Mercury rising in the English news genre

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | February 13, 2006
CNN-IBN has been able to jolt the rising graph of NDTV 24x7

NDTV 24X7 had a

near-monopoly of domestic news in English until recently. But now, it seems to have reason to worry, with the entry of two new channels, CNN-IBN and Times Now. The segment is all set to redefine itself.

CNN-IBN certainly has had an impressive start. In Week 51 of 2005 (December 18-24), the week of its launch, the channel garnered a share of 22.22 per cent, claiming the number two position among the general English news channels (as per TAM ratings, analysed by agencyfaqs; Base: C&S, 15+, SEC AB, six metros).

In the following three weeks of its operations, the channel got a share of 30 per cent. In Week 4 of 2006, CNN-IBN's share grew to 40 per cent after a slight decline in Week 3, when its market share was 27.7 per cent.

Close watchers of this industry attribute this success primarily to the brand value of Rajdeep Sardesai. And many of them feel that the channel has garnered its initial success because viewers wanted to experiment with a new channel in this genre.

Nandini Dias, vice-president, Lodestar, says, "The general English news genre has been predominantly led by NDTV 24x7. Headlines Today has always been very weak in that respect. The launch of CNN-IBN has provided a new option to English news viewers, who were ready to experiment with a new channel."

Another channel that went on air recently is Times Now. Media planners are of the opinion that the entry of new channels will certainly heat up the market with the three channels, NDTV 24x7, CNN-IBN and Times Now, providing serious competition to each other. However, they are not ready to declare any one channel as a clear winner.

Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom, South Asia, feels that viewers don't become loyal to any channel so soon.

He says, "Times Now would have performed better had it been launched three months ago."

"The channel has good content, but it definitely needs to work on its packaging. After all, it is the presentation of the news which acts as a differentiator, considering the fact that most channels cover the same news," adds Kiran of Starcom.

Dias of Lodestar ends on a positive note, saying that there is scope for a few more channels in this genre.

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