NDTV 24×7 is on an experimentation spree. The channel has changed its content completely focussing only on business news in the 9.00 am to 4.00 pm time band. With a changed look and business news only, July 5 marked the launch of a mini channel for NDTV and if planners’ verdict is anything to go by, the move is a good one.
In the English news genre, the channel’s overall market shares are strong keeping it in the number one spot. However, the mornings and afternoon shares give the channel a dip. CNBC TV-18 dominates this spot with its business programming.
If ratings are observed, the all-day figures for NDTV 24×7 in comparison to its competitors, for the target CS ABC 15+ rule the charts. However, the moment dayparts are studied specifically, CNBC TV18 leads by a substantial margin. With the exception of weeks 20, 21 and 22, the channel takes quite a beat from CNBC TV-18. The gap between the channels widens further when the male target (CS ABC Male 25+) is observed. Here again with the exception of week 20, 21, 24 and 25, CNBC is a clear scorer in this time band.
“This day parts registers a dip in general news,” explains Arpita Menon, General Manager, Media, Lodestar, “If you see numbers, this daypart delivers the highest numbers for CNBC TV18. In that light, it is very smart for them to convert their content to business.”
Now, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm are the stock market hours. This explains the inclination of people for business information. Menon cites a quasi-news study that Lodestar was involved in, “We carried surveys in various markets to get a grip of the news viewer profile. One thing that we learnt was that the viewer today has no alternative for CNBC TV18 for business news. At the same time, he is open to change and will welcome any choice.”
Pat Vinayak, Vice President, Carat agrees with the decision too. “From a strategic point of view, the move is a brilliant one,” says she, “But what will matter is how they differentiate their content from CNBC TV18. CNBC has a loyal following and the viewer is hooked on to it. They have to provide a strong pull to get eyeballs, which are very used to CNBC TV18.”
What planners feel here is that NDTV 24×7 has not made enough noise about this change in content. “The strategy and programming is right. But they have to create more noise around it. How will the viewer be aware otherwise? Speaking about it on the channel alone will not be enough because they don’t have this viewer in any case. They have to rope in other modes of communication here.”
If the graphs of both the channels are studied, a clear aspect that comes across is that while the viewership figures for both the channels differ, for the category itself, there is no increase here. An implication drawn is that eyeballs shift between the channels, which can explain the fact that in the period since week 19, an increase in NDTV 24×7 graph sees a dip in the CNBC TV18 graph.
With NDTV now providing a choice in the slot, the viewer pattern hence will prove to be an interesting one. Trends in the segment show that while the morning and afternoon hours are for business, the evenings belong to general news. With this move NDTV has tried to capitalise on this aspect.