Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd, publishers of The Times of India, is planning to enter the television business with a bouquet of three channels, including an entertainment channel, a spiritual channel and a business news channel. The entertainment channel will be the first to go on air.
Bennett Coleman President Arun Arora confirmed the company’s plans to launch three television channels. “A stand-alone channel does not make sense,” he said, without specifying the genres of the proposed channels. “We will finalise the details in the next 2-3 weeks,” he added.
According to Arora, it is still undecided whether the television business will be launched under a separate company. He admitted that the cost of the project was much more than the Rs 30 crore figure that the media industry had been talking about. The first channel is likely to go on air in July.
According to media industry sources, the entertainment channel, expected to be named Zoom, will focus on events, music, fashion and lifestyle.
The business news channel, which is expected to be the last to take off, is yet to be named. It is not clear whether Bennett Coleman will have an international tie-up for the news channel.
Currently, up to 26 per cent foreign investment is allowed in television news channels uplinking from India. “We are not going out and looking for tie-ups,” Arora told Business Standard.