News24 to hike ad rates by 40% post revamp

MUMBAI: A decade after making a headway into India?s burgeoning news TV industry, Hindi news channel News24 has given itself a makeover to stay relevant in the current times. The channel, owned by BAG Network and Media, got a new logo design and tagline of ?Think First? earlier this month.

Talking to, BAG Network CMD and News24 editor-in-chief Anurradha Prasad said that the revamp was initiated since the channel had completed 10 years in the market and as she expected 2018 to be a major milestone for the industry.

?After the revamp, which involves several operational changes, we plan to increase the ad rates by 30-40 per cent. We are gearing ourselves up for an action-packed 2018 since it will be a very big year for news thanks to the state and general elections,? Prasad pointed out. She pegged the Hindi news genre at Rs 5000 crore in terms of revenue, significantly larger than the English news genre.

Distribution is the biggest challenge for the industry and the cost involved is high. ?Since we are a free-to-air channel, our entire revenue is dependent on advertisers. If all the FTA channels spend 60 per cent of that for distribution, it is bound to impact the content. The way forward is through optimal use of technology and smartphones,? she said.

Alongside the channel refresh, the channel?s shows have received a brand-new look as well. Sabse Bada Sawwal with Sandeep Chaudhary airs at 7 pm followed by Rashtra ki Baat with Manav Gupta. In the former, experts provide their views on the latest issues and question the authorities. In the other show, the anchor sheds light on the current affairs, news updates and social issues of the country.

Prasad says that the channel is bringing out a new cybercrime show for the weekend that will be an eye-opener for the youth and parents. ?People are unaware of the dark web and how it operates and the 13-episode show will aim to unravel that.?

The channel aims to empower its viewers with news without any agenda. According to Prasad, News24 has a reach of 7.5 to 8 crore households a week with presence in 90 per cent of homes in the Hindi-speaking market.

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