Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Mega Mix

Rajdeep Sardesai (one of Prannoy Roy's 'crown jewels') has quit NDTV. Now that's old news. Also he's out to start another channel, tentatively called Broadcast News. That's old news again. The prominent stakeholders in this new channel are Subhash Chandra, Zee's head honcho, and TV18, the production house that is synonymous with CNBC in India. Now the news in warming up. So you have Subhash Chandra, India's first true media baron, Rajdeep Sardesai, the most recognisable faces on television news in India, and Raghav Bahl, the smart and politically savvy MD of TV18, all in one big group. That's interesting.
The print section of the media is also having its share of megers or rather tie-ups. Zee and Dainik Bhaskar (India's largest selling Hindi daily) teaming up in Mumbai to launch a newspaper, DNA. This is obviously to take on Times of India on their home turf. Times too is planning to launch a News channel. They have tied up with Reuters for this venture. Dainik Bhaskar is launching their own independent channel, Channel 7. This, as you might have guessed by now, is a news channel. The no frills, serious channel.
This obviously leads to a big muddle with Zee and Dainik competing with Times in the print arena and in turn slugging it out amongst themselves in the broadcast sector. Yes, Times too is in the fray. Seems like both Subhash Chandra and the Dainik Group have hedged their bets on the dramatic collapse of the Times Group and the slow decimation of NDTV.

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