Zee News turns to UP after Chhatisgarh launch

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 20, 2008
Zee 24 Ghante Chhatisgarh is a first of its kind, 24 hour news channel for the state


News is extending its footprint aggressively in the regional news market. It has rolled out a 24 hour news channel, a first of its kind in Chhattisgarh. Zee 24 Ghante Chhatisgarh, which went on air on October 1, aims to be a one stop platform for reporting and covering issues related to the state and its people.

A source close to the development confirmed that the next regional news channel from the Zee News stable will be a 24 hour news channel for Uttar Pradesh. The think tank at Zee News is convinced that states such as Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh make for great business opportunities because they have large Hindi speaking populations with an appetite for greater doses of local news. Thus, these states promise high revenue for the organization.

K K Nayak, chief executive officer, 24 Ghante Chattisgarh, says, "The state of Chattisgarh has lots of potential and people of the place too have a right to know about what's happening around them and the new channel will serve as the platform to raise the concerns and issues affecting the people of the state. Electronic media is one of the fastest media to communicate with people, so our channel is an effort to bring the place and its people closer to the outside world."

The communication line for the news channel reads: Zee 24 Ghante Chhatisgarh - Sawaal Aapka Hai. It aims to become the voice of the people of Chhattisgarh by highlighting the issues faced by the state, which are, by and large, ignored or given little importance by national media. A person closely associated with the channel said that the national media looks towards the state only for news related to Naxalism.

In terms of news coverage, 70 per cent of on-air programming will be focussed on the state of Chhattisgarh and the remaining 30 per cent will cover news of national and international importance, along with sports and entertainment.

Half hour shows will be the rule on the channel. The different programmes on offer are: Desh Hamara, Khabar Chhatisgarh, City 36 and Nau Ki Baat, a primetime news bulletin. With an eye on the Assembly elections which begin on November 14, the channel has come up with election specific programming as well. Singhasan Chhatisi offers a complete roundup of political activities related to the elections.

A campaign created by Bates 141 was used to announce the launch of the news channel. The advertising message revolved around the sentiment, 'Sawaal Aapka Ka', where smart taglines were used to reach out to the audiences. Headlines such as 'Sawaal Chhattisgarh Se Judne Ka Hai - Sawaal Aap Ka Hai', 'Sawaal Meri Unnati Ka Hai' and 'Sawaal Aap Ke Bhavishya Ka Hai' screamed for attention from 50 hoardings spread out across the state. "We have positioned our channel as Sawal Aapka Hai, which means "its about you" and we are positioning ourselves as a biggest support system for the state partnering it in its growth," says Sharad Sahu, sales and marketing head, Zee 24 Ghante Chhatisgarh.

Print advertisements were carried out in four newspapers, Dainik Bhaskar, Nai Duniya, Nav Bharat and Hari Bhoomi.

For the record, Zee 24 Ghante Chhatisgarh is a franchisee offering of Zee News. The channel has been launched in association with SB Multimedia, a media company founded and promoted by the Goel Group of Companies, a prominent business house in the state, which has diverse interests in timber, minerals, steel and power. The channel is being run on a build-operate-transfer basis, with Zee News sharing its brand name and functional expertise with SB Multimedia.

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