MUMBAI: Ramoji Rao founded ETV group that is now under Network18 has got one more launch up its sleeve targeting the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. Come 26 March, the group will launch its regional Hindi news channel, ETV News Himachal Pradesh/Haryana.
Targeted at the age group 15+ SEC ABC, the channel will help the ETV group expand into markets beyond Delhi. To tap into viewership, the launch has been timed ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, just like the recently launched Bangla and Kannada ETV news channels. The 24X7 channel will cover 80 per cent news from the two states and the remaining 20 per cent from the rest of the nation. The news stories will encompass politics, sports, culture and crime.
With 10 reporters, 20 stringers and 10 desk editors currently on-board, ETV News Himachal Pradesh/Haryana will broadcast from its Hyderabad studio for now offering only studio based shows and later move to Chandigarh after the polls with a corresponding bureau in Simla to provide full fledged news bulletins and live coverage. There will be bureaus located in Dharamshala, Rohtak and Kurukshetra as well. Balwant Takshak has been appointed as the editor and Narendra Bhaskar as the marketing head for the channel.
“Haryana is a big market. Real estate and other industries are growing day-by-day. In Himachal Pradesh, information about a lot of government schemes does not reach the common people. This channel can be a bridge between the government and the common people. Revenue can also be generated through this mechanism,” says ETV group editor Rajesh Raina. According to sources in the know, the channel has made an investment of nearly Rs 15 crore and is looking to break even in two years’ time.
No advertiser is aboard yet and the marketing campaign will follow only after the channel is launched. Meanwhile, ETV News Himachal Pradesh/Haryana is in for competition from India News Haryana, Focus Haryana, Khabarfast 24X7, Janta TV and Total TV.