BloombergQuint, a joint venture between US media company Bloomberg and Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media (which runs The Quint), has abandoned its ambitions to run a TV channel, it announced today. “BQ will be terminating its television division as its broadcast license remains pending,” the company said, adding that it will now focus on promoting its subscription product BQ Blue, which is priced at ₹2,999 a year. Moneycontrol had reported in December that the TV channel was on the verge of falling through, and that Bloomberg was looking at other media companies to partner with.
Statement from BloombergQuint pic.twitter.com/FdsnN0GaRp
— BloombergQuint (@BloombergQuint) April 22, 2020
The development is a significant setback for BloombergQuint, who had sought to broadcast on TV as far back as 2016, but in 2018 the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting declined their application, citing security concerns.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have affected The Quint’s operations as well, since on April 13, the company told 45 employees to go on leave without pay, including its entire technology team, paying some employees for all of April and giving others half the month’s pay, according to Newslaundry. The company has also reportedly waived its non-compete clause and cancelled its subscriptions to news wire services.