Talks are on for use of ‘Ananda Bazar’ logo on the Bengali news channel from Star-Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP) stable, according to sources. Although Media Content & Communications Services (MCCS), a 74:26 joint venture between ABP and Star group, has sought permission for uplinking of a Bengali channel called ‘Star Khabar’, its branding is still being discussed.
Sources close to the development said ‘Ananda Bazar’ is a well-accepted brand in the eastern regions of the country, mainly West Bengal. It is also a known commodity in Bangladesh and even among the Bengali population in some of the western countries. With its logo on the Begali TV channel, the ABP group plans to have a similar impact globally, they added. Such a move is expected to generate good TV rating points (TRPs) for the channel, and in turn attract advertisements.
Meanwhile, the government is still examining the application, according to an official in the information and broadcasting ministry. The channel, industry sources said, is preparing for a launch sometime next year, and is already scouting for editorial staff.
The application assumes significance in the backdrop of the controversy generated when Star News sought to uplink from India last year.
Star News had faced government scrutiny when it had sought to launch a channel on its own. Subsequently, Rupert Murdoch’s Star group tied up with Kolkata-based ABP group, to be able to uplink from India. Star News’ uplinking application was cleared by the government after several months of investigation.
In the context of news channel uplinking, the government is exploring the possibility of allowing funds from foreign institutional investors (FIIs). At present, news channels may have up to 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI), but no FII funds.