NDTV launches NDTV Marathi, its first non-Hindi regional channel

This is one of a number of regional news channels planned by the Adani-owned news broadcaster, with NDTV Rajasthan and MP/Chhattisgarh being launched in 2023.

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By Soham Bhadra

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On 1 May 2024 (Wednesday), national news broadcaster NDTV — which is majority-owned by the Adani Group — launched NDTV Marathi, its first non-Hindi regional-language channel, to coincide with the ongoing general (Lok Sabha) elections. This is the third of a large number of regional channels that the country’s oldest private news broadcaster has planned for launch in the near future, and the first in a non-Hindi language after two Hindi regional channels, NDTV Rajasthan and NDTV Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh (MP/CG), which were launched in late 2023.

Having only operated national Hindi and English news channels until 2023 — in addition to the lifestyle and travel channel Goodtimes (formerly NDTV Good Times) — NDTV first ventured into state-level channels with the launch of two Hindi-language channels, NDTV MP/CG and NDTV Rajasthan, in August–September 2023 before those states’ Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) elections in December. The next regional channels in line for launch were NDTV Marathi and NDTV Gujarati, of which the former has now gone on air, while the latter is still under wraps. At the time of launch, NDTV Marathi has been added by one DTH platform — Tata Play, on LCN 1268 (along with 3 HD channels from the ETV Network, a first for any DTH) — in addition to several cable networks both in Maharashtra and nationally.

This comes after a series of announcements at NDTV in terms of new channels after being acquired by the Adani Group. In May 2023, it was reported that NDTV had secured a number of licences for new regional news channels, and also had registered trademarks for HD feeds of its two main national news channels, NDTV 24×7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi. At the time it was planned that the almost-dead NDTV Profit/Prime channel would be replaced by NDTV BQ Prime, with BQ Prime (formerly BloombergQuint) being a business news website the Adanis had recently acquired. However, on 8 December 2023, the NDTV Profit brand was revived as not only a TV channel but also a business news portal, replacing BQ Prime altogether. Its HD feed has been planned for launch as well, along with HD feeds for NDTV India and NDTV 24×7, but not necessarily in the near future.

NDTV Marathi will pave the way for the broadcaster’s establishment in a hotly contested regional market, with major players including ABP Majha, News18 Lokmat, Zee 24 Taas, TV9 Marathi, Saam TV and Jai Maharashtra. In the past few years, some new Marathi news channels like Lokshahi Marathi and Pudhari News have also been launched, as our detailed deep-dive into Marathi TV channels explains. Some of these — News18 Lokmat, Saam TV and Pudhari News — are owned by newspapers, with Saam TV being operated by the Sakal daily. That said, there are fewer Marathi satellite news channels (around 10) compared to some other languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Gujarati, where it is not uncommon to see over 15 news channels in each language.

More NDTV channels will be launched, including both regional and HD channels

With the launch of NDTV Marathi, the broadcaster has taken a big step in transforming itself from a Delhi/Mumbai-based, urban Hindi/English-speaking broadcaster — which the likes of India Today and Times Network are — to one serving multiple languages and regions, on par with major names like News18, Zee Media, ABP and TV9 with their vast bouquet of regional channels. While the launches of NDTV MP/CG and NDTV Rajasthan kickstarted this process in 2023, this is the first time that NDTV has launched a channel that does not operate in English or Hindi.

When all regional and HD channels are launched, NDTV will have 15 (12 SD + 3 HD) channels in all, in addition to the lifestyle channel Goodtimes for a total of 16. Such a large-scale reinvention was only possible after its acquisition by the Adani Group, because NDTV channels typically had the worst broadcast quality (4:3 aspect ratio in SD resolution) among private news broadcasters, despite being the oldest name in the industry.

As with previous NDTV articles, below we publish a table comparing current and future NDTV channels with those from other major news broadcasters. (Note, however, that NDTV has not planned any channel for Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand, Bihar/Jharkhand and Punjab/Haryana for the time being, despite other broadcasters — especially smaller ones like ITV Network’s India News and the News State channels — serving most Hindi-speaking states.)

With so many channels in the pipeline across regions and languages, the launch of NDTV Marathi is only a sneak peek into the grand plans that the Adani Group has for NDTV as a whole, as it completes a crucial milestone on the path to becoming a true pan-Indian news broadcaster.

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Soham Bhadra

Television Analyst

83 articles published
Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, actively interested in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes articles and shares his insights on the Indian TV industry and DTH operators. He has a passion for words and reflects that through his articles.

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NDTV Marathi channel launched

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NDTV Marathi channel launched

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