Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV’s is reported to be readying for its launch next week, with DTH operator Tata Sky starting test transmission of the channel.
The channel is expected to carry the number 616, and be officially available from 10 PM on Friday, May 5.
UPDATE: The channel will be launched this weekend.
Separately, the channel was also being tested in the ‘C Band’ via Intelsat 20 satellite since last week. DTH and cable operators get their feed from the C Band transmission.
Republic TV is also present on some cable networks such as GTPL, Hathway and Fastway Cable.
However, many of the big players such as
Hathway, Dish TV and Videocon are yet to start transmissiting the channel.
According to industry sources, the channel will hit the air next week, even if it is not present on all platforms.
It is estimated that it will cost the company around Rs 35-40 cr per year to ensure that its signals are carried on all major cable and DTH networks.
Unlike its competition, Republic TV will be launched in the ‘free to air’ format with no encryption. However, that alone is not likely to grant it a wide reach.
DTH and cable operators charge money from channel owners to carry their channels due to a demand supply mismatch.
While DTH operators have a capacity to carry only around 300-400 channels, there are around 900 channels in India.
Republic TV will find the market even tougher to crack as it doesn’t have any other ‘compelling’ channel to bundle it with.
Republic TV will be nationalist, pro-military & global – Arnab Goswami