ZEE is planning to launch an English news channel in India by the end of the current financial year, according to reports.
Currently, the broadcaster only has a flagship Hindi news channel and a Hindi business channel, along with a clutch of regional news channels. This will be the first step into the English news genre.
ZEE was initially planning to buyout an existing channel like NewsX (which only recently has been sold to Indian news broadcaster, ITV Media).
“Our balance sheet has grown in strength and we are now in a position to seek for growth from heavy investments. We have been planning to launch an English general news channel but have not been able to formalise the approval process. Any launch plan will, however, be linked to digitisation as distribution cost will ease to a large extent with there being no capacity constraint on digital cable networks,” says Barun Das, who has been shepherding the company�۪s growth since he joined as CEO in October, 2007.
Without divulging too many details, Das said, ���I can�۪t talk about the positioning now. That we will communicate when we have finalised the launch plan. But as a personal view, I think there is space for a less opinionated and more research-driven kind of reportage.”