BJP to start TV channel in Andhra Pradesh

Kartik Paurnima,Kaliyug Varsha 5112

HYDERABAD: If TV viewers in the state thought that there is an overkill of news channels projecting the political news and viewpoints of leading politicians and parties, the field might get a little more crowded in a few months time.

Convinced that the idiot box is the route to political success and growth, state BJP president G Kishan Reddy too is all set to go live 24/7.

Kishan Reddy told TOI that a TV news channel is on the cards but clarified that it will not be the mouthpiece of the BJP but more to project his agenda though it will be in sync with the party’s to a large extent. "The channel is on course but still a few months away as there are several loose ends that needs to be tied up," he said.

What sounds interesting is the appetite for risk by the young BJP president to project himself as a potential leader and venture into a domain that continuously bleeds owners revenue. That too at a time when the public is already exposed to 32 local TV channels. The minimum amount required to launch a channel would be about Rs 16 crore and can go up to about Rs 50 crore with the monthly operational cost hovering in the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore. Kishan Reddy, however, was not willing to reveal the start-up or operational cost of his channel. It is not known whether the Reddy brothers from neighbouring Karnataka would have anything to do with the channel.

Separatist party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, has a dedicated news channel ‘Raj News’ to propagate the cause of Telangana, while other channels like Zee 24 Gantalu and HMTV are suspected of having a leaning towards Telangana.
Though it supposedly began as a Congress mouthpiece, Sakshi TV became the voice of Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. Other news channels like TV5, iNews and NTV too have a pro-Jagan slant.

Besides active backing of channels like ETV, Mahaa TV and ABN Andhra Jyothy, the Telugu Desam Party has an exclusive channel in Studio N. Interestingly, Gemini News, owned by Sun Network, and the top-rated Telugu news channel TV9, for now, are not directly linked to any particular political party in the state. Praja Rajyam Party president K Chiranjeevi has a television channel of his own, Maa TV, but has abandoned its news division. It, however, promotes movies of Chiranjeevi and his family members in a big way.

Given such background, Kishan Reddy’s move to launch a TV channel doesn’t really come as a big surprise, though it arouses enough curiosity on the kind of flavour it would adopt to make an entry with a bang.

The BJP chief’s aides said he has been working overtime to rope in like-minded people to make the channel a reality.

"Kishan is testing the waters, especially when the Telangana movement has reached a critical phase. We also want to reach out to the people of Telangana region and spread word that BJP alone was the first political party to have made up its mind on the formation of a separate state and it was the only effective political alternative to the Congress party," an aide of the BJP president said.

Source: The Times of India

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