India's largest news channel launches in the UK, promising to rival the BBC

India’s most watched English language news channel Times Now has launched in the UK and says it plans to challenge the likes of the BBC and Al Jazeera.

Times Now, the digital media arm of The Times of India newspaper, will broadcast on Sky,covering Indian news as well as producing original content for British and global audiences.

Its UK arrival marks the first time it has set up business operations outside India which has led it to hire six London-based executives to help secure advertising deals. The move is the first step in a wider European expansion, with plans to begin broadcasting in France and Germany next year.

Chief executive, MK Anand, described the launch as “extremely important” and said “there is no reason for us not to envisage Times Now as a global brand.”

He added “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.”

The news channel was founded in 2006 and its audiences make up around 10 per cent of the 114m viewers of English-language television in India each week, according to research group BARC.

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