New Sahara Samay regional channels in May, July

MUMBAI: Buoyed by the enthusiastic initial response to its news channels, Sahara intends to adopt a novel strategy of pulling in day time viewers with interesting news features attractive to the housewife.

According to Sahara Media and Entertainment head Sumit Roy, Sahara Samay (which has dropped the name Sahara from its logo after initial reports that the logo looked huge, but plans to revert to the old one), will outsource shows to Miditech, Karan Thapar, Vinod Duas company. Even Bihar heavyweight Laloo Prasad Yadav will anchor a show to bring in the additional viewers during non prime time.

With two of its channels launched, the month of May 2003 should see the launch of the Bihar and NCR channels while Mumbai, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh channels will launch by July.

"The strategy that has been employed in the first regional channel (Uttar Pradesh) of using common people to air their voices rather than experts, politicians and columnists, will be slowly deployed among the other channels too," says Roy.

"Ten ad brands are already on board," says a relaxed, optimistic Roy, just containing himself from expounding on initial reports that have given Sahara Samay a better report than competitors.

"The soon-to-be-launched periodicals across the country will only enhance the Sahara brand and make it a complete media experience," Roy says.

Distribution wise, the channel is now making efforts to improve connectivity and push itself up the prime band, though Roy would rather stress on quality of content to promote and sell the channel. "In Mumbai, we are already there in more than 80 per cent households. Barring a few pockets, distribution is not a problem," Roy says.

Well, there is a lot of hard work yet to be done to face cut-throat competition in the news channel segment.

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