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News' Nation's Abhay Ojha among top-50 influential persons

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MUMBAI: News Nation Network Pvt. Ltd. launched a National Hindi News Channel -News Nation in February 2013 with a basic premise of "ideal viewer connects”. The channel aims to address the ground realities and complexities of diverse and multi-layered India and demystify news into relevant absorbable facts. The channel’s ideology is to respect viewer’s intelligence and provide them with “News they can use”. Adding to the bouquet News Nation Network Pvt. Ltd. launched a regional Hindi News channel by the name of News State Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand in Feb 2014.  The differentiation of its regional offering stands out in the fact that it carries mostly regional news which is thoroughly covered to the level of every district of both the states. As per BARC ratings while the National Hindi News channel “News Nation” ranks amongst Top 5 , its regional channel “ News State UP/UK” has been No.1 in the twin states since many weeks. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Abhay K Ojha ,President – Sales & Marketing, shared his views in Q & A session.

News Nation has completed 5 years – How was the journey so far?

The journey till date is on the growth trajectory. Since the launch of the channel it has scaled up the ladder and today it is amongst Top 5 Hindi News channels. In terms of revenue also every year we have been growing steadily.

With new Hindi news channel being launched in already cluttered Hindi News genre- How difficult was it then to make inroads into sales?

We did not face much problem in establishing in the sales front.  The Product offering was different from all other existing Hindi News channels. Apart from Top 3 channels , most of the other news channels that time were me too product. We analyzed that programming and news delivery of all other channels were revolving around Top three channels only with no distinctive offerings. We, therefore, came with programmes  like Bharat Ek Khoj, Idea India ka, Khana Gana. These programs helped us create a brand identity and delivered good ratings.   

Do you think TRPs are really that important for sales and what are your views on allegations of BARC panel homes tampering?

TRPs do play a vital role in revenue because it gives an indication of ROI. With regards to tampering BARC authorities are competent enough to handle these issues and I am sure they are taking utmost care to ensure robustness of data, having said that there are also instances where data defies logic. 

After 5 years how do you say that News Nation is different from other Hindi News channel?

News Nation has not deviated from its Brand Promise. Today where one can see a clear tilt of every news channels towards a pro or against sentiment, News Nation stands as an observer and reports news as it is un-opinionated, unbiased. We respect the intelligence of viewers and provide them with news they can use. We still have no dedicated show on astrology, crime or religion. 

Lately you have been facing strong competition from a couple of channels – How do you tackle that?

We are focusing on our core strengths and assuring clients to look at value for their money. Evening Prime Time is one area where the concentration of audience is highest and if a broadcasters decides to reduce commercial FCT in these band ,their programming ratings might go up but break ratings tentatively will go down. Apart from these for some broadcasters a couple of bands in prime time delivers about 30-40 % of their entire viewership unlike News Nation which generally has an equal distribution of viewership.  

News consumption is gradually becoming higher on 2nd screen i.e digital –What are your views on this and what advancements has News Nation made in the digital domain?

Yes, eventually not only news but almost all content will see a higher rise in consumption on mobile. With the penetration of smart phones into smaller towns/rural and affordable data plans, this sector is poised for a massive growth. News Nation is already geared up for this, it has two websites www.newsnation.in (English) and www.newsstate.com( Hindi). It also has News Mobile App for these websites available on android and iOS. The mobile apps are equipped with latest GUI and some unique features like “Quicky”- The Quicky feature lets you watch news from 1 minute up to 5 minutes to save your time and also we are facilitating live audio news feature to our users. 

Can you detail some future plans of News Nation Network and do you think that there still exists some space for any other Hindi News channel?

News Nation is evaluating business potential in different genres , some expansions plans are already under consideration and will be able to share some news soon.

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