Speculations on the fate of Rajat Sharma-promoted India TV gets finally over with the much talked-about news channel going on air from April 19. Confirming the news to exchange4media.com, Sharma told that initially there would be a month-long test programming in the form of three-hour primetime election programming between 8 and 11 pm. “It will be a concise news capsule presenting 24-hour election news in three hours. The full-fledged 24-hour news channel will become operational from May 20,” he added.
From April 17, India TV will start distributing receiver boxes to cable operators across the country. To begin with, 1,500 boxes will be distributed. The company has appointed Arun Poddar, formerly with ESPN, as its Distribution Head. Sanjay Reddy, an ex-Sony TV hand, has already been roped in as Head, Ad Sales, while AN Khandpur, earlier with VSNL, would serve as the Technology Head. On the programming front, Ramesh Parida, formerly of PTI TV, has joined as Head of News and Hemant Sharma, an ex-Jansatta and Hindustan Times staffer, would be the chief of News Services at India TV.
India TV’s sprawling broadcast centre of over 80,000 sq ft in Noida has four fully functional studios for 24-hour live broadcast. The group has equipped the studios with hi-tech equipment, computerised lighting system, pinnacle switchers and advanced audio systems – all integrated by Hong Kong-based Ideal Broadcasting.
The entire newsroom at India TV is automated by I-News of UK. And, the group claims that this is the first of it is kind in the country. India TV has already appointed 200 correspondents and stringers and 50 more appointments are soon to be done. “We have a reporter for India TV at every 100 miles in the country,” says Hemant Sharma, Editor, News Services, India TV.
Available on Pan Am Satellite, the channel has set up 38 bureaus across the country that are connected to Delhi via fibre optic link and with half a dozen OB Vans.