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Writer: Sai Prasanna - Thursday, Feb 16,2012 8:44 AM

Raj TV to relaunch Telugu channels; Kannada news channel on cards

Raj TV to relaunch Telugu channels; Kannada news channel on cards

Chennai-based Raj Television Network that offers a bouquet of music, entertainment, and news channels in the four major markets in the South is planning to relaunch two of its channels in Andhra Pradesh - Raj Musix Telugu and Raj News Telugu and launch a Kannada news channel shortly.

Kannada news channel is expected to take off five to six months post this exercise. And the Hindi GEC (General Entertainment Channel) from the group - Raj Parivaar, the license is in place and the test signal is on-air.

Since July 2010, Raj TV has witnessed several key developments. Mala Manyan was brought on board as COO, Vidyadhar Khatavkar was appointed as Group COO, Sanjay Banerjee was elevated to the post of National Head-Sales and Marketing, the network entered the Kerala news space with Raj News Malayalam, Raj Musix Kannada was relaunched as Raj Music Karnataka, and the termination of the agreement with Telangana Broadcasting in AP.

Elaborating on the network’s performance and focus areas, Khatavkar remarked, “In 2010, we were in the red with our flagship channel Raj TV clocking 50-60 GRPs on an average. Same time this year, we’ve turned green and are averaging 90-100 GRPs with revenues from FCT sales, up 60-65 per cent. We want to focus on strengthening and consolidating our existing bouquet of channels in regional markets and increasing their share of revenue contribution. Presently, Raj TV is the highest contributor with 80 percent of our revenues coming in from the channel. When the other channels start contributing, it would result in a huge growth margin.”

As per industry estimates, the size of advertising revenue in 2011 was Rs 11,800 crores. Out of this, the size of the market in Tamil Nadu is estimated to be Rs 1,520 crores.

Raj TV’s ad revenues have increased by about 65 per cent viz. 2010. “We have recorded a 27 per cent increase in revenue share in the TN market. The credit for this goes to Mala and Sanjay,” Khatavkar added.

There are also plans to consolidate and extend the primetime slot with more reality-based shows that are unique and innovative. Presently, Raj runs six programmes in the 7-10 pm slot with the content mix between fiction and reality shows approximately 70:30. Khatavkar stated, “Our aim is to become No. 1 among the top four GECs. We have been recording steady numbers, growing consistently. Our ad rates have also gone up by 60 per cent.”

It has also been close to a year since Raj Music Karnataka was revamped. According to Khatavkar, the channel will be operationally profitable in a year. “Raj Music is not a flat music channel. We have introduced innovative and interactive programming which is youth-centric and aspirational. The youth are asked for their opinions on current, relevant topics, with a more in-depth approach when compared with other channels operating in the same space. Premium brands in the FMCG and telecom sectors among others advertise with us.”

The channel introduced a programme, Recharge Karnataka with a new format this week in the 10-11pm slot, daily. In a 30-second timeframe, callers will be subject to a rapid-fire questionnaire on general knowledge. Those who get a minimum of five answers right will receive an instant mobile recharge of Rs. 250. In the Tamil Nadu market, the launch of a major reality-based show is in the pipeline; most likely 4-5 months’ down the line that will also involve international Tamil-speaking audiences in Malaysia and Singapore.

While Raj’s channels are available on the DTH platform in Tamil Nadu, the network is in talks to get on the DTH platform in Karnataka and Andhra. The company has also signed the agreement with state-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation after a long drawn-out negotiation period. With this, the existing bouquet of Raj TV Network channels will reach almost every household in Tamil Nadu.
 

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