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MCCS gets licence to launch Punjabi news channel ABP Sanjha
MUMBAI: Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS), the ABP Group-owned news broadcasting company, has received the licence from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to launch its proposed 24-hour Punjabi news channel ABP Sanjha.
TelevisionPost.com was the first to report in March this year that while awaiting the licence, the company finalised the name and logo of the channel, and engaged a small team to put up content on its YouTube channel.
Besides giving licence to MCCS, the government has also approved the licence applications of Peace of Mind, a non-news channel from God Media, and Patrika TV Rajasthan, a news channel from Rajasthan Patrika.
MCCS CEO Ashok Venkatramani told TelevisionPost.com that the company has received the licence and the work is in progress to launch the channel. While he declined to comment on when the channel is expected to start airing, sources in the company confirmed that recruiting will begin now and plans are being firmed up internally.
ABP Sanjha will be the fourth channel from the MCCS stable which includes ABP News (Hindi), ABP Ananda (Bengali) and ABP Majha (Marathi).
Sources in the channel said that while the market is small, the current size cannot be indicative of its true potential.
“When we launched in Bengal, there was no market for news; today, it is close to Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion). Similarly, Marathi had no regional news market but today stands at Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.50 billion),” a source added.
A senior executive from a regional broadcasting company stated that launching a regional news channel will require a capex of at least Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million), and it will take three to four years to break even.
The Punjabi news market is dominated by PTC News, followed by other players like Zee Punjab/Haryana/Himachal Pradesh, MH1 News, and Day & Night News, which was last year shut and later revived.