Republic = Debate

Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani reveals channel's content strategy and how it aims at multiple sponsors for most of its shows

Raushni Bhagia
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Republic = Debate

Vikas Khanchandani

As Republic TV nears its launch date on May 6, the channel is rapidly tying up with advertisers and partners. The latest announcement is that Vivo Smartphones has become the presenting sponsor for the 9 pm prime time show to be hosted by Arnab Goswami himself.

The channel plans to have multiple partners on almost all the shows. Vikas Khanchandani, CEO, Republic TV, said, “We will be having multiple sponsors for each of the shows between presenting, associate and powered by sponsors, depending on the kind of investments. These advertisers have taken a long-term position with Republic.”

Also read: The Republic debate, sans Arnab Goswami

The channel is announcing its partners through its outdoor hoardings. More advertisers have associated themselves in the second phase of marketing compared with the first phase. When asked how many advertisers the channel has signed till now, he added, “Adding advertisers is a continuous process.”

Would all the shows have multiple sponsors? No. But a lot of them will have. So, how many heavyweight shows has the channel planned? Goswami has two shows at 9 pm and 10 pm -- his favourite prime time, along with two other shows on the weekends. All of these shows will be of different formats.

Also read: Republic TV to launch on Hotstar

Khanchandani further informed, “The channel will have other debate and discussion-based shows anchored by a few other editorial hands. We have appointed some very strong anchors and journalists. The idea is to build other formats and shows too to make this the destination for all debates. Republic = Debate. We will be synonymous with debate. The country loves Bollywood, cricket and debates.”

The breakfast show will also be as important for the channel, though the format of content will be different from the evening bulletins and shows.

Also read: The ‘Republic’ of advertisers

As for Vivo’s partnership, the strategic tie-up is aimed at targeting the millennials -- a focus point for both Vivo and Republic TV.

Commenting on this collaboration, Khanchandani said, “We are happy to announce Vivo as our presenting sponsor for the 9 pm prime-time show along with the other evening news bulletins. With a network like ours, which caters to Vivo’s core TG of youth, we make for an ideal partner to provide complete brand solutions to them.”

Vivek Zhang

Vivek Zhang, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivo, added, “This year has been really exciting for us as we recently launched our latest offering V5s in the market and now we are delighted to associate with Republic TV. It is one of the most awaited news channels of our times which promises a revolution and the emergence of a new generation of content creators. Vivo is associating with its prime-time show and we look forward to be a part of the revolution that is about to change the Indian media.”

The association between Vivo and Republic TV will be effective on all broadcast and digital platforms.

Meanwhile, the barker channel has already gone live on few platforms like Airtel DTH, Hathway, Incable and a few others. Deals are already in place with all the DTH and major MSO players. Khanchandani said the channel is going live in a phase-wise manner till May 6, when it goes full throttle.

Also read: Republic interrupted by India Today: Who gained what?

How many households are they looking at? Khanchandani answered, “Our objective is to make it available in every nook and corner since we are a FTA (free-to-air) channel. The ability to reach out to the smaller markets is higher, whether BARC measures those markets or not.”

Also read: Republic will become the No. 1 news brand in the country: Arnab Goswami

It must be noted that the southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, had a heavy push of marketing from the channel. Khanchandani explained why, “South is an important market for the English genre due to large audience and high consumption of content (especially news). We have just followed the consumer. In these markets, viewers are spending more time and we had to make sure that visibility is high in the southern markets. The campaign is big time visible in the metros too.”

Also read: Times Now is ready to take on Arnab Goswami’s Republic: MK Anand

Republic TV Arnab Goswami Vikas Khanchandani Republic Debate