Alokananda Chakraborty & Prajjal Saha

NDTV focuses on film awards and events

In an attempt to prop up viewer interest, NDTV India and NDTV 24x7 are going beyond typical news programming strategy and focusing on live coverage of events

While the all-consuming elections might have increased the viewership of news across the country, the big question gnawing away at news channels is, what happens once the elections get over? Well, the two channels under the NDTV banner - NDTV India and NDTV 24x7 - appear to have figured out a way of propping up viewer interest. By going beyond typical news programming strategy and focusing on the live coverage of events such as film awards. In fact, for the first time in the history of Indian television, news channels would be telecasting events like film awards, which have traditionally been the preserve of general entertainment channels.

On May 29, the NDTV channels would beam the upcoming Apsara Film Producers' Guild Awards live into drawing rooms. Speaking to agencyfaqs! about the novel programming strategy, Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, NDTV Media, says, "We decided on telecasting this event live on NDTV channels because we believe that we can broaden our viewership by covering an event that is both newsy and entertaining, without diluting the brand equity and image of our channels."

Providing a rationale for associating with the Apsara Awards, Nayak says that it was the Awards' uniqueness - which sets it apart from other popular Bollywood awards - that attracted NDTV. "This award would be by the industry and for the industry, and would be a formal event, unlike the other popular film award ceremonies," he says, asserting that the Apsara Awards format and presentation would be along the lines of the prestigious Oscars. Incidentally, the Apsara Awards is being audited by PriceWaterhouse Coopers, which has been auditing the Oscars for the past 68 years.

Awards coverage on the NDTV channels would include post-award interviews, backstage at the awards and the party that follows. Speaking about NDTV's coverage of the event, Prannoy Roy, president, NDTV, says, "We would be going behind the scenes, covering the lead-up to the main event, the people behind it et cetera. It also marks the significance of mainstream news channels and the impact they are having on viewers." To promote the event, NDTV is focusing on all media, including television, print, radio, outdoor and new media (SMS).

Apart from the Apsara Awards, the two news channels would also be focusing extensively on the upcoming IIFA Awards. In fact, popular late night programmes on the NDTV channels - Night Out on NDTV 24x7, and Raat Baki on NDTV India - would now onwards be anchored from Singapore (where the latest edition of the IIFA Awards is being held). Although the actual IIFA Awards would be telecast on general entertainment channel Sony, the NDTV shows would focus on the parties and events related to the awards ceremony.

Another big event that the news channels have been focusing on is the MTV Brand Equity Youth Marketing Forum, which will see a congregation of global trend-spotters such as Irma Zandl (president & CEO, Zandl Group), filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Mukesh Pant (ex-CMO, Reebok International), filmmaker Farhaan Akhtar, Bill Roedy (president, MTV International) and Peter Arnell (founder & CCO of the Arnell Group). The Youth Marketing Forum would be telecast live on NDTV India, and the repeat telecast would be aired on the English channel.

Apart from these events, Nayak says the news channels would also continue with their hit show, Jai Jawan, which has already seen celebrities such as Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Shahrukh Khan interacting with Indian soldiers stationed at the frontline. Nayak informs that NDTV would have a few more celebrities coming up for the show. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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