Thursday, September 20, 2007

NDTV launches 24-hour news and infotainment channel

Making a foray in the Middle East and South Africa Region, the NDTV on Thursday announced the launch of 'NDTV Arabia' - a 24-hour news and infotainment channel.

The official launch will be around the end of October, post Ramadan, an official statement from NDTV Group said.

NDTV Arabia will be predominantly an English channel and content will be infotainment-based, with business, news and lifestyle showcased on a single platform for audiences in the region.

The channel will be free-to-air, available on Nile Sat which is broadcast to 100 million homes in the region.

Set to broadcast a mix of hourly news and business bulletins and longer reports, each bulletin will be made to fit the appropriate Middle East time zone. An estimated 65 per cent of its coverage to be live news.

The channel will also bring to the viewers some trend-setting and award-winning programmes from the NDTV bouquet like 'Big Fight' and 'We the People'.

Commenting on the launch, Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV Ltd, said, "The aim is to give more and more people access to credible quality news and information from India and South Asia."

"Our next step for the region will be to launch further channels targeting the local diaspora. NDTV Arabia is just the beginning, Roy said.

The Group CEO KVL Narayan Rao NDTV Arabia was NDTVs first venture into the Middle East and Africa as a customized channel.

"The channel aims to cater to growing interest in Indian current affairs and economy among a large population of Indian and South Asian origin in the Middle East and Africa, Rao said.

To start with the channel will broadcast news, business news and current affairs programming from India and follow it with adding local news content produced from its bureau in Dubai.

Friday, September 07, 2007

NDTV lifestyle channel from September 7

NDTV Network is launching its English language lifestyle channel, tentatively titled Goodtimes, on September 7. The buzz is that a liquor company will be the lead sponsor of this channel.

Goodtimes will be followed by the launch of Metronation, NDTV’s city-specific channel for Delhi and the national capital region. City channels will also be launched in Chennai, then Mumbai and Kolkata.

Smeeta Chakrabarty, the CEO for NDTV’s lifestyle channel, would not confirm the brand name, but confirmed that the channels would be launched in the first fortnight of September.

“It is the first Indian lifestyle channel with world-class programming for the global, urban Indian. It’s a channel which answers all your questions from food to travel, leisure to gadgets, marriages to parenthood and wellness to parties,” she said.

The timing for an Indian lifestyle channel is right as Indians are exposed to global brands as well as the international shopping experience. “They spend money on fashion, food, leisure and entertainment,” she pointed out.

Metronation will be a city channel which will cover lifestyle, entertainment and news.

The city channel will attract both local and national brands, but “it will specifically target local brands not significantly tapped by television. The print media still controls a large chunk of the local and classifieds’ markets. Metronation will tap this market.”

For now, both the channels will be free-to-air.

NDTV’s Hindi general entertainment channel is expected to be launched in January.

NDTV Convergence in strategic pact with Japan’s The New Media Group

NDTV Convergence has inked a deal with Japan’s The New Media Group (TNMG), a digital media platform developer and operator in the Asia-Pacific region, for syndicating its bouquet of television channels – NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit and NDTV Good Times. The content would also be made available through Video on Demand.

With this deal, NDTV Channels can be accessed via IP-based television through a set top box across Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. TNMG would broadcast NDTV channels on its World On-Demand IPTV platform, offering both packaged and a la carte deals. In addition to sales to investment banks, government offices, and other businesses with an interest in Indian business news, TNMG will also develop news-oriented communities and provide NDTV’s content on a portal basis.

Sanjay Trehan, CEO, NDTV Convergence, said, “With this new initiative, we plan to widen our reach to Indian diaspora in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. This partnership has added value to both the groups. To us, it gives deeper reach in these markets and enriches The New Media Group’s portfolio with three NDTV channels offering comprehensive news and best facets of lifestyle.”

Speaking on the tie-up, Randy McGraw, President, The New Media Group, said, “This is a landmark moment for our company. NDTV is a world-class news provider, and obviously the most important name in news in India. It’s the most requested news channel within the NRI community. Equally important, the new lifestyle channel is really good for a start-up channel, and this content – properly marketed – has instant crossover appeal to Australians, Americans, French, and other communities that we serve.”

'NDTV GOOD TIMES' set to roll

NDTV is proud to announce the launch of its new channel 'NDTV Good Times'. It will be a free to air channel from September 7.

It's India's first Lifestyle Channel targeting the global, urban India. The channel is a tie up between NDTV and the Kingfisher brand and hopes to leverage NDTV's broadcasting and programming expertise with Kingfisher's lifestyle appeal.

The channel will have wide range of shows on health, food, fitness, leisure, fashion, travel, technology besides shows on relationships and family.

Mallya boost for NDTV Good Times

Vijay Mallya’s UB Group is set to announce a five-year advertisement commitment worth Rs 100 crore to NDTV’s forthcoming lifesytle channel, NDTV Good Times.

The contours of the deal suggest that the the liquor-to-airline group’s mascot, the Kingfisher bird, will also be woven in the channel’s identity. The details of the deal will jointly be announced by UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya and NDTV Chairman Prannoy Roy in the city tomorrow.

Insiders say this is a win-win situation for both the companies. While NDTV has ensured funding, the UB Group will now have a platform to ensure brand recall. Under the rules in the country, advertisement of liquor is not permitted. “Also, you cannot get a better person than Mallya, who is dubbed as the king of good times, to get associated with a lifestyle brand,” said a source.

However, sources said Mallya would not acquire any stake in the channel as it was widely speculated.

The lifestyle channel will be launched in September followed by Metronation, the city-specific lifestyle channels for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, covering lifestyle, entertainment and news. To begin with the channels will be free-to-air. Last week, in an interview with Business Standard, Smeeta Chakrabarty, the CEO for NDTV’s lifestyle channel, had said, “It is the first Indian lifestyle channel with world-class programming for the global and urban Indian. It’s a channel which answers all your questions from food to travel, leisure to gadgets, marriages to parenthood,” and wellness to parties.” She added that through these channels NDTV intended to tap a chunk of the local advertisements that are currently controlled by the print media.

NDTV, Astro launch news channel in Malaysia

NDTV and Astro, a leading South East Asia media group, have jointly announced the launch of Malaysia's first 24-hour news and information channel 'Astro Awani'.

The overseas launch follows the successful launch by the two media groups in Indonesia of Astro Awani - a round-the-clock news, infotainment and lifestyle channel.

Astro Awani is Malaysia's first and only 24-hour news and information channel and will be presented in Malay, the national language. Sporting the tagline, 'Our Gateway to The World', Astro Awani will present international news, events and issues that ar e more relevant to the local viewers, according to a statement from NDTV here.

NDTV will also undertake the training of all editorial, production and technical staff of the channel, the systems integration, work flow and systems design and channel graphics.

Speaking on the launch, Mr KVL Narayan Rao, CEO, NDTV Group said, "NDTV's association with Astro has had a great start last year with the success of Astro Awani in Indonesia. Now, we are delighted to come together again and provide viewers in Malaysia w ith a comprehensive look at news and topical issues."

Mr Rao termed the new channel 'a tribute' to NDTV's long-standing commitment to delivering "in-depth news and information-based programming".

Noting that the Malaysian viewers want high quality content in global news presented from a local perspective, Mr Rohana Rozhan, CEO of Astro TV said, Astro Awani channel was expected to fulfill this objective.

"It will feature global news, events and issues from a Malaysian perspective, and will be presented in the national language," Mr Rozhan said. - PTI