The two & #BANNER1 & # lead television news broadcasters, STAR News and Zee News, will now fight it out on a different battleground. Both of them plan to launch a Marathi news channel.
Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS), which owns STAR News, showed its interest in the regional news space when it launched the Bengali news channel, STAR Ananda.
MCCS' Marathi news channel, which will be launched by June 2007, will be the second regional channel in its bouquet. The new channel will operate out of Mumbai, though a high-end studio has already been set up in Noida for it. Its name and precise date of launch are still being worked out. However, a senior source within the group says that the new channel will represent the aspirations of the new Maharashtra.
Being a regional language news channel doesn't mean that Chauvees Tas will focus mainly on regional space. Rather, Mittal asserts that the news channel will have national coverage and an international look.
Besides, there is a huge gap in this sector as there are few entertainment channels which feature a Marathi news band.
Industry experts consider this to be a positive move, considering the comfort level of the smaller pockets of Maharashtra with their own language. Advertisers, too, are willing to put in extra effort and invest in these channels because Maharashtra has always been a high priority and high potential market for them.
Zee News plans to follow up its Marathi news channel with Malayalam and Tamil channels.
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