Raj TV is gearing up to launch a youth channel. Ravindran, Director, Raj Television Network Ltd, said, “We shall be launching the youth channel before Diwali. The channel will predominantly air music and interactive shows. As committed, we shall add local flavours from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, besides being primarily in Tamil. To top it up, we shall also have a dash of Hindi in it to have a all-India appeal.”
Ravindran further said that Raj TV would also roll out four news channels in all the four southern states. “Raj News is in an advanced stage of being set up operationally. We are working on an internal deadline of January 1, 2008 as the launch date,” he added. The news channels would be in all the four southern languages, each catering to the four different states of South India. Raj TV had recently replaced prime time movies with four new women centric shows.
“Whilst movies are title driven and grab instant eyeballs, shows need time to grow on you to become a habit; which is what we term as appointment viewing. The second phase of new shows is round the bend and we shall be introducing them before New Year,’’ Ravindran said.
On the recent Raj TV and Neo Sports deal for the Indo-Bangladesh ODI series, Ravindran said that the deal was a pure strategic tie-up, albeit a tactical one. Both the media houses benefited from the deal. “We found hidden potential in such a tie-up, which otherwise we did not explore. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise when we found many viewers glued to Raj TV during the matches when we were at the Maurya Sheraton in Delhi,” he added.
“The successful tie-up between Raj TV and Neo Sports was aped by the industry No. 1 in the Tamil Nadu market. This, in a nutshell, speaks volumes,” said Ravindran, in an obvious reference to the Sun Network, which now has a similar tie-up with Neo Sports.
Regarding some individual claiming credit for the deal, Ravindran said, “I can only say that a successful person in any organisation is one who completes his assignment well on time, coupled with some very vital attributes like enhancing the bottom-line and top-line of the organisation. He should be a true leader with the most important element being humility, proactive and solution oriented, without losing focus of being task-oriented.”
“The success of the Raj TV IPO is the victory of the individual investors,” he added. Post-IPO, Raj TV is investing heavily in ultra modern technology like tapeless broadcasting systems, changing of earth stations to enhance quality of transmission, setting up a state-of-the-art studio to cater to the industry’s ever growing appetite for interactive, reality, musical and game shows, setting up world class systems for inventory management, setting up news centres, stringers, vans, all in tandem with the network’s growth plans.
“However, the past two years in Raj TV were certainly not something to write home about. It was the darkest phase as our big brother almost strangulated us out of existence,” said Ravindran, referring to the Maran-promoted Sun Network.
“But then we are a warrior breed and since this is our only livelihood, we shall fight tooth and nail for our fair share. The recent winds of change did help us in getting a lot of closed doors open – mentally and otherwise; personally and professionally,” he asserted.
Ravindran further said, “We now know for certain that there is sunlight at the end of the long tunnel that we have been crossing and not that of on oncoming train! Fair competition means a level playing field, which in itself has been lacking for ages here.”