NDTV Good Times walks into life & style

Written by Pankaj Doval | Shauvik Ghosh | New Delhi, Sep 9 | Updated: Sep 10 2007, 04:06am hrs
News broadcaster NDTV plans a big push in the lifestyle television segment and is looking to tap hindi-speaking and regional markets with vernacular feed apart from launching new channels in the genre.

The company, that has launched its first lifestyle channel 'NDTV Good Times', is looking at expanding its profile in the segment and expects a healthy market in the niche area where it targets the young and the affluent. "The channel would answer all your questions from food to fitness, travel to leisure, fashion to gadgets and from marriage to parenthood," Smeeta Chakrabarti, CEO of NDTV Lifestyle, told FE.

Chakrabarti, an old hand at NDTV, believes that there exists a big market for lifestyle programming in India, especially due to the emergence of multiple distribution platforms like DTH, CAS and IPTV. "We have a strong distribution team and are targeting the metros and towns having one million-plus population," she said, adding that they would have an exclusive tie-up with Tata Sky and may even go pay in the next six months.

The channel, that went on air Friday, has a brand tie-up with The UB Group owned Kingfisher brand and even uses the Kingfisher on its logo. "It is a brand tie-up and nothing more should be read into it," Chakrabarti said, when asked whether carrying of the Kingfisher logo could be construed as a sort of surrogate advertising. "We are clear about the advertisement norms of the Information and broadcasting ministry. No lines will be crossed," she said.

Refusing to specify other big-ticket advertisers apart from Kingfisher, Chakrabarti said the NDTV Media team was working on some concrete proposals. "However, we cannot speak about them till deals are actually frozen," she said.

The channel, that would offer a range of aspirational lifestyle programming on health, fashion, food, travel and luxury, is currently in English and Chakrabarti said they were looking into the possibility of feeds in other languages, starting from Hindi. "Hindi is one of the most obvious language we would go to. Apart from this, we may also look at other regions. South India is a tough market," she said, though not expanding further.

On launch of further channels in the genre, Chakrabarti said the broadcaster would take a call once it got feedback from the market. "We are looking for at least two new channels in the genre that may come up over the next two years," she said, adding that opportunities existed in various sub-lifestyle genres like food and travel.

On content, she said it would primarily be on India though the channel will also have correspondents travelling to various parts of the world.