New channels in the offing

The ministry of information and broadcasting has recently issued licenses to selected TV channels.

ABP News Network (ANN) was awarded a license for ABP Sanjha, a Punjabi news channel. In January 2018, ANN had launched ABP Sanjha in Canada in partnership with Parvasi Media Group, a South Asian and Punjabi media group. In February 2019, ANN received licenses for four TV channels, ABP Andhra, ABP Ganga, ABP Kannada, and ABP Tamil. The ABP News Network already operates four news channels, ABP News (Hindi), ABP Majha (Marathi), ABP Asmita (Gujarati), and ABP Ananda (Bengali). The news network also appears set to launch ABP
Ganga, a news channel for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

BBC Global News India was handed a license for its channel, CBeebies, an extremely popular channel for babies.

Media Worldwide, a regional music network, operates free-to-air (FTA) channels Music India, Sangeet Bangla, Sangeet Bhojpuri, Sangeet Marathi, and Bangla Talkies. The company was awarded a license for its channel Bong in April 2019.

IBC Tamil Private Ltd. under the non-news category has been awarded a license for IBC Tamil.

B4U, which currently owns and operates two Hindi FTA channels, B4U Music and B4U Movies is planning to launch two channels in May 2019. B4U Bhojpuri, the Bhojpuri entertainment channel, will be launched on May 15. It will air two movie premieres a week. B4U Kadak, which is a Hindi movie channel, will go on-air from May 31. In 2017, UK-based mid-cap investment firm Abercross Holdings had acquired a majority and controlling stake in B4U network for GBP 20 million. Abercross is led by former England cricketer Alex Loudon and Issam Hamid, former Chief Investment Officer for the Saudi Royal Family. While LMB Holdings has exited the company, Eros International still holds a 24-percent stake in B4U. LMB Holdings is controlled by steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal and London-based industrialist, Gokul Binani.

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