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Sahara Samay to launch Urdu and four regional channels

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 14 (UNI) Content with its role of being a regional player but eyeing for a considerable share in the huge, untapped retail advertising pie, Sahara Samay news channel has hammered out aggressive expansion plans to launch four more regional channels in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan by the year-end.

This will be preceded by the launch of an Urdu channel on August 15 while its national channel is all set for a revamp with a sleek, faster and efficient presentation of news.

''We are basically a regional player. We were the first to launch regional, city-centric 24-hour, free-to-air news channels three years ago. The channel in Uttar Pradesh has already reached the breakeven stage and is poised to yield considerable revenues to the company in a couple of months,Ғ Sahara Samay Vice-President Prabhat Dabral told UNI.

While Uttar Pradesh is going to provide major profits, the channels in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are likely to turn the corner by the year-end.

A part of the Rs 50,000 crore Sahara India conglomerate, Sahara Samay, having investments of more than Rs 250 crore, has a national (Sahara Samay Rashtriya) and five regional, city-centric news channels covering Mumbai, Bihar and Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the National Capital Region (NCR).

''Launching regional channels makes a judicious business sense because TV ad pie is snowballing. FICCI has pegged the potential of retail advertising (town and villages) in the wake of economic boom between Rs 3000-4000 crore while at the national level (metros and some big cities), the ad pie is worth Rs 700 crore for which there is a scramble between TV channels and newspapers,Ғ Mr Dabral said.

''It is the staggering untapped potential of retail ad money, combined with our commitment to relate to people and empower them through information, that gives us the rationale to launch more regional channels,Ғ he added.

The four new regional channels would be launched by the year-end, Mr Dabral said, adding that infrastructure and logistical facilities for this ambitious venture were readily available with the company.

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