Sahara readies Urdu news channel; Samay reaches peak distribution

MUMBAI: Sahara India is gearing up to launch its Urdu news and information channel within 45 days, a top company official said.

The proposed channel, which was first announced in the year 2006, will be titled Aalami Sahara.

“We will soft launch the Urdu channel in a month‘s time. The commercial launch will take place within 45 days,” Sahara India Pariwar GM Anil Abraham told Indiantelevision.

Atul Saraf-promoted ABS Group, which is providing its consultancy services to Sahara for the distribution of the news channels, will also aid the carriage of the Urdu channel.

Sahara has a one-year deal with ABS Group. “ABS is consulting us for the distribution of all the Sahara India Media news channels like Samay, Sahara Samay NCR, Sahara Samay Bihar, Sahara Samay UP and Sahara Samay MP. We are paying them consultation fee based on targets and reach,” Abraham said.  
  Samay, Sahara India Media‘s flagship Hindi news channel, has reached a peak distribution reach after ABS has come on board.

"Samay has for first time got a distribution reach of 21.9 million homes. We are seeing to it that the channel gets a similar reach like the other mainstream news channels," said Saraf.

Agreed Abraham: “In the current week, Samay has reached 21.9 million households, which is historic for us. Our ratings are also up to 12.5 GRPs (gross rating points) this week, showing a 98 per cent growth in the last five weeks. We are targeting a reach of 25 million and a top 5 position in the Hindi news channel space within one month.”

As for the Urdu channel, Sahara will target the 100-million Urdu-speaking population in India. The company believes that there is enough space and revenue potential for the channel. “We have done our research and seen that there is a huge need for an Urdu channel. Going by the demand for our Urdu daily, we are confident the channel will be popular,” Abraham said.

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