Why are more channels looking at the business news slot?
I guess it's got to do with the revenue and the pace of growth of business news in particular, and news in general. CNBC-TV18 has been amongst the most profitable media companies.
How significant is this new trend of growing number of business channels?
Ultimately it is differentiated content that is going to rope in incremental viewership. Fighting for the current share would be a counterproductive strategy. Only new viewers will be able to fuel the growth in business viewership. As far as programming goes it is only if one is able to rope in newer audiences, will the reason for existence of multiple options be justified.
Also, domain expertise becomes a very important differentiator in business programming and broadcasting. We believe that new players will take some time before they understand and master the space.
How do you think the market is looking at the new comers?
There is curiosity no doubt. But markets also ask 'what is new that new players bring to the table'
Do you think it is wise to focus most of the news around the stock market? What happens when there is a bear phase and fewer viewers lead to advertisers pulling out? Wouldn't it be better to reduce market focus?
Stock markets are an important element of business programming. However, they cannot be the sole focus. CNBC TV18 in India has been broad-based in terms of business programming over the last few years. In fact, the channel is quite different from its peer in the US as we have more than 16 hours of non stock market programming. This is why we have managed to stay healthy even during bear phases.
Moreover, CNBC TV18 has been innovating with business programming and we are the pioneers of several new formats; be it Masterstrokes (a show that brings together business leaders and sporting legends) or the various shows like Young Turks, Goodlife, Trendmill, Challenge, Uncovered etc. We have also been a pioneer of direct contact programmes with our various constituencies - whether investors or corporate India - there are events like the investor camps and industry vector series.
What is the profile of the viewers who tune into CNBC? Is it purely the 'CEO's channel'?
CNBC TV18 has a primarily SEC AB Male 25 years + audience profile. A profile that constitutes affluent adult decision makers. Though we do have a share of students (particularly management students) and women for specific shows.
What is your brand count?
We have over 400 brands on the channel advertising currently.
You have launched what you call a 'unique consumer channel'. How is it performing?
Awaaz has managed to deliver excellent results. Evident by the fact that on Budget day its ratings surpassed those of NDTV Profit and Zee Business.
What are the priorities for the channel? How do you observe its growth prospects?
Awaaz is a very unique proposition. It is India's first consumer channel. It is not CNBC TV18 in Hindi. It is far more broad-based in its target audience, content, delivery style and editorial orientation. We cover three broad genres - something that no channel offers currently - investing, spending and self-development.
Shows on Awaaz range from personal finance shows like Aap Ka Paisa to intelligent shopping guides like Smart Shopping and career development shows like Hum Honge Kamyaab. We expect to hit the target revenue by FY 06.
What is the total market share of business news channels?
It is roughly 1.5 per cent if you look at the overall space. But in India today, business news on CNBC TV18 is bigger than general news in our adult male target group.
Source: TAM, TG; CS Males SEC AB25+
Recently, one of your rivals declared that it was they who were the number one business channel in India.
Certainly not. I think they used a week's figure and distorted it. If it were true, how come they don't talk about it anymore?
Source: TAM, TG; CS Males SEC AB25+ Market: All India, weekday 7am to midnight
Will Awaaz, being a regional language channel, miss out on the advantage of corporate viewership that CNBC enjoys?
Awaaz is meant for a far more diverse and widespread audience. It is meant for consumers all over India. And you must remember that Hindi is understood by more than 65 per cent of India.
Since Awaaz is a diversified approach to reaching out to the common man, would it ever challenge the growth of CNBC-TV18 or vise-versa?
Awaaz is helping us reach out to a wider audience - both geographically as well as orientation wise. It is a far more broad-based proposition than pure business.
What support does CNBC-TV18's American partner offer apart from the brand?
We get access to some network shows and access to the American