Television

Sahara TV to launch 38 regional news channels

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The Sahara India Group's ambitions to become a major media powerhouse was taken to a whole new level today as it announced plans to launch a bouquet of 38 news channels - a national news channel and 37 independent city-based regional news stations covering Uttar Pradesh & Uttranchal, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar & Jharkhand, National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai.

With the launch of these 38 news channels, Sahara TV aims to focus on providing not only national and international news but also in-depth and high-quality city-based and regional news coverage in the respective states, an official release states. The system of local TV news stations is well established in the West but this must be a first where one network is launching so many news channels at one go.

The network is scheduled to launch in April and will be broadcast through the VSAT system being set up as part of the Sahara Net project. At the time of launch 1,400 VSATs will be in place and the number is expected to go up to 1,800 by the end of the year. Sahara TV expects to cover even smaller cities and towns by leveraging Sahara Net's VSAT network, bureaus for news gathering.

The capital intensive project envisages a major expansion on the manpower front as well. Official sources in the channel said project funding would be raised internally.

Announcing this, Subrata Roy Sahara, managing worker & chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said: "Driven by the objective of spreading awareness in our mission of mass communication to all the people of India, the most distinctive aspect of Sahara TV's news channels will be to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for quality and comprehensive news coverage. This bouquet of 38 news channels will provide a major fillip not only to the Indian broadcasting industry but also to the 39 million cable and satellite viewers."

The bouquet will comprise local news channels for the following cities: 

UP &

Uttranchal

MP &

Chhattisgarh

Rajasthan

Bihar &

Jharkhand

Mumbai

Delhi &

NCR

Lucknow

Bhopal

Jaipur

Patna

Mumbai

Delhi

Gorakhpur

Indore

Udaipur

Ranchi

Thane

Noida

Varanasi

Raipur

Kota

Bhagalpur

Vashi

Ghaziabad

Agra

Gwalior

Bikaner

Jamshedpur

Faridabad

Dehradun

Jabalpur

Jodhpur

Muzaffarpur

Gurgaon

Meerut

Ajmer

Dhanbad

Kanpur

Purnea

Bareilly

Chapra

Allahabad

Gaya

Newswise, while the main channel will be in Hindi, the network expects to roll out bulletins in English and Urdu as well. Sahara TV vice-president (publicity, promotions & PR) Priya Raj revealed that the main Hindi channel is planned to be a separate feed available alongside the individual city-specific news channels.

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