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Sakshi TV aims to break clutter in the Telugu news space

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 24, 2009
The Telugu news channel, Sakshi TV, launched on March 1, is eyeing the youth with a sophisticated look

Sakshi TV, the Telugu news channel launched on March 1, is trying to woo the youth in a market cluttered with nearly a dozen news channels. The channel is part of the Jagati Publications Group promoted by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, which launched the Telugu daily, Sakshi, exactly one year ago in Andhra Pradesh.

According to Rani Reddy, director, marketing, Sakshi TV, the 24 hour news channel is targeted primarily at the youth. In a conversation with afaqs!, she says, "Besides the mix of national, regional and international news, we have soft programmes that cater to the youth such as restaurant reviews, automobiles, cookery and entertainment."

& #BANNER1 & #The weekend shows have slots for women and kids, too. Sakshi TV will compete with channels such as ETV2, TV5, TV9, NTV, Gemini News, HMTV and I News. Maa TV, a general entertainment channel (GEC), also airs news at regular intervals. According to industry buzz, Zee's Telugu news channel, 24 Gantalu, is slated for a launch on March 30. Another channel, Mahaa TV, is also waiting in the wings.

According to Reddy, Sakshi TV will not compete with the regional channels. She claims that the look and feel of the channel is very much in the league of the national channels. The on-air identities, including the channel logo and branding, have been done by Red Bee, the firm that designed the logo and channel branding for BBC. The sets and the studio of Sakshi TV have been designed by US-based Broadcast Design International, the firm that has designed the sets for Al Jazeera, Dubai TV and Times Now.

It also claims to be the only news channel after NewsX to be HDTV (hi-definition television). However, as most of the viewers are on an analog platform, the reception quality can be measured on a digital platform such as CAS and DTH.

The channel, according to Reddy, will have equal proportions of national and regional advertisers. However, marketing the channel to advertisers is expected to start only in mid April, "once the viewership numbers from TAM are in place."

The channel is being positioned as 'Pratyaksh Sakshi' (Live Witness). "We have more than 25 outdoor broadcast vans to cover the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh," says Reddy.

She informs that Sakshi TV will spend about Rs 5 crore on advertising during February, March and April. The creative account for Sakshi TV is being handled by O&M, Hyderabad.

For the record, Rani Reddy has moved in from O&M, where she was heading the Hyderabad branch. However, she refused to divulge the investment details of the channel.