Union Budget 2006: English news and business channels line up extensive fare

Union Budget 2006: English news and business channels line up extensive fare

Author | Pritie S Jadhav | Friday, Feb 24,2006 8:01 AM

Union Budget 2006: English news and business channels line up extensive fare

In the second part of our coverage on the budget programming, exchange4media takes a look at how English news and business channels will be covering the annual Budget. The action on most channels has already begun, and channels are leaving no stone unturned to provide the most extensive coverage.


For NDTV Network, which comprises NDTV 24x7 and NDTV Profit, the emphasis was more on the latter, said Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media. Though NDTV 24x7 will have special coverage and discussions anchored by Prannoy Roy, not much details are available on the entire line-up.

As far as NDTV Profit is concerned, in its generic budget programming the major shows include ‘Budget Special Live’, which will bring the industry’s reactions Live from the CII and Ficci headquarters on the day of the Budget. ‘Kal Par Nazar’ will analyse the stock market reactions to the Budget and implications. ‘Market Special’ will feature top industry honchos, who will discuss the implications of the Budget.

Meanwhile, the channel is already showing a five-episode discussion-based show ‘Budget Lobbying’. ‘Budget made easy’ will feature a five-episode post-Budget series highlighting the impact of the budget on various sectors, across industries as well as the implications for the common man. The other post-Budget programmes include ‘Tax Confusion Solution’, ‘We the SMEs’, which is a special series dedicated to small and medium enterprises, with focus on their concerns and reactions to the Budget. ‘What India Wants’ will be telecast before the Budget day with two economists analysing India’s expectations from Budget. ‘CEO Roundtable’ and ‘India Questions’ are two other Budget programmes from NDTV Profit.

Vikram Chandra, Managing Editor, NDTV Profit, said, “NDTV’s budget coverage has always been the most respected and we have the expertise in presenting cutting edge coverage for more than a decade. We are doing a lot of very strong analysis.”

Zee Business

Zee Business has planned an extensive programming line up for the Budget. The channel has also signed on Vivek Bharati (former editor, The Economic Times), TCA Srinivas Raghavan (Consulting Editor, Business Standard), Ila Patnaik (Economics Editor, The Indian Express) and Bibek Debroy (well-known economist) to co-anchor the Budget programme on the Zee News Network.

“Our programming belief is based on the premise that the viewer wants to know what hits his wallet first. We have created special programmes on taxation and prices to understand the immediate impact of the Budget,” said Samir Ahluwalia, Editor, Zee Business.

The other lead up programmes like ‘Captains of India’ (anchored by designer and politician Shaina NC) and ‘Making the Budget’ (a budget programme being made in association with the industry) are targeted keeping the wish list of the industry in mind.

To give a complete dose of the Budget to the viewer, Zee Business has signed on noted comedian Ghuggi to do small snippets leading up to the Budget and on the day of the Budget as well. Zee Business has gauged the wish list of One India by a series of inter-state programming where viewers have been asked what they expect from the Budget.


CNN-IBN has lined up exciting and informative programmes for the Union Budget. ‘Face the Budget’ from February 20-24, has Udayan Mukherjee, Shereen Bhan and Rajdeep Sardesai holding five special debates on Infrastructure, Economy, Corporate, Market and Politics at 9:30 pm.

CNN-IBN has designed an initiative called Rail Yatra, wherein the channel’s correspondents will travel in local trains everyday and gauge what people expect from the budget.

In ‘Plan your Budget’, the channel will select five families from across the country. CNN-IBN will thoroughly study their income, expenses, investments plans, etc, and their pre-Budget plan will be developed by the most reputed names in the business. These families are selected based on the entries received on IBNLive.com.

Post-Budget, these families will be revisited and their budget will be planned once again. Each day from March 1-3, CNN-IBN will showcase their reworked budget.

In addition to Budget programming bonanza, on February 27, CNN-IBN anchor Bhan will present ‘Economic Survey’, a half hour programme where the implication of the findings of the Economic Survey will be discussed.

‘The People’s Budget’ will have a panel of industry stalwarts from CII and FICCI discussing implications of the Budget. Reporters from across the country will give updates on the responses from various walks of life.


CNBC-TV18, too, has lined up innovative and informative shows as precursors to the Budget. On the day of the Budget announcement, viewers can win Rs 1 lakh every hour for up to 12 hours from 10 am to 10 pm. These questions are easy and straightforward and pertain to Budget 2006.

CNBC-TV18 is travelling to the heartland of India to feel the pulse of India and understanding their Budget aspirations. 'Budget Caravan' will have the CNBC-TV18 travel across the country from February 15-25, stopping at various metros, mini-metros, small towns, etc, to hold special one-on-ones as well as small group discussions with the local community.

The India Business Hour Budget Special will have an entire show dedicated to the budget, wherein CEOs from across industries, bureaucrats and politicians will express their reactions to the Union Budget 2006.

To add to this element, CNBC-TV18 will speak with the youth in an on-ground and highly successful initiative, conceptualised last year in association with MTV. Called CNBC-TV18 and MTV Budget Fundas, the initiative will touch base with the youth of the country and how it has affected their lives.

Times Now

Times Now, the latest entrant in the 24-hour English news channel genre, promises to take the scale of Budget related news programming to a new level with its special show, called ‘Budget-O-Nomics’. It is a forum on which will feature Swaminathan Aiyer, Consulting Editor, The Economic Times. Said Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, “We believe he brings to the table a depth and experience in the understanding of Union Budgets that few others can match. From corporates to day traders, politicians to the urbane professional, Aiyer is the last word on the Budget. I am sure that our target audience will find it impossible to tune off Times Now both before and after Mr Chidambaram speaks.”

Times Now aims to co-locate from as many as six locations on the day of the Budget, and claims that it is the widest ever that any news channel has done so far. Studios are being set up in London, Hong Kong and Singapore with anchors and experts connecting live to the action on the political front in Delhi and the markets in Mumbai.

The idea, according to Goswami, was to give the coverage of the Budget a “smooth, global feel” which truly reflects the “global worldview of channel’s audience”. Besides Aiyer, Times Now has also roped in former finance secretary S Narayan, who will appear exclusively on the channel to give an insiders perspective of the workings of government and the key decisions that the Finance Minister will have to make.

Alongwith ‘Budget-O-Nomics’ and the Live Budget coverage, Goswami and Mini Menon will present a Budget Special on ‘The Newshour’ on February 28. Also joining the panel throughout the day will be Harishree Mehta on the markets and the corporates’ reactions.


Awaaz, India’s first dedicated consumer channel, will have Javed Jaffrey discusses the ‘Andar ki Baat’, which is a hilarious spoof on the extreme budget desires of the corporate bigwigs. With Budget 2006, Awaaz has ventured into unexplored territory through the new series.

This year, Awaaz Budget Wheel programming, which essentially is the pre-Budget activity, will capture the dreams, expectations and aspirations of the Indian consumer. Awaaz’s Budget programming will include Budget Yatra, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, Budget Panchayat, Mera Budget (will feature celebrities, business head honchos and common people).

Ajay Chacko, Marketing Head, Awaaz, said, “Awaaz’s programming is not just about stock markets and investing, it is also about personal finance, it is also about careers and self development, and also about spending intelligently. Awaaz is trying to speak, reach and connect with the varied section of the society.”

Post the declaration of the Budget, six focused one hour on-air Panchayats will discuss the policy implications of the budget and the way forward while focusing on the Share Market, Personal Finance, Tax, Sasta Mehenga (Housewives), Traders and Overall budget and the Impact of Macro economic issues on consumers. There also will be an analysis in the show called ‘Talking Tax’.

Headlines Today

The budget programming line-up of Headlines Today could not be gathered as the channel officials refused to share their special initiative around the Union Budget.

Also read:
Union Budget 2006: Hindi news channels on an overdrive to give the best coverage

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