Rathikant Basu-promoted general entertainment channel Tara Bangla has taken a rebirth as Tara Newz, the Bengali news and current affairs channel, and Tara Muzik, a 24-hours Bengali music channel.
Amit Chakraborty, executive vice-president, Broadcast Worldwide, says, "In spite of being a general entertainment channel, Tara Bangla had 7-8 hours of news and current affairs programmes. And interestingly, it was news and the current affairs programmes which got maximum eyeballs. So, a logical strategy was to launch a 24- hours news channel." Broadcast Worldwide is the company which has launched the twin channels.
"The absence of a 24-hour Bengali news channel led to a scenario where the national news channels were ruling the news genre in West Bengal. We wanted to be the first one to launch a complete Bengali news channel, which was still an untapped genre."
Tara Newz will certainly get the first-mover advantage but the scenario may change soon, when ABP and STAR News launch their Bengali news channel. STAR News' Bengali news channel is expected to be launched by the end of March, 2005.
Chakraborty has a ready answer for this. He says, "We are aware of the strength of the ABP group in Bengal. But if we can get a better viewership than the national news channels, we can eat up their share of advertising."
He feels that the genre of Bengali news channels will only expand with more players coming in. Chakraborty says, "There is enough space for 4-5 Bengali news channels." Industry sources say that even Win Cable and SUN TV are planning to launch Bengali news channels.
Interestingly, even ABP produced a few shows and news programmes for Tara Bangla initially, when Broadcast Worldwide had launched its news and current affairs programmes, a year ago.
The two channels were launched on February 21, coinciding with the international language day, Bhasha Divas.
Chakraborty says, "Our aim is to reach out to Bengalis across the world." This is why the channel has set up a full-fledged bureau in Bangladesh to provide viewers with in-depth coverage on the other part of Bengal. The channels will be distributed through DTH platforms in North America, the Middle East and Europe.
Apart from regional news, an equal importance will also be given to national and international news on Tara Newz. The channel has also tied-up with national news channels such as India TV and New Delhi Television (NDTV) for outsourcing content.
Tara Newz will also have lifestyle and interactive shows. For instance, 'Mon Niye' is a live phone-in show dealing with psychological and behavioral problems. And for lifestyle programming, the channel has lined up shows such as 'Khabona Ghare' - a show on food and ratings of different restaurants by a celebrity, and 'Khola Hawa', which covers the world of glamour, fashion and discotheques.
Regarding the music channel, Chakraborty says, "Initially we had planned a movie channel and we had tied up with a company, which had the rights for 300-400 Bengali film titles. But as the alliance failed, we switched over to launch a music channel, which is also a first-of-its-kind in Bengal."
Apart from airing an wide array of music from contemporary to folk, the channel has also lined up some interactive music-based shows on Tara Muzik. For weekends, the channel has lined up movies and telefilms, which are quite popular among the Bengali audience.
Chakroborty also hinted that in the near future, the group will also relaunch the general entertainment channel, Tara Bangla.
© 2005 agencyfaqs!