Television

News, events, shows in Sahara Samay Mumbai's gamut

MUMBAI: "Real time television, which is effectively reality TV."

That about sums up what Sahara Samay Mumbai, which soft launches 1 September, is all about, according to the news channel head Rajeev Bajaj.

With the news channel space getting increasingly cluttered, Bajaj believes the way to get noticed is to go beyond just news and offer the channel as an infotainment product. Aside from the news, there will be a strong emphasis on events and current affairs programming that is in the talk show format, says Bajaj.

The official launch, as already reported on indiantelevision.com, is scheduled for 15 September with the interim two-week period being utilised to fine-tune proceedings. Bajaj appears to be drawing on his experience when he was heading the Mumbai print tabloid Daily in the focus of coverage the channel has planned. As far as events are concerned, it will not just be the religious and cultural events in Mumbai (and other cities of the three states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) that get coverage.

SPORTS EVENTS

Sports events, especially at the school level, will form a key ingredient of Sahara Samay Mumbai's menu, according to Bajaj. "We'll have a series of sports events in all the districts with a grand finale in Mumbai," says Bajaj. The competitions will involve a full spread of sports right from track and field to football and hockey, informs Bajaj. Sahara is also bidding to tap non-urban viewers through its events coverage and will be taking news crews to rural areas to cover Indian sports competitions like kabbadi, kho-kho, Indian style wrestling and bullock cart racing, to name a few, Bajaj points out.

PUBLIC GRIEVANCES

But it is Mumbai that will be the focus, affirms Bajaj. "Within Mumbai, we will have complete and comprehensive coverage," says Bajaj. Civic issues will be another focus area, he says, adding that the channel would attempt to address public grievances by getting concerned officials from various departments to respond to complaints.

BULLETINS IN FOUR LANGUAGES

While in the main, it would be "Bambayya" Hindi (as opposed to the Sanskritised Hindi on Sahara Samay Rashtriya) that is spoken on the channel, news bulletins in Marathi (four per day), Gujarati (four) and English (two) are also part of the news packages. 

Delivering all this news output is a 150-strong team in addition to a stringer network covering the whole of Maharashtra, Gujarat and a little bit of Goa, claims Bajaj. And providing the technical back-up necessary to keep news delivery up to speed is a vast V-SAT network that Sahara already has in place.

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