MUMBAI: As the country gears itself for what is being called the ‘Election of the Century’ by many existing news channels, another new News channel is set to make space for itself in Andhra Pradesh. Backed by industrialist Jayaram Chigrupati, Express TV will see the light of the day on 31 March that coincides with the Telugu New Year.
With 280 employees on board, the channel will have Bhaskar Nemani as the editorial head and Sai Ramakrishna as the business head. Headquartered in Hyderabad, the channel will operate out of Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Tirupati and Warangal with two journalists and two camerapersons in each office. With its launch coinciding with the election season, the channel is looking at providing detailed election coverage through its election related programmes along with Nemani, who will be anchoring the primetime news at 9:00 pm.
The TG is men and women between 23 to 45 years of age. However, Nemani says that the channel will focus on women stories for at least two hours a day.
Broadcasting from Intelsat 17, Express TV has three OB vans and 10 backpack gears on 2mbps 3G for its journalists in the various bureaus and one in Delhi.
“There are nearly 16 news channels in Andhra Pradesh and most of them owned by political parties which is not the case with us. Our goal is development and responsible journalism,” says Nemani.
The marketing campaign has begun across the states on outdoor buses and hoardings. The creative has been done by an in-house team. With an investment of above Rs 20 crore, the channel is looking at breaking even in the next two years.
Currently, the channel has no advertisers on board but it is looking at gaining a decent viewership through elections. The channel will be available on Tata Sky and Hathway for the start and will soon get on board other platforms as well. However, it says that distribution may take a little while.