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Getting eyeballs is our Lakshya: CNBC-TV 18

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 22, 2004
The English channel has plans to beef up weekend programming, introduce specials on a regular basis, and of course, make the best of the budget phase


CNBC-TV 18 has a clear agenda - to get as many people to sample its shows. The channel has, over the last year-and-a-half, steadily increased its Hindi content in the day band, and attention is now on weekends.

Feature shows such as Storyboard, Trendmill, Auto Show, Good Life Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno are telecast over the weekends, and according to B Saikumar, vice-president, sales and marketing, CNBC-TV 18, the aim is to strengthen the band even further.

"The influx of soft business consumers over the weekend is pretty heavy, and we would like to capitalise on this segment," he says.

The channel recently added two new shows - The Challenge, a gameshow with Derek O' Brien and The Lounge, a celebrity show with Simone Singh - in the weekend time band, and Saikumar maintains that more is in the offing.

The channel is also looking to introduce specials on a regular basis, so as to provide "value-addition" to viewers on weekdays. "We've had a number of specials such as Lessons in Excellence and The Appointment (an exclusive interview-based show)," says Saikumar. "These are not regular properties, and the idea now is to be consistent with them, so to provide some value-addition to viewers on a regular-basis."

The channel also kicked off its budget-related programming last week under the banner of The Tightrope. Last year, the theme doing the rounds was No Middle Path, and according to Saikumar, the branding exercise best reflects the current mood and scenario at North Block - the office of the Finance Minister in Delhi.

"P Chidambaram, the incumbent finance minister, is actually walking a tight-rope, balancing conflicting interests in the coalition government," says Saikumar. "In that sense, it is but natural for us to go with the theme of The Tightrope."

The budget-related programming with peak over the next two days, he says, and the shows will be on till July-end.

Meanwhile, channel officials chose to remain silent about the impending Hindi business channel venture. The channel, which will target mass audiences, as opposed to the niche positioning enjoyed by CNBC-TV 18, is slated for a year-end launch.
Saikumar maintains that a Hindi business channel is necessary to tap into those markets, which do not tune into a conventional English-language service. "Business is all-pervasive, and almost everybody has some interest in the segment," he says.

"Though CNBC-TV 18 has taken to Hindi programming, there is a limit to which the effort can go without compromising on the core offering. There is a vast majority, which is comfortable in the national language, and we have decided to target a separate offering to them."

The proposition to advertisers both in the case of the Hindi and English-language services will remain the same, says Saikumar. "Advertisers are looking at audiences, and we will deliver people with money to spend and decisions to take." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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