Republic TV

Republic TV is an India's Most views English news channel. Co-founded by Arnab Goswami (former editor-in-chief of Times Now), the channel was launched on 6 May 2017 as a free-to-air channel.

Republic TV
Launched6 May 2017 (2017-05-06)
Owned byArnab Goswami
Picture formatMPEG-3MPEG-4/HD
2160p 4K UHD (Republic World)
4320p 8K UHD (Republic Bharat)
Audience share762 (August 2019, BARC India)
Slogan"You are republic, we are your voice"
Broadcast areaWorldwide
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Sister channel(s)R. Bharat
WebsiteRepublic TV
Streaming media
Republic TV Live



Arnab Goswami resigned as Editor-in-Chief of Times Now on 1 November 2016 citing editorial differences, lack of freedom and newsroom politics.[1][2] He hosted the last edition of his show[3] The Newshour Debate, a fortnight later.[4][5] Incidentally, the show was subject to an investigation by Ofcom, the UK government-approved regulatory authority for broadcasting, during the months of August and September; the investigation had held TimesNow guilty of violating the impartiality clause of its broadcast code.[6]

On 16 December, he announced he next venture, a news channel called Republic,[7] which was later changed to Republic TV in the face of complaints.[8] Republic TV was claimed to be India's first independent media that would 'democratize' news and compete with global media giants whilst being unabashedly biased for India.[9]


Republic TV was funded in part by Asianet (ARG Outlier Asianet News Private Limited), which was primarily funded by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a then-independent member of Rajya Sabha who had intricate links with Bharatiya Janata Party and was vice-chairman of the National Democratic Alliance in Kerala.[10][9] Among other major investors were Goswami, his wife, educationists Ramdas Pai and Ramakanta Panda—all of whom invested through SARG Media Holding Private Ltd.[11]

Chandrasekhar resigned from the board, after he officially joined the BJP on April 2018;[12] Goswami purchased back Asianet's shares in May 2019.[13][14]


S. Sundaram, who had served as the CFO for Times Now between 2005 and 2012, was named the Group CFO.[15] Chief Business Officer of Reliance Broadcast Network Vikas Khanchandani was made the CEO and co-founder of The News Minute, Chitra Subramaniam was roped in as the editorial adviser.

Others who joined included senior anchor of Thanthi TV S. A. Hariharan,[16] retired army officer and television personality Gaurav Arya,[17] former chief correspondent from Jammu and Kashmir for Times Now Aditya Raj Kaul, writer and founder-editor of Gentleman and Business Barons, Minhaz Merchant[18] and actor Anupam Kher.[19]

The Wire and Newslaundry had earlier chanced upon an internal memo floated by Chandrasekhar's group that asked for selective recruitment of right-of-center pro-military voices, who were conducive to his ideology.[20]


The channel was launched on 6 May 2017 as a free-to-air channel through most DTH services and cable television operators, alongside over mobile platforms such as JioTV and Hotstar.[21] Reporting on its launch, Business Standard wrote, "The company has already hired 300 people, of whom 215 are on board. A state-of-the-art-studio is being built in Mumbai's Lower Parel area."[22]



The Financial Express noted the Republic TV to be the most watched English news channel in India for 100 weeks in a row since its founding.[14] The top news channel spot was taken over by DD India, a public service broadcaster, in February 2019, according to the Indian newspaper Live Mint.[13] In the first quarter of 2019, Republic TV and DD India have alternated for the most-watched channel position in the English channel news weekly ratings as measured by BARC India group.[23]

Arnab Goswami has been noted to be a critical factor behind the favorable public reception.[24]

Critical commentary

Modi’s supporters often get their news from Republic TV, which features shouting matches, public shamings, and scathing insults of all but the most slavish Modi partisans. Founded in 2017 with B.J.P. support, Republic TV stars Arnab Goswami, a floppy-haired Oxford graduate who acts as a kind of public scourge for opponents of Modi’s initiatives.
In a typical program, from 2017, Goswami mentioned a law mandating that movie theatres play the national anthem, and asked whether people should be required to stand; his guest Waris Pathan, a Muslim assemblyman, argued that it should be a matter of choice.
Why can’t you stand up? - Goswami shouted at Pathan. Before Pathan could get out an answer, he yelled again, Why can’t you stand up? What’s your problem with it?
Pathan kept trying, but Goswami, his hair flying, shouted over him:- I’ll tell you why, because—I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you why. Can I tell you? Then why don’t you stop, and I’ll tell you why? Don’t be an anti-national! Don’t be an anti-national! Don’t be an anti-national!...

Dexter Filkins, "Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi's India". The Newyorker. 2 December 2019.

The channel has been noted for its opinionated reporting[25] in support of Bharatiya Janata Party[26] and Hindutva across a wide spectrum of situations[27][28] including by presenting political opponents in a negative light and avoiding criticism of figures from ruling parties.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][6][37][38][39] It has also been alleged that the channel popularized the neologisms of Urban Naxal and Anti-national to denote those critical to right wing sentiments and evoke hyper-nationalism among the audience.[40][41][38] Attempts to quell communal tensions through irresponsible reporting containing religious overtones have been alleged.[40]

The channel has been compared to North Korean media for it's extreme pro-government affinity and muzzling of dissent.[42][43] Noted political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot and journalist Dexter Filkins compares it to Fox News, an American TV channel that practices biased reporting in favor of the Republican Party.[44][39]

Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, over Business Standard, noted it to be a "noisy, chaotic place where coherent debate without shouting, screaming and name-calling is impossible";[45] others have noted of its shows to be a "battle of babble", judgmental, brash and hawkish.[46][47][48] Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, in a Foreign Policy article, noted its coverage of the 2019 India-Pakistan conflict, to put jingoism ahead of journalism.[49] Historian Ramachandra Guha noted it to be a pro-government channel, which ignored issues of joblessness, agrarian distress et al and instead took to demonizing Pakistan along with opposition parties, furthering religious bigotry in the process.[50]

Fact checkers have documented it to have propagated outright fake or dubious news, on multiple occassions.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61]


Viewership ratings

Republic TV allegedly became the most-watched English news channel in India in its first week of airing with 21.1 lakh (2.11 million) impressions[62] and accounted for 51.9% viewership as per data released for the week by the Broadcast Audience Research Council.[63][64]

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) subsequently lodged a complaint with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) accusing the group of using unethical tactics for high viewership. It claimed that the channel ran multiple feeds over various multi-system operator (MSO) platforms and listed itself at multiple locations across various genres in the electronic program guide, in contravention of TRAI rules.[65][66]

TRAI cautioned the channel against such practices and determined the viewership numbers to be inflated.[67]


Also that month, parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against Goswami and Republic TV in connection with the channel's broadcast of news items from 8 to 13 May claiming his link in his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death in 2014.[68][69] Seeking the channel's response, Justice Manmohan of the High Court said, "Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story, you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for."[70]

In August 2018, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) issued a notice to Republic TV to display a full-screen apology during a broadcast over its derogatory remarks directed at one A. Singh, who was alleged to have harassed a female reporter of the channel at a political rally. Epithets such as "vulgar thug", "lewd", "sexist", "pervert", "goon" and "anti-Indian" were directed at him on a show that the NBSA stated were "unwarranted, unjustified and in violation of broadcasting standards".[71][72][73]

IP rights infringement

In May 2017, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL) lodged a complaint against Goswami and Prema Sridevi, a journalist with Republic TV, under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, 2000 accusing them of copyright infringement.[74] BCCL alleged that the two, previously employed with Times Now, that it owns and operates, had used its intellectual property (IP) in telecasting certain audio tapes that were in their possession during their time at the former Channel. Alongside IP infringement, the complaint also alleged the commission of offences of theft, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of property, on the two, on multiple occasions days after the channel's launch.[75][76]

Regulatory Censure

News Broadcasting Standards Authority, the self-regulatory broadcasting regulator of India asked RepublicTV to broadcast a public apology, after the channel declined to cooperate in a case accusing it of violating the standard prohibitions on racial and religious stereotyping and instead commented on NBSA having engaged in "intense pseudo-judicial oversight".[77] RepublicTV did not abide by the order;[77] incidentally, Goswami was the convener of the committee that drafted the code, years back.[78]

Bans from reporting

Reporters from the channel have been banned from attending any press conference of Indian National Congress, on grounds of its biased reporting.[79]

See also


  1. Srikrishna, Vasupradha (1 September 2019). "Neoliberal Media Making the Public Interest and Public Choice Theory Obsolete: Need for a New Theory". Media Watch. 10 (3). doi:10.15655/mw/2019/v10i3/49692. ISSN 2249-8818.
  2. Team, BS Web (27 March 2017). "Arnab Goswami gets candid: Was not even allowed to enter Times Now studio". Business Standard India. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. Ayres, Alyssa (5 December 2017). Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World. Oxford University Press. pp. 34, 81. ISBN 9780190494537.
  4. "Arnab Goswami's new venture". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  5. "Arnab Goswami announces new venture; Times Now gets a new chief editor". Firstpost. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  6. Venkataramakrishnan, Shoaib Daniyal & Rohan. "'Proud of all my partners': Arnab Goswami when asked about BJP influence in new venture". Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. "Arnab Goswami has announced his new venture 'Republic'". The Indian Express.
  8. "Arnab Goswami changes channel name to Republic TV, gives in to Subramanian Swamy". Firstpost. 31 January 2017. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  9. Bhushan, Sandeep (25 January 2017). "Arnab's Republic, Modi's Ideology". The Wire.
  10. "What the Nation Wants to Know but Arnab's Republic Won't Tell You". The Quint. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  11. Kaushik, Krishn (13 January 2017). "Kerala NDA vice-chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar investor, director in Arnab Goswami's Republic". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  12. "Rajeev Chandrasekhar resigns as board director of Republic TV, says decision taken as he is now BJP MP - Firstpost". 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  13. Arnab Goswami buys back Republic Media shares from Asianet, Live Mint (A Hindustan Times Media company), Lata Jha (May 6, 2019)
  14. Arnab Goswami buys back shares from Asianet; Republic TV now valued at this much, The Financial Express (May 6, 2019)
  15. "S Sundaram joins Republic as CFO". 23 February 2017. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  16. "Arnab's Republic adds S.A.Hariharan from Thanthi TV to its Editorial team". 27 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  17. "Major Gaurav Arya collaborates with Arnab's Republic TV". 15 March 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  18. "Minhaz Merchant on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  19. Sen, Rajyasree (24 May 2017). "Anupam Kher's People a welcome break from the screaming jingoism of Republic TV". Livemint. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  20. Pande, Manisha (20 October 2016). "Asianet And The 'Independence' Of Rajeev Chandrasekhar". Newslaundry.
  21. "Arnab Goswami's Republic first Indian news channel to air live on Hotstar". Business Standard. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  22. Kohli-Khandekar, Vanita (6 May 2017). "Arnab Goswami's Republic TV went live today; but why so much fuss over it?". Business Standard. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  23. Dingdong Contest between DD India and Republic TV in English News Genre, Television India
  24. Panwar, Tapish; Khan, Kalim (2019). "Ingredient Branding as a Branding Strategy for News Channels in India". International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation. 12 (2): 8–15.
  25. Verma, Ramit (29 October 2019). "Peeing Human is waging a war on 'Modia'. Here's how, and why". Newslaundry.
  26. Bajpai, Shailaja (24 October 2019). "Here's why you will watch Arnab Goswami & Navika Kumar long after election results are out". ThePrint. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  27. Pande, Manisha (30 October 2019). "Indian journalists got a chance to grill controversial MEPs touring Kashmir. They asked about Pakistan, western media". Newslaundry. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  28. Pande, Manisha (21 October 2019). "Bloodlust TV: Calling out India's hate media". Newslaundry.
  29. S, Meghnad (4 July 2019). "Rahul Gandhi's resignation allowed TV channels to do what they do best". Newslaundry.
  30. Drabu, Onaiza (2018). "Who Is the Muslim? Discursive Representations of the Muslims and Islam in Indian Prime-Time News". Religions. 9 (9): 283. doi:10.3390/rel9090283.
  31. Sharma, Ashish (31 March 2018). "Media predisposition in Gujarat Elections: A comparative analysis of Hashtags utilized by Republic TV and Times Now TV Channels". International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology. 6 (3): 35–39. doi:10.22214/ijraset.2018.3005. ISSN 2321-9653.
  32. "Podcast | Questions Arnab Goswami Didn't Ask Modi". The Quint. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  33. Jawed, Sam (22 January 2018). "The sham of Republic TV's Twitter Polls". Alt News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  34. Inamdar, Nikhil. "How Narendra Modi has almost killed the Indian media". Quartz India. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  35. Jawed, Sam (8 June 2017). "One month of Republic TV – How did they fare?". Alt News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  36. Jawed, Sam (27 October 2017). "Republic claims Rahul Gandhi and Owaisi asked people not to stand up for National Anthem. Is that true?". Alt News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  37. Venkataramakrishnan, Rohan. "The Daily Fix: Why the FIR ordered against Arnab Goswami is a blow to free media". Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  38. Madan, Aman (23 January 2019). "India's Not-So-Free Media". The Diplomat. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  39. Filkins, Dexter (2 December 2019). "Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi's India". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  40. Mishra, Samarth; Kumar Shukla, Aditya (2019). "Balancing Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech: Case of India" (PDF). Pramana Research Journal. 9 (6): 1414. ISSN 2249-2976.
  41. Bajpai, Shailaja (11 May 2017). "On the run". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
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  43. Varadarajan, Siddharth (2019). "The State and/of the Media in Modi's India". In Nilsen, Alf Gunvald; Nielsen, Kenneth Bo; Vaidya, Anand (eds.). Indian Democracy: Origins, Trajectories, Contestations. Pluto Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 9780745338927. JSTOR j.ctvdmwxfb.9.
  44. Anderson, Edward; Jaffrelot, Christophe (2 October 2018). "Hindu nationalism and the 'saffronisation of the public sphere': an interview with Christophe Jaffrelot". Contemporary South Asia. 26 (4): 468–482. doi:10.1080/09584935.2018.1545009. ISSN 0958-4935.
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  46. "Arnab Goswami's Republic TV is losing the battle of babble; why not try something completely different?". Firstpost. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
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  48. "Debate: Why Arnab Goswami's Banana 'Republic' Also Needs to Have a Seat at the Table". The Wire. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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  54. "Media Echoes 'British Herald' Calling PM Modi Most Powerful Person". The Quint. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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  57. Desk, Alt News (28 April 2019). "Republic TV falsely portrays man praising PM Modi as a Congress MLA". Alt News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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  61. Desk, Alt News (6 September 2017). "Right wing spews venom on social media after Senior Journalist Gauri Lankesh is shot dead". Alt News. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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  63. "Republic TV has 51.9% viewership in debut week: BARCH gives data to paid subs despite NBAs request". Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
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  65. Agarwal, Nikhil (15 May 2017). "Arnab Goswami's Republic TV uses unethical tactics to push viewership, NBA petitions TRAI". India Today. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  66. Ahluwalia, Harveen (16 May 2017). "Arnab Goswami's Republic TV flouting rules, says NBA in Trai complaint". Livemint. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  67. "TRAI rules against Republic TV's unethical distribution practices to boost ratings". The Times of India. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  68. "Congress leader Shashi Tharoor files defamation case against Republic TV's Arnab Goswami". Indian Express. 26 May 2017.
  69. "Shashi Tharoor files defamation suit against Arnab Goswami, Republic TV in High Court". The Economic Times. 26 May 2017.
  70. "'Bring down the rhetoric', Delhi HC tells Arnab Goswami, Republic TV". The Hindu. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  71. "NBSA asks Republic TV for full-screen apology". The Economic Times. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  72. Staff, Scroll (4 September 2018). "Republic TV ordered to apologise for Arnab Goswami's remarks by broadcasting standards authority". Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  73. "No Apology From Republic TV's Arnab Goswami For Misreporting Despite NBSA Order". The Wire. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  74. "Times Now files criminal case for stealing against Arnab Goswami of Republic TV". The Economic Times. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  75. "Arnab Goswami faces police complaint for 'cheating' Times Now over Sunanda Pushkar, Lalu tapes". Daily News and Analysis. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  76. "Times Group files criminal complaint against Arnab Goswami for IPR breach". Business Standard. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  77. Nair, Veena (15 October 2019). "India's broadcasting regulator ordered Republic TV to air an apology, but it didn't. What happens now?". Newslaundry.
  78. Seshu, Geeta (31 July 2019). "No, Republic TV-led News Broadcasters Federation is not fighting 'Lutyens Media'". Newslaundry.
  79. Agarwal, Cherry (16 December 2017). "Access denied: Republic TV and Times Now get blocked from Congress pressers". Newslaundry. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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