Sahara Samay NCR rebrands to Samay Rajasthan

MUMBAI: Recently, quite a few television channels have been in the news for sending their employees packing home. However, Subrata Roy’s Sahara Network seems to be hitting the headlines for anything but. has it from reliable sources that the Sahara Samay Network (regional channels) has had a makeover of sorts. Possibly driven by the realisation that stagnancy impacts viewership adversely, one of the network’s channels, Sahara Samay NCR - which hitherto served the states of Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan - has rebranded itself as Samay Rajasthan, and will henceforth cater exclusively to Rajasthan.

On 18 September at 8:00 pm, the logo of Sahara Samay NCR changed to the new logo of Samay Rajasthan. The transformation was assisted by a show with eight anchors sporting traditional Rajasthani wear. An election show was aired between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm to inaugurate the rebranded channel.

Apparently, the decision to go state-specific was taken after a careful analysis of the channel’s content and need. “We felt that Rajasthan needed exclusive dedication and by being in three different states, we weren’t giving them justice,” says Sahara Samay Editor (Network Operations) and News Co-ordination Sanjay Banerjee.

It was five to six months ago that the idea took seed. A strategy was adopted to try and be creative with the content of the rebranded channel. A decision to include soft news too was taken, keeping in mind the cultural heritage of the state. Airing only political news wouldn’t have been conducive with the channel’s objective to attract all types of audiences.

With ads being displayed through hoardings, newspapers and FM channels, “People in Rajasthan were already aware about the channel so we didn’t have to put in much effort,” says Banerjee.

Speaking about the rebranded channel, it will continue to be a 24-hour Hindi news channel. For now, it will be available only on cable (analog and digital) and internet, lagging behind in D2H.

Earlier on, only one bureau existed in Jaipur whereas seven more have now been added in strategic locations like Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota, Alwar and Bharatpur. To impart a local flavour to the news, reporters and cameramen have been hired from local places while basic resources such as graphics and stock footage are shared within the network.  Ravi Parashar has been appointed editor of the channel.

With Rajasthan already having a clutch of Hindi news channels, the latest addition being Zee Rajasthan Plus, how will Samay Rajasthan fare? Well, Banerjee is confident it will lead other newbies at least in terms of content.

Then again, the decision to revamp has two sides: Haryana has lost out on a channel while Rajasthan has gained one with focused coverage. The question now is will Rajasthan change its viewing patterns?

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