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More news channels predicted for India

At least four more TV news channels are expected to be launched to serve the news-hungry Indian sub continent over the next year.

News television looks set to be a hot sector for competition on the Indian sub-continent next year with the likelihood of at least four extra news channels taking to the air.

Contrary to normal viewing patterns, TV news, sparked by September 11 and fuelled by the tension between Pakistan and India, has become big business on the sub continent with news channels. They have consistently beaten the ratings of entertainment channels for the first time in the last quarter of 2001 and first quarter of 2002.

The number of news channels is likely to swell because NDTV, which currently supplies content for the Star News channel, is due to split with Star in April next year. It’s rumoured that, after the split, they will launch not one but two news channels. One will be in Hindi, the other English. Executives at the company believe their own brand is now strong enough to attract an audience.

Star has already announced plans to establish its own news channel in Hindi, to be headed by the former Channel Nine CEO, Ravina Raj Kohli.

There will also be a Hindi-English channel from Videocon and Aaj Tak television has been considering the prospect of expanding into the English language for some time.

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