Gaon Connection to launch TV show

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 24, 2014
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The UP-based rural newspaper is all set to launch a television show by the name of Gaon Connection on DD National. It is on the lookout for sponsors.

Gaon Connection, a UP-based rural newspaper launched in December, 2012 is set to extend its presence to the television medium with the launch of a show called Gaon Connection.

Gaon Connection

Neelesh Misra

Targeting rural areas, the bi-weekly, half-hour show will be aired on DD National on the prime time slot. Doordarshan has given the permission for 52 episodes under the Advertiser Funded Program (AFP) model.

Under the AFP model, the sponsor will bear the production costs and will get 300 seconds of free commercial time (FCT).

Gaon Connection is now looking for sponsors for it and will produce the show in a magazine format including stories on policy development for rural areas, problems, solutions, women, rural heroes, entrepreneurs and others who are living and working in these regions and making a living and helping others to do so.

Speaking about it, Neelesh Misra, founder, Gaon Connection, says, "Our effort is towards having Gaon Connection not just as a rural newspaper but a rural media house. Urban India is not informed about rural India as our media has stopped going into these areas. We believe there is a divide in India, both rural-urban and rural-rural. And, Gaon Connection seeks to fill this gap and create a bridge."

According to the paper, the show will not be aired before the end of April as production and sponsorship are yet to be finalised. The production for the show will be done in New Delhi and Gaon Connection will hire professionals for it.

It is mostly looking for FMCG players as sponsors for the show. Misra emphasises that it is looking for a partner who will allow Gaon Connection to maintain the integrity of the show, even as the sponsor gets the required exposure. "We are in talks with several media agencies and brands," adds Misra.

The show will be marketed through the newspaper's social media handles, radio partnerships and on Doordarshan's promotional platform.

Gaon Connection is already present in Bihar, UP and Jharkhand and plans to scale up its circulation to 100,000 copies by August. It claims that the pilot phase for the paper is complete and it is ready for a full-fledged launch. To reach out to its audience extensively, it also launched an audio newspaper that includes voice stories filed by reporters, voice columns by experts and voice editorials by the editor.

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