Star TV Hong Kong has issued a notice to Prannoy Roy’s New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) that it may terminate NDTV’s contract, which expires on February 28, 2003. The agreement has a in-built one-year notice period.
Star wants to have in-house content on its English news channel Star News rather than depending on NDTV. It is also believed that the channel is seriously looking at starting a separate language channel beginning with Hindi news, which would pit it directly into a market captured by India Today group’s Aaj Tak channel since its launch in January 2001.
According to industry sources, Star’s letter to NDTV was issued sometime in January but had been kept a closely guarded secret by both Star and NDTV. Star was expected to formally announce its new plans for the news genre by May-June this year.
NDTV is already in talks with Zee as well as AOL Time Warner group. Time Warner owns international English news channel CNN and has recently entered into a distribution joint venture with Zee Network.
As for Zee, plans are afoot to rope in Dr Roy either as content provider for an English news channel or as a provider of content in Hindi for the present Zee News channel. A final decision entailing a review of existing in-house staffing arrangement and the crucial subject of editorial control is yet to be reached between Dr Roy and key Zee officials.
Source: Financial Express