Channel 7 from the stable of Jagran Group of Publications is to be launched on March 27, said Siddhartha Gupta, Director, Channel 7. The channel is currently on its testing phase. Gupta said, "The distribution network is the channel's forte and it commits to reach 20 million homes on day one of its launch."
He added, "While the core of the channel will remain news, we are going to be different by going beyond the news and the idea is to go 'News-plus'. We are going to enter non-fiction programming in a big way." Gupta pointed out that a research conducted by the group indicated that in beyond-the-news category, there was very limited content available in non-fiction segment.
"The existing non-fiction content available in India is very western in the form of Nat Geo or Discovery and so this is the segment that Channel 7 plans to tap," he said.
The channel is trying to capture is SEC A, B, 25-40. The channel is packaged as an aspirational channel rather than a for-the-masses channel. Interestingly, the Hindi channel has decided to go for a contemporary and English name. Gupta said, "We went in for a contemporary name because of two reasons. Firstly, we wanted a name, which was non-Jagran and this was because the product is completely different and deserves its own brand identity and packaging. Secondly, we got a lot of Hindi name options but found that the channel nomenclature isn't really famous in India other than Channel V, so we found Channel 7 distinct."
On whether the name is deceptive and could be confused as an English channel, Gupta said, "This is what goes for us. We wanted to make a statement. Sometimes in certain sections of the industry there is a distinct allegation against regional newspapers starting channels. So we wanted to communicate that we can do it well and match the international quality without losing the Indianess."
The channel has planned a 360-degree campaign. The creative is being handled by Mudra and Madison is taking care of the media. The promotional budget is more than Rs 15 crore, Gupta said, adding, "We are targeting print, outdoors and below-the-line activities." The channel is going to start with 25 bureaus covering all the important cities and beyond this there is a stringer network in 35 other cities. The total investment is between 50 and 75 crore, he said.