CNBC-TV 18 sets sights on bilingual service

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 09, 2003
After establishing itself as a force to reckon with in the English language space, the next task for CNBC-TV 18 is to emerge as an efficient bilingual service without diluting its equity

CNBC-TV 18 celebrated its fourth anniversary on December 8 and predictably, the sentiment was upbeat. After all, the channel is beginning to taste success despite a couple of false starts. The figures say it all. For the period extending from July 15 to November 20, 2003, CNBC's channel share touched 58 per cent among all English news channels in the crucial target group of men in the 25-years-plus age group, SEC AB in towns with a population exceeding 1 million. NDTV 24X7 was a distant second with 29 per cent while TV Today-promoted Headlines Today and CNN were still further away, at 8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. (Source: TAM Media Research)

Against the parameter of time spent on the channel too, CNBC-TV 18 has the upper hand with the channel clocking a figure of 62 per cent to NDTV's 15 per cent, Headlines Today's 14 per cent and CNN's 9 per cent in the period extending from October 5 to November 8, 2003.

B Saikumar, vice-president, sales and marketing, CNBC-TV 18, attributes this success to the role played by the channel in "widening the ambit of business". "From being a stock markets channel, we have made the transition to being a well-rounded business channel," he says. "Our features band aims at attracting the soft business consumer without ignoring the general consumer of business news," he adds.

Typically, the channel has three distinct time bands - market hours, extending from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm/4.00 pm, evening prime time, extending from 7.00 pm to 12.00 o' clock, and the features band over weekends and during late evening prime time on weekdays.

With market sentiment picking up over the last six months, the channel has seen an upswing in retail investors who frequent it to understand the mechanics of business and investment options on hand. "These viewers could range from small-time traders, distributors, self-employed professionals to retired government officials and housewives," says Saikumar.

Increased viewership among retail investors implies catering to them in a language that they are comfortable in, which is why the inclusion of two-and-a-half-hours of Hindi language programming during market hours. "Much depends on the audience you are catering to," says Saikumar. "These could vary from the average professional in the city to a trader in a small town," he adds.

To boost its Hindi-language programming, eight out of the 16 news updates launched recently during market hours are in Hindi. Among other programming innovations is a ticker running through ad breaks during market hours, the launch of the second season of Lessons in Excellence featuring Raghav Bahl and marketing gurus Jagdish Seth and Raj Sisodia, who are presenting their book titled The Rule of Three - Surviving and Thriving in Competitive Markets, and a nationwide management school exercise titled 'Trial By Fire', which aims at gauging how prepared B-school students are for corporate life.

"Advertisers and viewers have responded favourably to our programming initiatives," says Saikumar. "With a sustained bull run in the marketplace, we are hopeful of seeing further increase in viewership as well as revenues," he adds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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