The opening numbers of Rajdeep Sardesai’s “journalist’s channel” – CNN-IBN – are here and at least for the week in question, the numbers spell good news for the English news genre itself. Even though ratings might not be the final deciding factor, for a channel like this, it has a role to play in indicating what the Indian viewer, especially the relevant target, feels about the channel.
Before we look at the numbers and consequent implications closely, it must be noted that the ratings so far are only of the first week. If examples like ‘Awaaz’ and ‘NDTV Profit’ are anything to go by, it is evident that respective organisations focus much in ensuring that the numbers offer some talking point at least for the first three weeks – post which many a times the scene changes considerably.
Sardesai has been quoted frequently on how CNN-IBN channel differentiated itself on grounds of being a journalist’s channel. Launched in perhaps the most silent way that any media product has been, CNN-IBN hit Indian television in week 52, on December 17, 2005.
According to media experts, English news channels were largely used to connect with the higher SEC male TG. Looking at this TG closely, CNN-IBN has opened at the fourth slot amongst English news channels with a relative channel share of 11 per cent, which is the same as NDTV Profit – on the 6.00 am to midnight parameter. The highest rated channel continues to be NDTV 24x7, even though its share drops from 44 per cent in the previous week to 37 per cent in week 52.
The other channels that lost share included CNBC TV-18, from 27 per cent to 21 per cent, and Headlines Today, from 8 per cent to 5 per cent. Channels like BBC World and CNN have actually seen an increase in this week – in all increasing the English new genre to 1.7 overall channel share. The cumulative reach, too, has increased in week 52, as opposed to the 2.02 million viewers who watched the channel in the previous week, 2.22 million tuned in in week 52.
A closer look at the data reveals that even though CNN-IBN is a general news channel, the business channels of the English news genre have taken a hit. NDTV Profit lost shares from the morning and CNBC TV-18 in the market hours (10.00 am to 4.00 pm). Despite all channels, except CNN-IBN, losing share in the prime 8 pm to 11 pm slot, the overall share of the genre has increased.
Irrespective of the time band, the English news genre has gained in week 52, implying a good week for the genre. For CNN-IBN, 13.6 per cent of the TG sampling the channel means a neat start. Even though the channel followed the quiet launch route, which they would like to term as the FMCG way – where the product availability precedes the marketing – industry word is that a significant marketing campaign will be seen from the channel shortly.