NDTV India has decided not to continue with its crime-related programmes. The channel has taken off air its daily crime show ‘Dial 100’, while its weekly crime show ‘FIR’ will be also taken off from this week. While ‘Dial 100’ was being aired Monday to Friday at 11:30 pm, ‘FIR’ comes on Sunday at 4:30 pm. Both these shows have been on air for the last three years.
‘Metro FIR’, on the other hand, has been renamed as ‘Metro India’ from June 19. Aired from Monday to Friday at 7 pm, ‘Metro India’, as the name suggests, is a news bulletin, covers news of the metros and major cities in India.
Explaining the reason behind this sudden change, Dibang, Managing Editor, NDTV India, said, “We don’t want NDTV India to be like other tabloid news channels. The trend of crime shows in news channels has become so sensational and disturbing that it is just getting out of hand. The intrusion of camera in private lives, explicit footage and gory reconstructions are a ratings-grabbing tool, but it’s all at the expense of taste and respect towards the victims. Most of these shows exploit misfortune to gather ratings. Standards have sunk to an all-time low and it has become a bottomless pit. That’s why we have decided to stop these shows.”
Crime shows are one of the key elements for news channels to drive in viewership. Offering his take on the same, Dibang said, “Crime shows get eyeballs and our crime shows were also doing well, but we firmly believe that ratings are not everything. We are a professional news channel and our focus is on real news, investigations, follow-ups and campaigns that help the common man.”
The channel isn’t bringing any new programmes to replace these shows. The crime slots will be filled with news and sports shows at the moment. “Television news is a very dynamic medium. There is very little time for investigations and follow-ups. We have decided to do in-depth shows on big stories of the week in our weekly slots,” Dibang maintained.