maa Television Network assistant marketing manager, Praveen Viswanathan revealed to indiantelevision.com that the channel is reviving plans for a news channel.

"Discussions are going on. We haven't decided on the name of the channel yet. It will be launched in two months," Viswanathan told indiantelevision.com.

Viswanathan justified the channel's decision to enter the fray saying that news has an ever-expanding viewership.

"The trend is like a gold rush. When there is a gold rush, everyone would seek a share," he said.

The two-year old network had contemplated launching a news channel earlier when ETV 2 and TV9 were launched. But they dropped the idea. Maa Television Network is promoted by a group of young entrepreneurs.

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