A news channel may be limited by the space in which it operates where delivery of news takes precedence over everything else. This, however, does not impede NDTV, which is banking hard on the personality, charisma and varied styles of presentation of its anchors apart from innovative formats to get viewers to sample and stick on with both NDTV India (Hindi channel) and NDTV 24X7 (English channel).
Though both its channels are targeted at different audience segments, the former at the Hindi-speaking junta and the latter at the upmarket "global" Indian, their programming strategy focuses on going beyond the headlines with news and analysis, as well as an assortment of feature shows (especially on the English channel) driving the programming mix.
At the heart of this strategy is the desire to be a "complete news channel" with something for everybody spanning politics, sports, crime, entertainment and business with an equal emphasis on global developments as well as issues highlighting the plight of the common man in the country. "We are also looking at launching new programmes on science and technology, environmental issues, personal finance and others areas of common interest," says a spokesperson from the media house.
The programming mix of the two channels shows a distinct weekday and weekend skew with popular weekend programmes such as The Big Fight, We The People and Limelight having to share space with soon-to-be-launched shows such as I to I (which presents a Bollywood actor in introspection with no anchor or host leading the show), 24 Hours (which provides an individual with the opportunity to "be someone else or somewhere else" for a day) and the flagship, The World This Week that premieres on July 25 on NDTV 24X7.
Sister channel NDTV India also has its fair share of weekend shows such as Paisa Vasool, Cinema India and FIR with the soon-to-be launched Hindi avatar of The Big Fight tilted Muqabala, Duniya Iss Hafte and the Tavleen Singh-anchored Indianama, a show that travels to different parts of the country attempting to understand the issues, culture and thinking of the people in a particular region.
Day-parts vary on the two channels during weekdays with NDTV 24X7 concentrating on the afternoon block between 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm (Power Lunch, a mid-day wrap-up, and Doctor NDTV, a half-hour interactive health show, are telecast during this time frame) apart from the morning time band between 7.00 am and 10.00 am when Breakfast, the morning show, is telecast. The evening band begins as early as 6.00 pm with The Evening News, picking up later with Tonight at 8 with Vikram Chandra, Newsnight at 8.30 pm with Arnab Goswami, The 9 O'Clock News with Prannoy Roy, The X-Factor with Rajdeep Sardesai at 10.00 pm. This programme alternates with the Barkha Dutt-anchored The Big Story on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Mumbai Live with Sreenivasan Jain goes on air at 11.00 pm.
For NDTV India, on the other hand, the morning and evening time slots are crucial with the morning band commencing as early as 6.00 am with Surkhiyan followed by Namaskar India at 7.00 am and the driver Yeh Hai India at 8.00 am. Dalal Street follows at 10.00 am while the evening band starts with Saat Baje (at 7.00 pm), Aapka Shahar at 8.00 pm, Bollywood Hollywood at 8.30 pm, Khabron Ki Khabar at 9.00 pm, Baat India Ki at 10.00 pm, Mumbai Central at 10.30 pm and Gyarah Baje at 11.00 pm.
A clear deviation, though, from NDTV's earlier strategy (while on STAR News) is its Mumbai-specific thrust as reflected through shows such as Mumbai Live and Mumbai Central. "That is a welcome and pleasant change," says a Mumbai-based media planner. "When most other news channels have a metro-round up with news on different cities capsuled in half-an-hour to an hour, NDTV has exclusive shows devoted to Mumbai consciously attempting to bridge the gap between the two cities. The city is thus getting its rightful due."
Live coverage of the opening and closing of the stock market, in-depth bulletins on sports and business add diversity to its overall programming, which, channel executives believe, will help both channels stand out in a genre that seems a tad crowded at this point in time. © 2003 agencyfaqs!