The Marathi news channel will be called `IBN Lokmat' and is likely to go on air by the year-end. Sources in the know confirmed the development and added that the news content would be provided by IBN.
With the launch of IBN-Lokmat, the TV 18 Group would further strengthen its foothold in the news space. The group last year forayed in to Hindi news broadcasting by acquiring Channel 7 from Jagaran Group, through CNN-IBN.
At present, in the non-English news space the group operates channels two channels - CNBC Awaaz, a Hindi business news channel and Hindi news channel IBN 7. IBN Lokmat' is likely to go on air by the year-end
This is not first time that a newspaper is coming together with an existing news broadcaster to float a channel. Three years back Star Group had tied up with the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications (ABP) to launch a 24-Bengali news channel and had also launched Star News, a Hindi channel.
Media experts believe that such collaborations -between newspapers and television broadcasters- would be the next bandwagon in the news space.
"Newspapers are exploring option beyond print, and news channel and radio seem to be the obvious extension. Meanwhile, news broadcasters want to strengthen their presence in the news space," said Farokh Balsara, National Sector Leader, Media & Entertainment practice, Ernst & Young.
He added, "While regional newspapers want to remain focused on their regional territory and existing broadcasters wanting to enter the regional market, it makes strategic sense for both to join hands."
Consequently, with advertisers flocking regional channels (general entertainment) for wider reach, it is natural that regional news channels will further facilitate reach for advertisers.
"Regional channels be it general entertainment or news provide advertisers focused audience segmentation and help reach out to specific demographics. Certainly, this is good news for advertisers," a media buyer said.
The total size of the TV advertising industry is expected to grow from the present Rs 6,600 crore (Rs 66 billion) to Rs 12,300 crore (Rs 123 billion) by 2011, implying a 13 per cent cumulative annual growth over five years, according to the PriceWaterhouse Coopers report.
The television industry is estimated to be Rs 19,100 crore (Rs 191 billion) and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 22 per cent over the next five years.
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