India’s Times Group, or BCCL, has made a partial return to the streaming TV platform run by India’s largest telecom operator, Jio TV, by restarting the transmission of its news channels via the app.
It was in August 2020 that BCCL had pulled all its channels, including its English-language movie channels, from the Jio TV platform — India’s largest live television streaming app.
There was no explanation about the reason why the channels were pulled from the platform, but it is expected that the decision may have had to do with disagreements over monetization.
Times Group runs four Hollywood movie channels such as MNX and Movies Now, besides a clutch of news channels in Hindi and English.
Among the news channels that have made it back to the Jio TV platform are financial news oriented ET Now and ET Now Swadesh, and the general news oriented Times Now, Times Now World and Times Now Navbharat.
Interestingly, these channels are direct competitors of news channels operated by the TV18 group, a sister concern of Reliance Jio, which operates Jio TV.
Nevertheless, Times Now and Times Now Navbharat — the Hindi news channel — have both been given prominent placement in the channel list on Jio TV.
Times Now is placed first among English news channels, ahead of TV18’s own CNN News18, while Times Now Navbharat is placed first in the list of Hindi news channels on JioTV, ahead of market leader Aaj Tak.
Times Group is learnt to be keen to reach the millions of users who use Jio TV every day to give a boost to its newly launched Hindi channels, such as Swadesh and Navbharat, in their efforts to challenge long-time incumbents in their respective markets.
The Times Group, officially known as Bennet, Coleman, and Co Ltd or BCCL, is the largest news company in India thanks to its flagship product, The Times of India — the world’s largest English language newspaper by number of copies.
It has tried, over the lat 10-15 years, to diversify into electronic broadcast, but has had mixed success in its attempts to seize the leadership in various segments.