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Delay in licence forces Enter 10 TV to rethink strategy on new channel launches

MUMBAI: Running a single television channel is always difficult. For joint owners Manish Kumar Singhal and Dipak Singhal, the business plan was to build a bouquet of three channels so that it would be relatively easier for distribution and for cross-selling to advertisers.

That was not to be, exemplifying the truth that the delay in issuing channel licences by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) can really work as a disadvantage to broadcasters.

After a three-year wait for two channel licences, the Singhals are forced to re-evaluate their plan for the channel launches. This is because the market conditions have changed dramatically since they submitted their application.

Last week, the ministry doled out nine licences, two of which were given to Indore-based Enter 10 Television Pvt Ltd, the company owned by the Singhals, for the launch of a Bhojpuri movie channel, Bhojpuri Cinema, and Luck TV.

“The problem is that we got the licence after three years. At that time the plan was different. Now there is a lot of competition and it is tough to survive, so we have to change our plan of action,” a source in the company said.

As the name suggests, Bhojpuri Cinema was designed to be a pure Bhojpuri movie channel catering to the Bihar, Jharkhand and UP markets. Luck TV was stated to be either a Hindi general entertainment channel or a Hindi movie and music channel.

As the movie acquisition deals have already been done, the plans for Bhojpuri Cinema are being firmed up. As for Luck TV, there needs to be a refresh in strategy and the nature of the channel is yet to be decided.

“We are still doing research on what the channel strategy should be and will soon firm up the plan,” the source said.

Even for the Bhojpuri movie channel, the strategy is being reworked. Though Enter 10 Television already has a vast Bhojpuri movie library in place for its new movie channel, the market has seen a lot of changes since the time it was being originally planned for launch.

“The idea of launching a Bhojpuri movie channel came from the success of the Bhojpuri entertainment network Mahuaa. But the marketplace has changed since then,” the source said.

Channels presently catering to the Bhojpuri-speaking demographics are led by Big Magic Ganga, Mahuaa Plus, Anjan, Mahuaa TV and Dabanng UP Uttarakhand Bihar.

“The plan for Luck TV was more tilted towards a Hindi movie channel as there were only two to three free-to-air (FTA) Hindi movie channels earlier so the demand was more. But now, there are almost 10 different types of them and so the budgets are getting fragmented,” the source mentioned.

Enter 10 Television has ambitions of launching both the channels within the next three to four months. They will both be FTA at the time of launch.

The company is already running Enterr10 Television, a 24-hour FTA Hindi movie channel. It is available on cable TV networks and DD+, Dish TV, Airtel TV, Videocon d2h and Reliance DTH.

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