CNBC woos the rest

By , agencyfaqs! | In | August 27, 2002
The channel, as part of its Wide I programming strategy, reaches out to new audiences

The fitness fanatic.
The chap worried about his health.

For quite some time now, such 'un-businesslike' people have had something to watch on CNBC. On August 15, the channel once again, in its quest for audiences outside its core segment, launched a new programming initiative 'Women on the Move' - a month-long special series on women. In fact, so eager is the channel to woo this segment, that it has decided to adapt popular CNBC shows like Managing India, Young Turks, Storyboard, Trendmill and Your Stocks to the 'Women on the Move' theme.

According to the channel, special segments will be created in many of CNBC India's most popular shows to address the concerns that women face relating to financial and investment decisions. These segments will also be incorporated into the channel's shows such as Bazaar, Classroom, Insurance Intelligence and Mutual Fund Investor.

This is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to win over new audiences to the channel - a programming strategy that channel officials call the Wide I, or Wide Intelligence programming strategy. Earlier this month, on August 3, the channel launched a half-hour weekly show Good Life - to be aired Saturdays 9.00 pm, Sundays 9.30 pm, and Wednesdays 8.30 pm. In early June was launched Young Turks, a half-hour weekly programme, aired on Tuesdays 8.30 pm to 9.00 pm, with repeats on Saturdays 8.30 pm to 9.00 pm, and Sundays, 7.30 pm to 8.00 pm.

All these shows are aimed to "offer corporate managers a perspective broader than that afforded by their respective spheres of work." Analysts point out that an equally important reason is to allay the hunger of television media planners for 'high quality, high quantity' audiences. Considerable research has also gone into wooing newer audiences. Company executives point to the fact that the World Bank Report 2001 says that India has the largest number of working women in the world today. With economic liberalisation opening up more and more fields to women, tapping this segment was the obvious choice to ensure rapid growth.

Broadening its audience base is a goal that the channel has consistently pursued, since its inception in December 1999. The reason is simple. While CNBC can claim access to a high quality audience, it remains a channel of niche interest, what with its stated focus on money markets and financial/economic analysis. The battle to broadbase its appeal becomes all the more crucial given the fact that, CNBC's core strength, business news, is covered by all the major news networks today.

Thus, the new strategy is to look at ways and means to enhance viewer interaction with the channel while increasing the depth of its programming. "While we built on our strengths, another focus area would be to introduce business programming that interest new segments, for example, younger audiences, in the same Super SEC A target group. Young Turks is one show that has evolved in this direction. Another example is the Women on the Move special month on CNBC that celebrates achievements by women," says Haresh Chawla, chief executive, CNBC India.

The need to reach out is a reality that the channel has incorporated into its programming strategy after spending the first year of its existence strengthening its core competence - the coverage of the money markets. In tandem with the launch of industry specials was a strong focus on the OOH (Out of Home) segment, a hitherto untapped segment that preferred to watch television outside the home, and which neatly fit in with CNBC's core audience profile of 'young upwardly mobile professionals'.

As Chawla sums up, "CNBC's core brand value is derived from its ability to provide its audience news, information and analysis that can be directly utilised to achieve success. We have found that to achieve success it is not enough to delve into information and ideas that spring from your specific area of expertise or the industry that you work in, but also through insights from other similar spheres." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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