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ABP News Network launches Gujarati news channel

MUMBAI: ABP News Network has launched its third regional-language news channel in Gujarati named ABP Asmita.

The channel, which was soft launched in January, was officially launched on 18 February in Ahmedabad by Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel.

ABP-gujarati-AsmitaThe editor of the channel is Brijesh Kumar Singh, who was earlier the national affairs editor of ABP News.

The tagline of the channel is ‘Khabar Amari, Pragati Tamari’, which translates as ‘Our news, your progress’.

The new channel will compete with ETV News Gujarati, TV9 Gujarat, GS TV, Sandesh News and VTV.

The free-to-air (FTA) channel is available only on cable TV platforms in the state including the big daddy GTPL Hathway. It is not yet available on the direct-to-home (DTH) platforms.

An industry source said that cable TV is very strong in Gujarat with 75% penetration, while DTH has only 25% penetration.

Speaking at the launch, ABP News Network CEO Ashok Venkatramani said that the new channel would also cater to Gujaratis living outside Gujarat and India.

The channel will have a news reporter in each of the state’s 33 districts. The company had imparted six months’ training to its editorial staff including anchors, reporters and producers prior to the launch.

The channel will highlight locally relevant issues from across the state besides covering sports, entertainment and business news.

This is the first channel launch post Star’s exit from the company, which was earlier known as Media Content & Communications System. The last channel launch by the company happened back in 2007 with Marathi news channel ABP Majha.

Besides ABP Asmita, ABP News Network owns and operates three news channels ABP News (Hindi), ABP Ananda (Bengali) and ABP Majha (Marathi).

The network had plans to launch a Punjabi news channel named ABP Sanjha, but the channel was shelved after the company failed to procure distribution from the state’s leading MSO Fastway Transmission, which is believed to be owned by the state’s politically influential Badal family. The PTC Network is also owned by the Badals.