New Delhi TV has decided to turn into a broadcaster and launch a global entertainment channel, NDTV World, primarily aimed at Indians, both at home and abroad.
A wholly-owned subsidiary, also called NDTV World, has been set up for the purpose. The channel will have entertainment and infotainment programming in the ratio of 70:30.
The channel is slated to be launched next year, but is unlikely to happen in the first quarter of 2001. Besides the Indian audience, the channel would be targeted at the large expatriate Indian communities in countries like the US and the UK and West Asia.
NDTV World is negotiating with three or four financial investors, including ICICI, which has already concluded a deal to pick up a stake in the company. NDTV World, which will be an analogue free-to-air channel, will not carry news, it may carry international business-related information over a period of time.
The move by NDTV comes at a time when Star has announced that it will spread its wings overseas to target Indians and people of Indian origin with Star Plus and Star News in places like the UK and Australia.
In the UK, the Star channels will be on the BSkyB platform controlled by Murdoch. Others like the Zee family of channels and Sony Entertainment TV have already gained a foothold abroad. NDTV, which employs about 800 persons, is in its 13th year of existence.
Investment bankers like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Alliance Capital, Jardine Fleming and Lazard have investments in NDTV.