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Channel 7 optimistic about its plans; gets FIPB approval

20-June-2005
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Channel 7 optimistic about its plans; gets FIPB approval

Channel 7, the news channel from the stable of Dainik Jagran, has set aggressive plans for itself post two months of launch. The channel has planned to lure 100-plus advertisers and claims that its crime band has made the difference in the channel’s positioning. The strategies ahead are clear — keep the focus on non-fiction programming and battle for non-prime band space.

Meanwhile, a lot has been brewing in the business front too. Jagran TV has obtained the FIPB approval in the meeting held on May 27, 2005, to issue shares to the Mauritius-based investor New Vernon Bharat Ltd. The news broadcaster, part of the Jagran Publishing Group, will raise Rs 30 crore from the placement. The proposal entailed offloading around 25.7 per cent stake in this venture. The investment by New Vernon Bharat Ltd. completes the initial round of funding for the channel.

The founding members of New Vernon Bharat Ltd. are Tom Patrick, ex Vice Chairman Merill Lynch, and Arshad Zakaria, ex-President, Global Markets and Investment Banking, Merrill Lynch. The Indian team is led by Rajiv Sahney, public markets led by Sanjoy Bhattacharya and private equity led by Arun Korati.

Siddhartha Gupta, Director, Channel 7, said, “With the foreign investment flowing in, the technology upgradation would be easier. Also, backing it would be a strong content that would boost the channel’s position.”

He said, “We have got 38 brands advertising for us and the aim for this year would be to make it 100 plus. As of now, the top categories are advertising with us.” On how the channel has been faring, Gupta said, “We have been accepted well across the northern belt. In fact, we are doing considerably well in Gujarat and Rajasthan, which has come as a surprise for us. The positive numbers in Haryana, Punjab and UP clearly indicates the channel’s acceptance in the states.”

Gupta pointed out that the channel’s core strategy would remain to concentrate on non-fiction entertainment and focus on the non-prime band space. “There is clearly a big fight happening in the prime band space across channels. However, this is an endless battle. Our strategy is to clearly make our dominance by owning the non-prime band space.”

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