TV9 Group launched News9, an English news channel, in Bengaluru on January 9. The channel is being positioned as a fast, aggressive, 24-hour news channel aimed at the youngsters in Bengaluru. TV9 is a venture of Associated Broadcasting Co. Pvt. Ltd (ABCL).
Talking to afaqs!, Mahendra Mishra, channel head, editorial, News9 and TV9, Karnataka, says, "South India has been largely ignored by the English news channels. We'll work towards changing this. There is a huge potential for English news channels in this part of the country and, with the launch of News9, we aim to fill this gap."
Bengaluru already has three 24-hour, Karnataka-centric news channels, TV9 Kannada, Suvarna and Udaya Varthegalu. But News9, which is being set up along the lines of Metro Nation and Delhi Aaj Tak, is the first English news channel in the city.
MKVN Murthy, chief finance officer, ABCL, says, "We will invest Rs 160 million in News9."
News9 has launched a daily entertainment show and a half-hour crime show called Wanted during primetime. Incidentally, Wanted is the first crime show on any Indian English news channel.
To strengthen its city reporting, News9 has set up six studios in Bengaluru, from where live coverage can be carried out. The tagline of the channel is: 'Catch the Big News Live'.
The sales team of TV9 will handle News9 as well, with a preference for local advertisers. "We have a strong national network (the TV9 bouquet of channels) to support the new channel," says Mishra.
The group also launched TV9 Mumbai, a Hindi news and current affairs channel, on January 9.
For the record, ABCL runs news channels such as TV9, TV9 Karnataka, TV9 Gujarat, Sanskriti (Telugu), Kolkata TV (Bengali) and India Vision (Malayalam).