NEW DELHI — Breaking news is big business in India where three news channels are due to launch in the coming year.

New Delhi Television, which provides news programs to Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV, plans to launch channels in Hindi and English next March when its contract ends with Star. Rumor has it that U.S. giant CNN, which started its own Asia-Pacific channel two years ago, may take a stake.

Meanwhile, Star will bow its own Hindi news channel in April, and consumer electronic giant Videocon and Punjabi-lingo TV channel Lashkara are also mulling news channels.

The reason? Advertising on news as a genre grew 50%, from $40 million to $60 million in 2001. That trend looks set to continue as auds tune in for coverage of the crisis between India and Pakistan.

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