Dainik Jagran's television venture has got a go-ahead from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The news channel has been branded as Channel 7 and the test run would start from February 21. The channel will be formally launched by the first week of March.
When asked why the channel was not named after the Jagran group, Siddharth Gupta, director - Jagran TV, says, "We intend to create a different identity for the television channel and the name 'Channel 7' has a certain modern ring to it. That apart, no other news channel has used the word 'Channel' in its brand except for music channel CHannel [V]. Besides, the number '7' has been closely associated with the Indian culture - whether it's 'Saat Phedes', or 'Saat Samunder', and 'Saat Janam' or 'Saat Sur'.
Talking about the positioning of Channel 7, Sanjay Gupta, editor and CEO, Jagran Group says, "The channel will not only interpret the headlines, but will go beyond news to inform, educate and entertain its viewers."
He further adds, "There has been a change in the viewing habits for the news channels. Earlier, viewers used to mainly sample news channels. In recent times, appointment viewing has increased. This is why we hope to win the loyalty of the audiences by beaming superior and innovative content, which is in accordance to our exhaustive research on viewer expectations."
Siddhartha Gupta says, "We are ready to cover anything which is non-fiction - be it crime, politics, sports, lifestyle or entertainment. But at present, we will not have too much on business programming as we have seen that the there are already quite a few niche channels which are extensively covering it."
"Our motto is to deliver news in a way which will be useful for the viewers and end-consumers rather than just plain-vanilla presentation of facts," he adds.
This free-to-air channel will begin with a 25-bureau network across the country, which will be further increased in the coming months.
In the initial phase, the channel's main focus would be on distribution. Gupta didn't rule out the possibility of paying carriage fees for a stronger distribution network. He says, "If you are in business and want to earn money, you need to spend money even if people call it unethical or immoral."
He adds, "Our main focus will be the Hindi speaking markets. During the initial phase, however, our main focus would be on the Delhi and Mumbai markets as it generates numbers and creates interest among advertisers."
Regarding promotions, Gupta says, "Besides using the mother brand, we are also looking at cross channel promotions through barter deals. Besides, the outdoor media will also be used extensively - especially in cities such as Mumbai."
For below-the-line activities, the channel has chalked out some innovative strategies which will be implemented a few days before the official launch. Gupta declined to reveal details on these activities. He says, "All I can say is that we want to feed the brand Channel 7 in people's mind through a 360-degree marketing plan."
On the technical front, Channel 7 is equipped with the best newsroom and newsgathering technology, available to broadcasters today. This includes Associate Press' ENPS software, Leitch Editing & Servers, the fastest newsroom technology in the world, VIZ RT Graphic Systems, the best broadcasting graphics system in the world as well as various Dell, Thomson, Panasonic & Ikegami broadcasting equipment.
Overall, the channel seems to be quite ambitious as it aims to occupy a top 3 slot in the first year and gradually move towards the numero uno spot later.
© 2005 agencyfaqs!First Published : February 02, 2005