News channels: credibility key to success

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 18 2010, 05:52am hrs
Credibility, brand building exercises and television ratings will be the key determinants of success in the news channel space, agree news broadcasters in the country.

Also, though the news channels being dominated by the traditional regional market, English channels will also have a hefty share in five years from now since over 80% of the population is between the age group 20-30 years and are English speaking. That was the consensus arrived at after a discussion on news channels at the Ficci Frames convention in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Explaining how television ratings are crucial in determining a channels success, G Krishnan, executive director & CEO at TV Today Network said, "TV is the only media whose performance is judged on a weekly basis and advertising revenues largely depend on the ratings the channel has secured each week." Krishnan further said news channels are becoming bigger and better, in terms of content and technological brilliance. Of the 120 million TV homes, over 70% market is captured by Hindi speaking viewers.

Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami emphasised that television ratings are the only mechanism to judge the success of any channel. Hence, our focus should be on viewers. If consumers are still hooked to a particular channel, there is no reason to worry," he said. The English news channels have a minuscule share of the total TV viewership and advertising pie. The English business news channels currently account for over 3% of the total viewership and have a 7-8% share in the total television advertising revenue. Goswami agreed that business channels have a small share but felt there was a huge opportunity in the space.

For Essel Group-owned ZEE News, the strategy is to provide better value to audiences and advertisers. The channel's plan is to offer tailor-made solutions for clients and work on innovations. "The truth is that all of us have to stretch ourselves more than we have ever done so far," said ZEE News CEO Barun Das.

According to TAM Media Research, in the last one year a lot of activity was seen in the news channel arena. With a rise in the supply, the time spent on news channel has also registered an increase at an all-India level.