MUMBAI: With election fever having gripped the nation, television channels, even the regional ones, are jumping into the fray.
One such is Zee Media Corporation’s Marathi news channel, Zee 24 Taas, which has launched a slew of election-related programmes ahead of the polls.
Of these, Election Express, airs at 10:30 pm, and is an on-ground show with a three-camera set-up, where journalists talk to candidates and voters in various constituencies. Whatsup India is a youth show with a two-camera set-up whereas Hava Maharashtrachi has one OB van accompanying it and evaluates the mood of voters in various parliamentary constituencies of the state. Ran Sangram, Audit Matadarsanghache, Agenda Maharashtracha and Gennext are some of the other new shows.
Zee 24 Taas business head Bhushan Khot says, “Right now, we have 50 per cent of election news and the rest is general news. On the days of polling in Maharashtra (10, 17 and 24 March) and on counting day (16 May), we will have all-day election news.”
Experts have been roped in on the four crucial days. Ad rates too have been hiked to double the amount, and sources say it could be near Rs 2000 for a 10 second slot on the counting day. Among the sponsors on-board are Gujarat Ambuja, V Guard and Shakti Pump.
Forty to fifty stringers and videographers will cover all 48 constituencies of Maharashtra, including Vidharba, Amravati, Nagpur, Marathwada, Latur, Aurangabad, Pune, Solapur, Nashik, Kolhapur, Satara, Thane and Mumbai. In some cases, stringers will take on the job of reporting as well as shooting videos.
Zee 24 Taas says being a regional channel, its focus on elections will not be as sharp as say a national channel, at least this time. However, when the state goes to polls in September later this year, the channel will have full-fledged election programming.