Sarthak TV founder Sitaram Agrawalla has floated a new company named Sidharth Broadcasting Pvt Ltd (SBPL) through which he plans to launch four channels.
The channels will be launched in 2020 after the completion of its non-compete agreement with ZEEL, which Sarthak had signed in 2015.
The group plans to launch three channels in Odia and one in Bengali. In Odia, the company will launch a GEC, Sidharth TV, a devotional channel, Sidharth Bhakti, and a music channel, Sidharth Music. In Bengali, the company will launch a GEC channel, Sidharth Bangla.
The group had applied for four TV channel licences and one teleport licence to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). SBPL received licences for two channels while the other three are pending.
The channels will be in the ‘pay’ category and the group is in talks with several distribution platforms. A source close to the company said, “Now that our agreement with Zee will be completed in 2020, we are planning to launch four new channels in 2020. We are in talks with the distributors. Currently, the distribution eco-system is changing every other month and so we will decide on the distributors and pricing of the channels after studying the market next year.”
The group is already present on digital through the video streaming site YouTube under the names Sidharth TV, Sidharth Music, Sidharth Bhakti and Sidharth Bangla and garnered a good response.
Apart from broadcast and digital, Agrawalla also owns Sarthak Films Pvt Ltd. (SFPL) and Sarthak Music Pvt. Ltd. (SMPL). He is one of the directors of Recorded Music Performance Ltd. (RMPL), a copyright society. SMPL is the parent company, which has been producing Odia music and Odia movies since 1999. SFPL owns and operates two FM radio stations named ‘1.9 Sarthak FM’ in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. The private FM owner is awaiting the third round of FM Phase III e-auction to expand the radio stations to other cities.