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Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV to be available on Hotstar, Jio TV
MUMBAI: Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV will have strong digital presence through Star India’s video-on-demand (VoD) platform Hotstar and Reliance Jio‘s over-the-top (OTT) platform Jio TV.
With 135 million downloads, Hotstar is the biggest OTT platform in India. The launch of Republic TV will plug in a gap in Hotstar’s portfolio, which is news. Hotstar live-streams Fox News and Sky News, which are owned by its parent company 21st Century Fox, but does not have local news channels. Star had earlier exited from the news business as regulation does not allow foreign holding of 51% in TV news outlets.
After carrying Republic TV, it remains to be seen whether Hotstar would build more third-party content as an offering on its platform. Hotstar offers free and premium content across entertainment and sports genres. It also offers original content.
Republic TV, which is a free-to-air (FTA) channel, will have a simultaneous launch on cable TV, direct-to-home (DTH) and OTT platforms on 6 May. Republic TV’s digital destination is republicworld.com.
Incidentally, Star and Jio are also among eight founding sponsor partners of Republic TV. The others include Vivo, Renault, Hike Messenger, Ola, Yes Bank and Microsoft. Vivo is also the presenting sponsor of the 9-pm show, while Microsoft is the technology partner.
“Hotstar is a compelling destination for content cutting across genres and age groups. We are confident of breaking the digital barrier and believe this is the first step as news produced in India goes digital and then global. We believe the coming together of these two exciting brands and services will take news to the 90 million-plus viewers on Hotstar every month. You can now catch Republic on the move and on demand,” said Republic TV editor-in-chief and founder Arnab Goswami.
“Young India has embraced Hotstar. We believe that young, digitally-savvy Indians are deeply interested in understanding their country and the world they live in. We are deeply committed to making sure that we continuously widen Hotstar’s offering, and the launch of Republic on Hotstar fills a big gap in our portfolio,” said Star India chairman and chief executive Uday Shankar.
Goswami has teamed up with Rajya Sabha MP and NDA vice chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar for Republic TV. The two, along with Goswami’s wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami, have floated two companies named ARG Outlier Media and SARG Media Holding for the venture.
Besides Chandrasekhar, other investors in the venture include DEN Networks promoter Sameer Manchanda, Aarin Capital Partners’ Ranjan Ramdas Pai, veteran investment banker Hemendra Kothari, Asian Heart Institute’s Ramakanta Panda, TVS Tyres’ R Naresh and Shobhana Ramachandhran, and Renaissance Jewellery owner Niranjan Shah.