Noor Fathima Warsia
The year 2009 marks a crucial point in the journey of Hindi news channel India TV. After having proved that it was capable of delivering numbers that dislodged the leader in many weeks in 2008, in 2009, India TV focussed on the perception of the channel and the need to pay attention to hard news once again. India TV’s Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma explained that the move worked in favour of the channel, but now he was all geared for the forthcoming initiatives from the company.
The year 2010 would see India TV launch at least two new channels, of which Whiz has already been announced. India TV is also paying attention to the digital side now, and is in the process of planning a few websites, the launch of which is marked for 2010. In addition to this, the company is working on the establishing of a television training institute to benefit the news broadcasting industry with relevant and trained talent.
To house these expansion plans, India TV is also shifting offices to a 122,000 sq ft area, which is nearly double the size of its current office.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Rajat Sharma observed that India TV’s revenues, that have seen a significant increase in the year, further allowed the company to expand in this manner. He informed that there was an 87 per cent growth in revenue in FY09, as compared to FY08.
The Rebooted Content Approach in 2009
Speaking further on the rebooted content approach of the channel in 2009, Sharma said, “The year 2008 had many events that showed once again that audiences are interested in news that are relevant and have an impact on them. At the same time, there has been a common allegation on news channels that there is frivolity in the kind of content and breaking news that the genre has.”
“India TV has been a trendsetter of sorts in the genre, to the extent that people imitate our kind of news, anchor styles and even sets. So, the priority in our agenda this year has been to bring the focus back on hard news and responsible reporting. I am happy to see that not only did we manage to achieve our target of responsible reportage, but it has worked in favour of the channel and the perception of India TV,” Sharma added.
Elaborating further on this, he said that on numerous occasions where news content had been telecast, India TV had always been ahead of the competition. He cited the example of the NASA coverage, wherein India TV numbers were much higher than that of the competition. He said, “Even in the election week, our numbers were twice than that of competition all week.”
For India TV, 2009 would be the year when the content focus of the channel evolved, but 2010 would be the year of challenge also in terms of more offerings from the company. If Sharma’s disposition is anything to go by, the company is completely prepared for the times ahead.