Global Broadcast News Limited (GBN) has decided to enter the regional news space through a 50:50 joint venture with the Lokmat Group, to launch a 24-hour Marathi language news and current affairs channel.
GBN is a TV18 Group company and broadcasters of the 24-hour English language news and current affairs channel CNN-IBN, and strategic partner with IBN7. Lokmat Group is the owner of Lokmat, Lokmat Times and Lokmat Samachar.
“The launch of the Marathi channel is a continuation of the growth momentum gained by GBN since its launch, and is in line with the company’s strategy of becoming an integrated media platform, both nationally and regionally,” said Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, TV18 Group.
Sameer Manchanda, Joint Managing Director, GBN, said, “We see the regional language space powering the next phase of growth in the Indian television industry. Our partnership with Lokmat will be driven by these opportunities and also be in line with our quest to transform into a full play media house.”
Manchanda added that the new channel will target the “highly aware and conscious Marathi speaking” audience in Western India with a delivery style to suit their pace of lives. “The spotlight will always be on the spirit of ‘whatever it takes’. We are proud to be associated with a partner like Lokmat, who stand out by not only capturing the people’s mood, but also being at the forefront of shaping their opinion,” he elaborated.
Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat Group, said, “The joint venture between Lokmat and the TV18 Group, which is India’s No. 1 news and information network, is a highly potent combination of credible journalism and local knowledge. The JV will combine GBN’s world-class standards with Lokmat’s reach and understanding of the Marathi mind. Lokmat already owns the Marathi space due to its intimate connectivity with the Marathi heartland over the last three decades, and this relationship will further expand and strengthen this base.”