Lines between English biz news & general news are blurring: MK Anand
Times Network, the broadcast arm of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd, has introduced a new positioning for its English Business News channel ET Now. ET Now is reinforcing its position as the torchbearer of India’s growth story with its ‘Rise with India’.
Expanding its core offering from business news to serving holistic news for business, ET Now will continue its coverage of business and markets between 8 am and 5 pm. The content will evolve to sharply cover general news, special shows and prime-time debates from 5 pm onwards, catering to the aspirations of the get-ahead Indians. The stock scrolls on the channel will not be visible after 5 pm and will be replaced by the bottom scroll (ticker), which will show the Top 10 news stories of the day. In the evening prime time, 7 pm onwards there will be a mix of speed news, intellectual debates and major national news updates.
The embodiment of the ‘Rise With India’ proposition will come alive with ‘India Development Debate’ at 9 pm, pitted as the most intellectual news debate on Indian television. Anchored by Sandeep Gurumurthi and Supriya Shrinate, this debate will engage the most erudite experts to discuss subjects that affect India’s holistic development and imagery. “Our motive is to talk about issues that will matter in the next few years,” said MK Anand, MD & CEO, Times Network.
He pointed out, “There is a strong desire to do something on a national level to attract a larger-than-me purpose among the decision-making Indians – be it the head of a family, a small organisation or a politician. There is a resurgent nationalism seen in the last 10-15 years. Times Now has been able to retain its leadership position in the last 10-12 years because we did not waive off from our ‘India First’ stand.”
Commenting on the development, Anand said, “I think we are perfectly poised to evolve from just competitive leadership to purpose-driven leadership. As a channel and brand, I believe we can do much more than what we have been doing so far. It is now our aim to become the driver and catalyst for India’s growth and in making sure that Indians benefit from that growth.”
He further said that there is a bigger opportunity to be a development channel than being just a stock market channel. At the same time Anand clarified, “But that does not mean we will exit from stock market coverage, because that is a bigger driver and they anyways have the morning time and viewership. With this new brand positioning, ET Now will raise questions on the policies and decisions in this country. The content for ET Now will be mainly development and economy led.”
According to Anand, the lines between English Business News Channels and English News Channels are blurring. “I don’t believe there is much difference now. With the 24-hour format, I can do so much more than just stock market news as we have the audience and the time,” he maintained, adding, “There is a room for another development channel in India.”
Commenting on the occasion, Sandeep Gurumurthi, Managing Editor, ET Now, said, “For ET Now, this movement is historic. As media entities, besides generating value for our stakeholders, our responsibility is to inform, engage, educate and inspire our viewers. Today, every Indian has a strong belief in India’s promising future, more than their own and India’s growth story is not a single story, but strongly shaped and influenced by economics, politics, governance and technology, et al. We want to empower our viewers with this all-round knowledge which will enable them to see the opportunities around and help them hitch their success to India’s.”
Times Network will leverage print, outdoor and digital to boost marketing for the channel. While print will remain the main driver for marketing the channel over the next 8-9 weeks, it will be backed by outdoor activations in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The channel will also be promoted heavily at Mumbai and Delhi airports.
“The new revamped look, feel and content of ET Now is being developed, which will be seen on the channel over the next few months,” Anand concluded.