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Times Now, India’s most-watched English-language news channel, is launching in the UK this week following the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as it accelerates global growth it says will see it challenge broadcasters like Al Jazeera and the BBC.
Backed by Bennett, Coleman & Co, a media conglomerate that owns the The Times of India newspaper, Times Now will target Britain’s 1.4m Indians by rebroadcasting existing shows on the Sky platform.
The launch, which Times Now calls its most important since opening in the US in 2011, is the first step in a wider European expansion, where it hopes to begin broadcasting in France and Germany next year.
“The UK launch is extremely important,” said MK Anand, chief executive. “It can be our biggest diaspora market and a bridge into Europe . . . Over the longer run there is no reason for us not to envisage Times Now as a global brand. Al Jazeera is an English-language channel which is talking about the world with an Arabic lens, and in time we can do the same for an Indian world view,” he added.