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Times of India eyes European TV opportunities

Naveen Chandra

Naveen Chandra

Times Television Network, the TV arm of newspaper publisher The Times of India Group, is looking at broadcasting opportunities in Europe, according to head of international business Naveen Chandra.

Speaking at the GS Summit in Saint Petersburg, Chandra, who oversees the international operations at Times Television Network, confirmed that the firm aims to expand into Europe, claiming it to be the “one big missing thing” in terms of its coverage.

Times Television network currently runs five channels across 75 countries in four continents, aimed at Indian diaspora audiences. These are: English-language news network Times Now; business news channel ET Now; Bollywood channel Zoom; high definition English film channel Movies Now (HD); and “love and laughter”-focused entertainment channel Romedy Now.

Though Chandra did not reveal specific channel launch plans, he cited the different regulations, legal frameworks and diaspora audience numbers in different European countries for Times Group’s failure to date to make a European TV play.

“There is no one aggregated player, which has aggregated subscribers. Orange is a classic example. Orange France is very different from Orange Spain and Orange Italy,” said Chandra. However, he agreed that BSkyB’s takeover of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland to form Sky Europe could help ease the way for Times Television Network to launch services in multiple territories.