Sakaal Group of Publications, a leading media house in Maharashtra and Goa, plans to come up with two television channels and another English newspaper in 2008. The Group publishes ‘Daily Sakal’ and ‘Gomantak’ in Marathi, ‘Gomantak Times’ and ‘Maharashtra Herald’ in English, besides other publications.
While one of the channels would be a regional general entertainment channel (GEC) in Marathi, the other would be a national GEC in Hindi. The channels have been christened ‘Saam Marathi’ and ‘Saam Hindi’, respectively. While ‘Saam Marathi’ is expected to be launched in April 2008, the Hindi channel is expected to be launched in September 2008.
Speaking on the content of the channels, Sanjay Dabke, Head TV-Projects, Sakaal Group, said, “The content for both the channels would be different, and we are planning to come up with different ideas on the genre of reality shows. Most of our shows will be interactive, whereby the audience will experience that they are a part of the process. We are also coming up with a lot of children-based informative shows.”
Dabke added that the woman-oriented time slots would be occupied by shows wherein the female audience could participate and connect to the channel. “We would also show some of the best movies in Marathi and other languages. Most of our fiction and comedy shows will be youth-oriented,” he added.
Dabke said that the major difference between the two channels was the language. The TG for ‘Saam Marathi’ would be Maharashtra, and the shows would address the needs of the people in that region. In addition to reality shows, fiction, health shows, news and current affairs would also be tackled. The TG for ‘Saam Hindi’ would be North India in addition to Maharashtra, and would feature shows based on agriculture, health, politics, history and tourism.
As for promotional campaigns, Dabke said strategies were being developed to catch a lot of eyeballs, with innovative ideas to launch the channel and the shows.
The English daily by the Group would be launched in Pune in April 2008, and subsequently in a phased manner in major cities of the country. It will be targeted at SEC A and A+. “We have not yet decided on the price of the newspaper, nor have we finalised the promotional activities,” said Uday Jadhav, CEO, Sakaal Publications.