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Its seems like raining news channels for West Bengal. This time Mahuaa Media rolled out its Bengali news channel, Mahuaa Khobor, in West Bengal on August 30.The launch of Mahuaa Bangla takes the total number of Bengali news channels in West Bengal to nine. The existing news channels in the market include STAR Ananda, Kolkata TV, News Time, 24 Ghanta TV, R Plus, Ne Bangla and Channel 10.

The news channel follows the Bengali GEC, called Mahuaa Bangla, launched by Mahuaa Media in July 2010. The group also owns a Bhojpuri GEC called Mahuaa TV.The news channel has been launched on the premise of Ki Khobor (What’s the News). The launch campaign for the channel has been conceptualised and executed by none other than Rediffusion Y& R.

As per the TAM data, C&S 15+ (January-July, 2010), the market leader in Bengali news space is 24 Ghanta TV, with a market share of 40.9 per cent, followed by the No. 2 player STAR Ananda, with a market share of 37.3 per cent; and the No. 3 player, Kolkata TV, with a market share of 16.8 per cent.

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Amitava Sinha, executive vice-president and managing partner, Rediffusion Y&R, says, “The campaign has positioned Mahuaa Khobor as a news channel that will cater to the needs of the opinionated Bengalis. The entire campaign, with nine creatives, makes use of the standard Bengali colloquial expression: ‘Ki khobor?’ which literally means: What’s the news?”The creative campaign depicts various stereotypes, touching upon subjects such as global warming, Shashi Tharoor-Sunanda Pushkar marriage and the Commonwealth Games etc. Each of these situations sees a retort from conscientious Bengalis belonging to different age groups, including a young girl and an old woman.

The campaign has extensively used outdoor and print media. Leading Bengali dailies carried the creatives, besides English publications such as The Telegraph, The Times of India and Hindustan Times. Here’s hoping that Mahua khobor succeeds in positioning itself as a news channel with difference.

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