Total TV, which brought in the concept of city-centric channels to India, is gearing up to expand its base and operational area. The NCR channel, which was launched in February 2005, started with targeting Delhi and its peripheral cities. But now, encouraged with its initial success and increasing acceptability, the channel will be expanding its operations to the whole of Haryana and Punjab.
“We are already covering major parts of Punjab and Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. By October, we will be covering the whole of Haryana and Punjab. At a later stage, we will be covering Uttaranchal as well,” said Vinod Mehta, Promoter and Director, Total TV.
When asked whether it would dilute the focus and the idea with which the channel was started, Mehta felt otherwise. “Residents of Delhi have strong social, cultural and business ties with its neighbouring states and vice versa. Hence, it is natural for both sides to keep an interest in each other’s affairs. Our focus will remain on the NCR and we will only create a 10-minute slot in a one-hour wheel named ‘Delhi Aur Aaspas’ for out-of-NCR news,” he explained.
Regarding their next move, Partho Ghose, COO, Total TV, said, “Our next target will definitely be Mumbai, which generates the largest advertising revenue. We are also planning to launch our overseas operations in the US and parts of Europe by the end of next year.”
On the revenue target of the company, Mehta said, “We have set a revenue target of Rs 15 crore in the first year. It will take us minimum of two years to reach the breakeven point.”
Following Total TV’s launch, Sahara and S1 have also launched NCR channels. Mehta seems quite comfortable with the growing competition in the segment. “Competition is always healthy because it will help to expand the market for such niche channels. The viewers’ taste, which so far has been dominated by the national channels, will then adapt to such localised channels. The credit definitely goes to us for we have proved that such city-centric channels are viable business models,” he asserted.
Programmes on Total TV like ‘Aapka MLA’, in which the channel takes the representatives to task on behalf of the voters, have become very popular. The channel will soon be launching an interactive health show and a five-minute employment news-slot everyday.