JSD Data Infotech has made its foray into broadcasting with the launch of a Telugu infotainment channel, Express TV.
Express TV aims at providing viewers a fresh new perspective on Telugu information and entertainment through "responsible journalism". The content of the channel focuses on news, women-based programming, sports and entertainment, that has been brought together to bring the latest lifestyle programming to a worldwide Telugu audience.
According to the company, the channel will be available to over 13 million satellite and cable TV subscribers in 23 districts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. There are around 18 channels in the Telugu TV market.
According to Chigurupati, the Andhra Pradesh news market is cluttered but there is a scope for 'Infotainment' content. The space also has ETV2, a 24 x 7 satellite channel comprising news (Telugu news), news-based programmes, women's infotainment programmes, film news and youth-based programmes.
Talking about the challenges in the market, Chigurupati says, "Our greatest challenge is to navigate the channel through a rapidly evolving TV market especially in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and deliver consistent high quality express infotainment to a growing, info-seeking Telugu community from across the world."
Express TV is headquartered in Hyderabad. It is beaming from IS-17.
The channel has appointed M Sai Ramakrishna as business head, while Nemani Bhaskar has come on board as executive editor.
While refusing to divulge any numbers on the size of investment, Chigurupati adds, "As per the industry norms, the distribution costs are the highest, especially when the launch timing of the channel is near the election. The costs are on the higher side in the current scenario."
During the first two months of the launch, the news content on Express TV will be 70 per cent while the rest will be entertainment content. After the elections, the FPC will change and after the first quarter, the ratio of news and entertainment will be 60:40.
Initially, Express TV has allotted a three-hour time band for female viewers, in the FPC. The content targeting females will be extended to five hours after the elections.
There are 14 bulletins running on the channel. While it will air 'Express News' every half an hour, the other shows include 'Satyam Sivam Sundaram', a STAR Sign show called 'Mee Rashi Mee Phalaalu', 'Small Talk', 'Movie Express', 'Raani Maharaani' - a women-based LIVE game show, 'Vulavacharu Biryani', 'Shubha Rasi' Live, an agricultural show in the evening and a comedy parody, 'TOM TOM'.
Express TV is being extensively promoted on OOH. Around 400 buses in AP are carrying the promotion of the channel. Besides, the channel has tied up with about 250 high footfall theatres across AP for marketing. In the Tier 2 cities, the channel has targeted the single screens and in Tier 1 cities and towns, the intention is to promote across single screens and multi-screens. There is also digital promotion, as well LED screens that are set up at various railway stations.
For the record, Chigurupati has worked in the pharma and financial services industries globally for more than 20 years. He has joined hands with JSD Data Infotech to launch the first channel. The company also plans to launch a Telugu GEC sometime in mid-2014.