Network 18 happy with the rebranding strategy results

Avinash Kaul, MD, A + E Networks | TV18 President – Strategy, Product & Alliances – Network 18, spoke about News18 Lokmat, the rebranding and decreasing viewership of English news channel CNN News18

by Madhuwanti Saha
Published - Nov 7, 2017 8:35 AM Updated: Nov 7, 2017 8:35 AM

In the last leg of its rebranding exercise started by TV18 & President - Network 18 last April, Marathi news channel IBN Lokmat has now become News18 Lokmat from November 6 with a new logo and a fresh look on-air. To create a distinct position for itself in the Marathi general news category, the channel has strengthened its editorial team, roped in new anchors from rival channels and launched a new line-up of primetime programmes with ‘different style of debates.’

Avinash Kaul, Managing Director, A + E Networks | TV18 President – Strategy, Product & Alliances – Network 18, shares, “The channel has got a complete makeover. There are varied sets of news, some aimed only at rural Maharashtra and some at metros. The entire programme has been re-jigged. Distribution has been enhanced and marketing has been put into place. We are confident that this will give us the numbers.”

This strategy has worked its magic for most of the network’s channels including Hindi and regional news channels. Kaul claims, “The Hindi news channel News18 India has led the growth as it’s number one in primetime and number three overall in the day. When ETV Haryana was revamped to News 18 Punjab/Haryana/Himachal it grew from 3-4 per cent to 10 per cent. News18 Kannada’s numbers jumped significantly. The regional news cluster across has more than doubled in its viewership in the last six to eight months. Hindi and English Business news channels CNBC Awaaz and CNBC TV18 are clear leaders. Across the board the numbers have significantly improved.”

The English news channel CNN News18 is facing challenges with its viewership numbers dropping. For the second consecutive week, it lost its position in the BARC’s Top 5 English News Channels for the week 43 (October 21-27.) Kaul admits that the entry of s new channel has impacted its viewership here to a certain extent but the network is working on its programming strategy to get it back on track. “Content refresh is lined up this year. There is work happening on both CNN News18 and CNBC TV18.”

This rebranding of News18 Lokmat will be followed by a campaign, rolling out today across the broadcasting network, digital, print, outdoor and radio. The new logo of the channel was unveiled by Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis at the channel’s flagship event called ‘Agenda Maharashtra 2017.’

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