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TV18 to retire ETV brand from its regional news channels, News18 to be mother brand

MUMBAI: TV18 is looking to retire the ETV brand from its nine regional news channels in 2017 and bring them under the News18 brand name, thereby making the latter as the mother brand of the network’s news channels.

The only exception so far is the company’s Marathi news channel IBN Lokmat, which is housed under IBN Lokmat News, an equal JV with the Lokmat Group.

Viacom18, the equal JV between TV18 and Viacom, was the first to drop the ETV brand from its regional entertainment channels by rebranding them as Colors in March 2015.

The channels that will be rebranded are ETV Urdu, ETV Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand, ETV Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh, ETV Rajasthan, ETV Bihar/Jharkhand, ETV News Bangla, ETV News Odia, ETV News Kannada and ETV News Gujarati.

In their new identity, the channels will be called News18 Urdu, News18 Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand, News18 Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh, News18 Rajasthan, News18 Bihar/Jharkhand, News18 Bangla, News18 Odia, News18 Kannada and News18 Gujarati.

The channels that are housed under Panorama Television have got the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting’s (MIB) approval to rebrand the channels. However, the rebranding will take some time to take effect.

“We will be rebranding the regional news channels under the ETV brand as News18. It won’t happen immediately, but the exercise will be completed this year for sure,” a senior editor with ETV News Network told TelevisionPost.com on condition of anonymity.

The senior editor also noted that the company had a 10-year licensing agreement with Eenadu Television to use the ETV brand name. “However, TV18 has decided to drop ETV from the network in the third year of the agreement itself,” the source added.

News18 is the mother brand of TV18’s news business. The process to bring the news channels under News18 brand started with CNN IBN, which was rebranded as CNN-News18 following the renewal of brand licensing deal with CNN.

After CNN-News18, the company launched three regional news channels last year under News18 brand, namely News18 Tamil Nadu, News18 Kerala and News18 Assam/North East. IBN7, the network’s Hindi news channel, became News18 India.

Recently, the company rebranded ETV Haryana/Himachal as News18 and expanded its scope to Punjab.

The rebranded channel has been named News18 Punjab/Haryana/Himachal with 50–60% content dedicated to Punjab and the remaining split between Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The channel has bi-lingual content in Punjabi and Hindi.

It even has three spare licences, namely News18 Goa, News18 J&K and News18 Punjab. The company had got these licences in April 2016.