ETC to start new Hindi channel, produce two Punjabi films

Mumbai, Jan 26 | Updated: Jan 27 2005, 05:30am hrs
After launching ETC Khalsa, a religious channel in Punjabi, ETC Networks Ltd has plans for a Hindi channel which will focus on Bollywood. The company is also planning to make two Punjabi films budgeted around Rs 1-2 crore each, during 2005-06.

ETC Khalsa is expected to hit the screen in April 2005, and the proposed new channel which is in the pipeline, will also be launched during the next financial year, said ETC Networks chief executive officer Jagjit Singh Kohli. The investment on ETC Khalsa will be around Rs 10 lakh per month for the transponder. It is expected that there will be no other major investments which, according to Mr Kohli, will help the channel to break even during its first year of operation.

The new Hindi channel will cater to a new genre of shows, but it is too early for us to disclose the content. It would certainly have more than just film promotions and songs, Mr Kohli added. ETC Khalsa, in terms of content will have gurbani, pravachans and kirtans.

The company has dropped its plan to make Hindi films and is not looking to venture into TV serials either. I think Zee Telefilms will cater to the making of Hindi films and as far as television serials are concerned, I do not think serials work well for a music channel, added Mr Kohli.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2004 the company registered a Rs 14.39 crore revenue from channel operations as against Rs 13.18 crore for the same period the previous year. ETC Music has a marketshare of 35-40% amongst music channels and ETC Punjabi has a marketshare of 60-70% among all Punjabi channels as per TAM Media Research.