CNBC-TV18 marks fifth anniversary with Awaaz launch

NEW DELHI: With an aim to empower the common man with business decisions and target regional and smaller advertiser-brands, the Raghav Bahl-promoted Televison Eighteen today formally launched the country's "first consumer channel", aptly called Awaaz.

"Our aim is to be India's largest business and consumer network," Television Eighteen CEO Haresh Chawla said at press conference to announce the launch of Awaaz, which was reported by earlier.

The new channel's launch, unveiled at a function here attended by prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also marks the completion of five years of CNBC-TV18, country's first full-fledged business news channel that caters mainly to the upper and upper middle class society.

Pointing out that the business new segment market is worth between Rs. 800 million to Rs. 1 billion --- mostly dominated by CNBC TV18 at the moment --- Chawla said that the launch of Awaaz and other business channels (from the NDTV stable; Zee Biz has already been launched) is likely to result in doubling of this market segment in a couple of years.

Though TV-18 has a slew of marketing and promotional activities lined up for creating an awareness about Awaaz, which would not be restricted to the TV 18 network channels only, Chawla refused to hold out details saying it may act as a tip off to competition.

According to Chawla, the new channel, carrying the tagline `Awaaz khushali ki' (the voice of prosperity), should break even between 9-18 months time.

"Our target is to get about 30 million subscribers in three to four months time," he added, refusing to divulge the price of this pay channel aimed at empowering average Indians to make informed decisions about investing, careers and spending.

According to information available with, Awaaz is slated to be a pay channel and priced at Rs 6 on an a la carte basis and will be distributed by Zee Turner. The maximum retail price of Aawaz has been marked at Rs 25, but an effective rate of Rs 6 will be charged from subscribers.

Awaaz is being distributed as part of a new bouquet created by Zee Turner and, according to information available, approximately 3,000 boxes are being seeded in the market place spanning urban and rural areas. "Since we are targeting first time and smaller investors, our focus would be on smaller cities to begin with," Chawla said.

Awaaz would be on Dish TV's DTH platform soon and the endeavor, according to Chawla, would be to be present on all DTH platforms, apart from Doordarshan's free to air KU-band DTH transmission.

Asked whether smaller investors in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra understand Hindi language, Chawla explained, "Hindi, the national language, is understood by more than 65 per cent of Indians and a good 75 per cent of this population falls in the working adult category. There is a fairly large proportion of Hindi-speaking audience that is financially independent and who take investing and spending decisions. There definitely is a need for a channel that understands and talks to the Indian consumer in a language that has wider appeal. With 'Awaaz' we aim to fill this gap."

The new Hindi channel will broadly focus on programmes related to personal finance & markets, guidance on careers, education and consumer based programming, which will help them make more intelligent choices. "Our effort will be to provide jargon free information," Sanjay Pugalia, editor of Awaaz said.

Besides Pugalia, a former print medium journlaist with experience in the electronic medium too, the editorial team at 'Awaaz' includes a mix of print and electronic media journalists like Vivek Law, Gaurika Chaudhuri and Joyneel Mukherjee.

The launch of Awaaz will be phased across various categories of towns over the coming weeks.

Earlier in the day, a CNBC-TV18 India Economic Conclave was held, which was attended amongst other by industry minister Kamal Nath, Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek S Ahluwalia, Arun Jaitley, former commerce and industry, HSBC India hewad Naina Lal Kidwai, first deputy MD of IMF Anne Kruger,, Heizo Takenaka, minister of state for economic & fiscal policy, Japan, and Gordon Astles, president, Asia Pacific, Cisco Systems, Singapore.

Indicative programmes on Awaaz

Investing & personal finance - Interactive shows

Markets Band (Day Band): Coverage from a variety of markets, from small towns to metros, from commodity markets to stock markets, in Hindi, with an educative slant

Aapka Paisa is the smart money manager that offers useful tips on maximizing investment returns in insurance, mutual funds, bonds, etc.

Kaise Kamayen, Kaise Bachayen is an interactive show that covers non-equity queries, such as pensions, loans, credit cards, gold commodities, etc.

Aapka Share will demystify the stock market for viewers with expert perspectives for their call-in queries

Consumer-focused, interactive shows

Aapki Awaaz and Consumer Court air consumer issues from all across the country and focus on consumer rights

Chalti ka naam Gaadi is a weekly guide to the world of auto

Smart Shopping is the Indian consumer's shopping guide, with buying tips, information on product launches, purchasing options, availability, discount sales and more


Hourly news updates, covering a wide range of issues

Hafte ka Audit is a supplement to an in depth news coverage, giving viewers a summary of this week a glimpse into the next

Career, self development & lifestyle

Hum Honge Kamyab is a weekly career guide covering every stage from training to placement. Jiyo Zindagi covers health and lifestyle, with experts perspectives.

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