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Focus News to be discontinued on Tata Sky and Videocon d2h from 30 Sep

MUMBAI: Focus News, the flagship Hindi news channel from Positiv Television, will be discontinued on direct-to-home (DTH) platforms Tata Sky and Videocon d2h from midnight of 30 September, the company has said in a public notice.

The reason for discontinuing the channel on these two platforms has not been revealed.

Positiv Television has been pruning its news network that now comprises four channels Focus News, Focus Odisha, Focus Bangla and Focus Haryana.

Recently, it had quietly put curtains down on two channels, namely Focus NE, a news channel, and Focus Hi-Fi, an entertainment channel. Both the channels were targeted at the North East region.

The channels were shut as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had denied security clearance to Positiv TV when it applied for renewal of licences for the two channels, according to a report in The New Indian Express.

The security clearance was denied due to serious charges against Matang Sinh, the promoter of the company.

Apart from TV channels, the MHA had denied security clearance to two FM channels owned by Postiv Radio.

While Congress leader and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) chairman Naveen Jindal is not directly involved in the company, his name was dragged in when Sinh’s now estranged wife Manoranjana Sinh, who is also a shareholder and co-founder of the company, filed a complaint in the Company Law Board (CLB) in 2013.

In her complaint, she had alleged that Jindal had made a backdoor entry into the company by extending a loan of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) to Positiv TV through an associate company Worship Impex.

Following the complaint, the CLB had directed the Centre to probe the affairs of Worship Impex, which has two senior JSPL officials as directors.

Matang Sinh had reportedly mortgaged Positiv TV’s assets and television licences to Worship Impex. Jindal has, however, distanced himself from the TV network.