News Express, a Hindi news channel from Sai Prasad Media, is set to go on-air mid-July 2011. The free-to-air channel will operate in High Definition (HD) format and is targeted at Hindi speaking markets (HSM) of India. The Editor and CEO of the channel is Mukesh Kumar.
Sai Prasad Media is also planning to launch a tabloid weekly Hindi newspaper called ‘Humwatan’ by mid-July 2011. Also, the group will come up with a media school, which will be operational from August 2011. A radio channel is also planned under the umbrella of Sai Prasad Media, which will be launched soon.
At present, the group is focussed on the launch of News Express.
Company officials informed exchange4media that News Express would be available on DTH and cable TV platforms. The discussion with DTH operators is still on. The test signals for the channel are likely to be on air from June 25, 2011, onwards. Speaking on content of the news channel, Kumar noted, “News Express will be focusing on political developments in various working domain. We will completely abstain from the ‘sensational and non-news’ content and focus more on core issues of the society.”
Kumar added that the content of the channel will also consist short documentaries, theater acts and kavi sammelan, apart from regular news content. Group has already appointed its stingers and established bureaus in most of the Hindi speaking states including West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Speaking on the revenue model for the channel, Kumar explained that channel will mainly target advertising revenue using ‘ethical means’. “As subscription model is still not in vogue in India, primarily, our focus will be on advertising revenue and our sales team is working towards that,” said Kumar.
For better distribution of the channel, apart from DTH operators, group is also in talks with the various distribution medium. “We are working extensively on the distribution part, as our channel can easily be accessible, even in cable platforms in metro cities,” said Seharyar Ahmed Khan, Head, Sales & Marketing.
As per the company officials, almost 80 per cent recruitment is completed and production of various programmes is already on. News Express will also have digital presence in terms of a news website.