“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” remarked Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Television, when he explained the course that Times Now has chalked for itself on the completion of 100 days. Stating that the experience so far had given the channel an even better idea on what worked for the Indian audience, Lulla said that the agenda at present consisted of more new properties, geographical expansion and further concentration on distribution.
He said, “The experience so far has allowed us to get a fix on the kind of content that urbane Indian viewer wants. This has been kept in mind for the other new shows that you would see on the channel soon. We are very clear that while established properties would work towards further attracting a loyal audience, new shows would be flowing in healthy numbers to increase the number of performing shows and to keep a stream of variety on the channel flowing.”
Another point high on the radar is geographical expansion. When asked more on this, Lulla said, “Geographical expansion wouldn’t only mean entrenching ourselves further in the country, but more importantly, being available in international markets. There is much that is being planned at present on this count and you will hear some announcements soon.”
He explained that even as the channel had a reasonably good hold on the distribution at present, the area would see further attention as Times Now would try and increase its presence with its audience. “The big objective is to improve the channel’s performance and we work towards it continually. And these are the various steps that we have designed on the basis of our experience so far, that would help us to achieve this objective,” Lulla added.
Speaking more on the experience so far, he said, “It has been exciting. We have a good quality of viewership and we have seen good growth coming in these numbers. Targeting the urbane is not something that is easy to do, but research shows that our focus on capturing this TG is paying off.”
“Our TG has a higher share of the SEC AB Profile. We believe that this audience is coming in due to the good mix of national and international content that is presented in different kinds of formats. Our forecast and polls have been accurate and after two elections getting within range and that speaks volumes of the quality of our content. We have built new viewing blocks by trying to catch the late night viewers. You must understand that when one tries and differentiates in this fashion, it’s not about quantity but quality,” Lulla further said.
Another count that Times Now has been aggressive on is the tie-up with events. On how had this helped the channel, Lulla replied, “These associations and on-ground presence allows you to get to a relevant portion of our TG outside the channel environment and this plays a very important role in establishing better connect with them.”
Times Now is not quite on the high road as far as ratings are concerned. The channel nonetheless ensures its presence via various events, viewer oriented initiatives and new programming properties. For Lulla, numbers are important, but more important than that are the right numbers.