Kalanithi Maran , founder of Sun TV Network , has stepped down from the day-to-day affairs of the company by appointing K Vijaykumar as the company's MD. Maran will don the role of executive chairman with immediate effect.
In a regulatory filing, Sun TV said its board had approved the appointment of R Ravivenkatesh as non-executive independent director. Kaveri Kalanithi, wife of Kalanithi Maran, has been appointed as executive director of the company.
C Praveen, the present senior vice president of the company, has been appointed as chief operating officer (COO) with immediate effect. Vijaykumar has been a trusted lieutenant of Kalanithi as head of operations at Udaya TV, the group's Kannada channel. Praveen was with Surya TV before this elevation.
Samachar Plus, a new regional news channel, from Best News Company is set to launch in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand from May 1. The tagline of the channel will be ‘Khabar wahi jo humne kahi’.
Best News Company plans to cover Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand first and then move to Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar. In the second phase, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR will be targeted. The channel will be head-quartered in Noida and bureau offices will operate from Lucknow and Dehradun.
Talking to e4media about the launch, Amitabh Agnihotry, Managing Editor, Samachar Plus said, “We are penetrating into these regions with positive journalism in an attempt to become the voice of the people.”
The company is looking at OOH and digital medium to promote the new channel. Billboards have been put up at many prominent places in both the states and a webpage has been created for its promotion.
Multi Screen Media (MSM), which runs Sony Entertainment Television in India, will be launching its sports channel Six on 7 April.
The channel will feature UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) mixed martial arts, FA Cup football, NBA and highlights from the Indian Premier League (IPL). The current season of IPL is shown live and exclusive on MSM's SET MAX from 4 April-27 May. In addition to UFC and cricket, Six will show football, badminton and basketball – sports aimed in particular at the youth market, according to the broadcaster. Interestingly just few days before MSM lost out to ESS (ESPN-Star Sports) for the rights to air BCCI-hosted cricket matches played in India over the next six years. MSM already owns the broadcast rights to the IPL, New Zealand cricket, FA Cup football, and NBA basketball.
"We are excited to launch our new premium sports entertainment channel – Six. The channel will launch with the key driver property being UFC Mixed Martial Arts and the best of the first four seasons of the DLF IPL," said Man Jit Singh, chief executive, Multi Screen Media.
"This latest offering from our bouquet reiterates our commitment to bring the best in every genre to young audiences. Six is aimed at the informed and empowered youth of the country who are enthusiastic to adopt new sports. We are confident that Six will be the premier sports channel and stand out by fulfilling its promise to cater to the twin passions of the country – sports and entertainment," he said.
NP Singh, chief operating officer, MSM added: "Six will skew younger, catering to India's appetite for Indian and the counterpart international sports leagues. Six will provide a platform for Indian athletes to showcase their talent and will fuel India's aspirations to excel globally. We will invest in new sports; sports that the new-age 'India on the move' youth want to watch and follow."
Six will be the 11th sports channel in India after Star Sports, ESPN, Star Cricket - the 50:50 joint venture between Walt Disney and News Corporation; the Zee-owned Taj TV with its Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action+, Ten Golf; Neo's Neo Cricket, Neo Sports; and the state-owned DD Sports.
In addition to Six, MSM runs Sony TV, SAB TV, Set Max, Sony Pix, AXN, Animax and the Sony Mix music channel.
Channel Logo from Sonysix.com