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Will CNN-IBN split impact TV18’s brand image?

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Will CNN-IBN split impact TV18’s brand image?

With CNN no longer part of the TV18 group, it’s time for the organisation to manage the brand reputation as it was earlier. In January 2016, the contract between CNN and TV18 will dissolve, leaving the network without a general English news channel under their umbrella.

In an internal mail, AP Parigi, Group CEO, Network 18 assured employees that he would take the task upon himself to drive all their businesses to the next level. The mail also stated that TV18 will continue to invest significantly in the general English news space.

The question still remains: How will the split impact TV18 Group?

We asked media veterans for their points of view on the split. While some feel its normal and will not impact anyone, others point out that the event will hamper the public image of the TV18 network, not to mention unrest among its investors.

Nothing will change

Talking to exchanage4media about the impact of CNN-IBN split and its impact on the Network 18 Group, independent media consultant Sushma Jhaveri said, “As far as buying is concerned, I will not be surprised if they launch or tie up with another company to bring out a new English channel since they have the infrastructure and resources.”

Sharing her thoughts, Ruby Bana, Chief Strategy Officer at Madison Communications opined, “Not having an English channel is not detrimental to any network’s business. It can be leveraged.”

Competitive English News Space

There is no doubt that TV18 will manage with the absence of CNN, but the viewer’s perception of the TV brand will get affected considering the competitive English news space.

The group needs to come up with something new that can gain back viewers’ trust and attention the way CNN-IBN did. With only a handful of English news channels dominating the space, it will not be an easy task.

TV18 image likely to be hit

Short term image problems and not ratings seem to be the biggest of Network 18’s worries. “I believe it won’t have much impact on ratings but would surely hit the channel image that has already been affected with the exit of Rajdeep Sardesai and team,” stated Arun Sharma, Vice President, IPG Mediabrands.

Kunwar Javed Akhtar, Director, Britelite Media said, "It will definitely impact Network 18 since they will no longer be having any presence in the general English news genre which is very critical for a media house both from premium audience point of view as well as from the advertisers’ perspective.”

He added, “Although they have presence in Hindi and some regional language news genres they will lack English offerings. Indian media consumption is slightly different from other parts of world in that people prefer to have both outlooks of English and Hindi news if available from same group, like NDTV India and NDTV 24x7. Secondly, it gives advertisers an edge to get packages of both English and Hindi channels to best reach the target audience.”

Chandra P Dobhal, Vice President, Carat Media similarly agrees that TV18’s image will get hit with the loss of CNN. “Network 18 is well identified with its business news channel CNBC followed by CNN-IBN as their English news channel. CNN-IBN used to be among the top English news channels from the media currency (TAM) angle, and even in the public mind. A change in perception is expected especially considering this partition follows Rajdeep’s leaving some time back. I am now keen to know how the shareholders are going to react to this news.”

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TV18 will continue to invest significantly in the General English News space post CNN-IBN split

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