UTV has officially announced its venture into the English business news space with UTVi channel. The launch date of the channel is not yet known, but channel officials have confirmed that the launch would be by April-end 2008. In order to have a global perspective the business channel has tied up with Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific), the international TV distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company, for ABC News and services.
Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV Software Communications Ltd, said, “The English business news segment reflects a huge opportunity. Till date, the first mover in the business television space occupies 80 per cent market share – which, to us, reflects a tremendous untapped opportunity. With UTV’s experience in content, business and broadcasting, and with one of the best teams assembled, we feel extremely excited to enter this space.”
The channel will have its offices across all big cities in India with main business centres being Mumbai and Delhi. It will have its own distribution network and would be available across different platforms such cable operators, CAS and DTH.
On the marketing front, UTVi will see a slew of press ads, ground events (industry forums) and TV commercials, which would run on all its network channels. Cartwheel is the creative agency behind the campaign, and it is known that several ads have already been placed at GoaFest 2008.
The content plan focuses on providing information that is beyond stock markets, touching upon all areas of business in a simplistic manner – getting rid of the jargons and attracting a lot more target viewers into the business news viewing space.
Commenting on the content plan, Govindraj Ethiraj, Editor-in-Chief, UTVi, said, “UTVi is a product that is built on exhaustive consumer insights and understanding. Our aim is to grow the market for business news and information in India, as it is growing globally. We also believe that today’s students, managers, businessmen and entrepreneurs want information and knowledge that empowers them from within India and the world at large. The service will also offer cutting edge shows on careers, technology, automobiles, travel and good living.”
Explaining the rationale behind joining hands with ABC News, Screwvala said, “Our tie-up with ABC News will not only bring international perspective, but with their prowess in news and feature shows, add that cutting edge that our viewers will want from a well rounded business channel.”
Commenting on the tie-up, David Westin, President, ABC News, said, “We are pleased to be collaborating with UTVi in their new enterprise. This gives us an excellent opportunity to provide our reporting to the people of South Asia as well as to enhance our coverage of news in the region. We also plan to work with our new colleagues at UTVi to co-produce news programmes and bulletins combining the expertise of both organisations for the benefit of the growing UTV audiences.”
Arun Anant, CEO, UTVi, said, “UTVi will be India’s most powerful, interactive news and information network. We will connect real time news through multiple platforms like television, web and mobile.”
Meanwhile, a recent addition to the team has been Sumit Gupta, who takes over the role of Chief Operating Officer.
UTVi has also engaged several group resources and industry experts for creating feature shows. IT Nation will be partnering the technology shows. Autocar India Editor, Hormazd Sorabjee and ace rallyist Renuka Kirpalani will team up for an auto show. Rashmi Bansal, Editor of the popular youth magazine JAM, will host a Career show.
Broadcast Design International, a California-based, world-renowned set designing agency, has been retained to create the sets for the channel. The logo of UTVi News has been created by Renderon Broadcast Design, a Toronto-based, award winning design, production and multimedia firm.