Following encouraging response to its Telugu news channel ‘TV9’, Associated Broadcasting Company Ltd, promoted by Srini Raju owned iLabs Group, is in the process of launching channels in other vernacular languages. With content support from the group’s electronic news agency — iVision — coupled with the recent acquisition of India Abroad News Service news agency, the company has decided to exploit the potential beyond Telugu, said A Krishna Prasad, co-promoter of TV9.
Speaking to eFE, Mr Prasad said: “TV9 proved to be successful within three months of its launch in Hyderabad; the channel could achieve operational break-even.”
“We are in the process of foraying into TV channels in Kannada and other languages including Tamil in the near future,” Mr Prasad added.
iLabs Group has invested Rs 40 crore in the project, and has committed an investment of up to Rs 100 crore. “iLabs Group has committed an investment of another Rs 100 crore for our expansion into other vernacular languages over a period of time,” Ravi Prakash, another founder of TV9, said.
The Telugu channel has been rated among the top 10 news channels by the recent TAM-INTAM survey, Mr Prakash added. “TV9 has overtaken other entertainment channels like Gemini TV and ETV in viewership and has been comfortably placed,” he said.
The current general elections also came in handy for the channel to score over others, he added.
The channel is currently available in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. The company is also working with muti-service operators (MSOs) in different cities to reach out to bigger audiences.
“We are also in the process of uplinking the Telugu channel in the overseas markets including North America (where there is a huge Telugu population) and six Asian countries in the near future,” Mr Prasad said.