News9, the English news channel from The Associated Broadcasting Company Pvt Ltd (ABCL) that debuted last year, is on an expansion drive. After making a mark in Karnataka, especially the Bangalore market, the channel is now positioning itself as a complete south channel and gearing to include content catering to the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh markets.
Talking about the plans, Mahendra Mishra, Director, News9, told exchange4media, “Having experienced success with TV9 Karnataka, which has been the leading regional news channel of the state, we launched News9 last year in this market. We have received success with News9, especially in Bangalore, as the channel caters to the urban market. Seeing the response, we are now in the process to make News9 a channel catering to South India. We will first focus on Hyderabad and Chennai and include content from these two cities and then move on to news from both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.”
When asked whether this move would dilute their viewership in Bangalore, which had been News9’s bastion, Mishra affirmed, “For us, Bangalore will always remain a priority and in no way will this move affect our viewership. The proportion of the content from News9 always includes national news, Bangalore news, but rest of South will be added to the bulletins. We will just focus more on these states when we do rest of South stories. It might sound misplaced and over-ambitious, but the truth is we would like to make News9 the number one news channel in the country.”
After Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, News9 will then include Kerala market in its fold.
Commenting on TV9, Mishra said, “We believe that Karnataka market has become a much more vibrant after few news channels, especially the regional ones, have hit the market. We believe that TV9 is poised to grow even further after these channels have come up. Our viewers in Karnataka are very loyal and committed to TV9, and we believe that while the overall share of news grows in Karnataka, the people coming to TV9 will also grow over a period of time.”