International broadcaster CNN is looking at launching an India-specific news channel. CNN may start the news channel on its own, or may partner an Indian company. The move comes after CNN started an Asia-Pacific specific channel in the year 2000.
"We are keenly evaluating starting an India specific news channel, " said John Beeston, executive producer of CNN Asia-Pacific, speaking with exchange4media. He is currently in India for a workshop, orienting Indian affiliates Zee News, Eenadu and Doordarshan. On probing who a partner could be, he said "Talks are on with some parties, but I am not in a position to confirm things."
Beeston told exchange4media that he is mighty impressed with the news content and presentation of Indian news channels. "From what I see, coverage of news in India is fairly good. Indians perhaps have the best production equipments and ofcourse the talent," said Beeston
Workshop also included simulated war exercise and journalist were exposed to cutting edge technology. The workshop is being organised at the request of the Indian broadcasters, and may become a regular feature in the near future. ‘‘We’re not here to teach or even say that we’re the best, but only to share with the affilates ‘this is how we do it’" said Beeston.
As reported by exchange4media in news item dated 14/06/2002, news channels are high on the popularity charts, attracting a rising share of advertising revenue. Advertising on news as a genre, grew by more than 50%, from Rs.200 crore to Rs. 310 crore in 2001, over the previous year. In 1999, news earned only Rs.80 crore as advertising revenue.
With news channels expected to come up from NDTV, Star India, Sahara and now from CNN, the segment is gaining importance in the agenda of broadcasting companies.