Republic to enter regional languages


News broadcaster Republic plans to expand its digital offering to six languages by March, and has also had discussions on taking over news channels in non-Hindi, non-English languages in India, founder Arnab Goswami said in an interview today. “Six to ten languages is what we’d like to operate in, but we’ve had to hold back because of COVID,” Goswami said in an interview with a television news portal.
Goswami said his original plan was to expand the digital offering, currently under the Republic World brand, to around 10 languages this year. But these plans had to be pushed back due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, he said, he still hoped to expand the digital offering to six languages this year.
He also said owners of several news channels in various languages have approached him to discuss a sale, and that these proposals too have been kept aside due to the pandemic. He said a firm owned by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Rajya Sabha MP from Bangalore close to the BJP, used to own about 15% of his company, but most of his stake has been bought out by Arnab Goswami.
Goswami said Chandrasekhar now had only a small stake, and his vision had always been to operate an editor-controlled channel, and not one where the editor/journalist was controlled from behind the scenes from an investor or owner. Republic TV zoomed to No.1 in television rating points soon after its launch in 2017, overtaking Times Now, a channel owned by the Times of India Group and where Goswami built up most of his journalistic career.
The group then launched Republic Bharat, a Hindi news channel, which has, in the last two weeks, emerged as the No.1 in the Hindi market beating Aaj Tak and becoming India’s most watched news channel. Arnab also rejected accusations that he was ‘corrupting’ the news industry with his ‘sensationalist’ approach. He pointed out that his Hindi news channel does not carry the regular assortment of entertainment-based shows.


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