NDTV Profit and CNBC TV 18 may have been crying themselves hoarse over alternate claims of supremacy, but the media-planners, and consequently clients, aren't greatly impressed with their high-decibel rhetoric.
A Delhi-based senior media planner says, "Whatever the channels might claim, we do our own analysis and the figures dished out by the channels do not influence us to a great extent."
It's apparent that in the English news genre, there is no clear leader unlike other segments such as Hindi general entertainment channels (STAR Plus), or the Hindi general news channels (Aaj Tak).
Kajal Thakur, regional director, Optimum Media Solutions, says, "It's too early to analyse the success of NDTV Profit and that too from a base of C&S 4+, SEC A-E. With a stronger distribution network, NDTV Profit has certainly increased the sampling opportunity among viewers. But NDTV Profit, in no way, can be considered to have surpassed CNBC TV 18."
She was referring to NDTV Profit's recent claim of having a channel share of 57 per cent among English business channels, based on TAM figures (during January 23-29, all days and all day parts, C&S, 4+, SEC A-E).
Concurs Punitha Arumugam, COO of Madison. She says, "While it's really commendable for a new channel such as Profit to surpass CNBC TV18 in terms of reach. However, CNBC TV 18 has also maintained a high average TVR and a high time spent by the viewers. These factors are certainly of interest for media planners."
CNBC TV 18 has claimed on the basis of TAM figures that during January 2-29, it got a channel share of 40 per cent against NDTV 24X7's share of 37 per cent. (C&S, all 1 million+ cities, males SEC A& B, 25+).
B. Saikumar, vice-president, sales and marketing, CNBC TV18 asserts his claim. He says, "We have maintained a consistent viewership among our core TG which is 25+ males and that also interests our advertisers."
He adds, "Some 75-80 per cent of our advertisers are from sectors such as financial products, automobile brands, consumer durables, corporate and technology companies. These advertisers look for a TG which is affluent, can spent and also influence purchasing decisions. And, I believe CNBC TV18 has maintained a consistent viewership and helped the advertisers to cater to this TG through-out."
"NDTV Profit is new player and we are not considering it as competition as of now. Our claim is that while we are leaders in the business news segment, we have also been successful in surpassing a general news channel such as NDTV 24X7."
Thakur of OMS comments on this. She says, "If CNBC TV18 has got a greater channel share than NDTV 24X7, it must be because of CNBC TV18 getting more viewership during the day time band which is 9 am-4 pm. But in the prime time, NDTV 24X7 is the leader. Certainly, NDTV 24X7 has a broader viewers base, while a business channel is always a sub-set of a general news channel."
Media planners by and large talked about the importance of NDTV 24X7, NDTV Profit and CNBC TV 18 in media planning, without going into the claim of which one is the number one channel.
Vikram Sakhuja, managing director, MindShare, says, "Without going into the details about what has been each channel's claim, an advertiser uses a business channel to reach out to adults, from the SEC A&B, which is the core TG for a business channel. And anything beyond this is just an added advantage."
Nitin Jain of GroupM, like Sakhuja, isn't overly interested in these claims. He says, "Without getting into the issue of the numbers game, a media planner would specifically choose a business channel for certain products such as high-end cars. Similarly, for a financial product such as an IPO, a planner would consider both the business as well as the English general news channels."
Essentially, the same bunch of advertisers focus on these channels. Thakur of OMS says, "These channels would have a similar kind of advertisers belonging to the elite or high-end product categories. But for products which are only targeted at corporates, CNBC TV 18 would come as a first choice for a planner."
She cites the example of how CNBC TV18 was used a media platform by Monster India when the company tried to reach out to the corporate world with the message of how e-recruitment can be used to search for professionals.
Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media, was not available for comments.
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