Asianet & #BANNER1 & # Television Network will launch its 24 hour Kannada news channel, Suvarna News, on March 31. Early in 2008, agencyfaqs! had reported that Asianet was planning to launch a bouquet of channels in 2008 and 2009. While the news channel is ready for launch, the network is still working on the launch of its Telugu general entertainment channel (GEC), which is likely to happen in the second half of 2008.
Suvarna News will be Asianet's second channel in the Kannada speaking market. In June 2007, it launched Suvarna, a Kannada GEC. The news channel has been positioned as aggressive and focused on quality news content. The positioning line for the channel is Nera Ditta Nirantara (Straight Clear Always).
Shashidhar Bhatt, who was earlier with Indian Express, is chief of news for the channel. The channel will be packaged with an international look and feel, and will target an audience in the age group of 15 years and above across SECs. The content on the channel will feature topics of interest to a Kannadiga, including news bulletins, talk shows, and in-depth analysis focused on politics, crime, sports, technology, automobile, trends and fashion.
Suvarna News will be promoted through a 360 degree communication plan in the Kannada region. The media mix will include TV promos, print, outdoor advertising, radio and on-ground promotions.
TV9, owned by the Hyderabad based Associated Broadcasting Company (ABCL), also launched a Kannada news channel in early 2007. This year, it plans to launch a Kannada GEC and a Kannada religious channel.
In 2009, Asianet plans to launch a bouquet of channels in markets including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Apart from other regions, the network has three prominent channels in the Malayalam market, including Asianet (a GEC), Asianet News and Asianet Plus (for the youth).