MCCS board meets to assess Star News' performance

NEW DELHI: The first broad meeting of Media Content & Communications India (MCCS) Private Ltd was held here today with the new board members expressing satisfaction at the way Star News has performed till now. However, they also emphasised that there is a need to keep the tempo going to keep competition at bay.

"The board met here to take a look at Star News and its performance until now. The channel has to keep performing well, as DD News has been snapping at our heels," a board member of MCCS told today after the meeting. The member added that according to the information they received, the latest TAM data puts Star News back at the Number Two spot.

Since is yet to lay its hand on this week's TAM data, the veracity of the information could not be confirmed. For the week ended 29 November, however, as per the TAM data, DD News was comfortably perched at Number Two in cable and satellite homes with approximately 19 per cent share amongst Hindi news channels.

Last week, Aaj Tak led the roost with 26 per cent and Star News had slipped to the fourth position (13.11 per cent) with NDTV India having moved up to the third place with a share of 15.74 per cent.

Though the MCCS board member indicated that some strategies regarding marketing and programming initiatives were discussed by the board, details were not divulged. "The investment plans are more or less as an earlier plan," the board member said.

Today's meeting is the first stock-taking activity of Star News after a major corporate restructuring that saw some Indian minority shareholders being replaced by the Kolkata-based ABP Group, which now holds 74 per cent equity stake in MCCS with the rest being held by Star. The restructuring was done to conform to the new uplinking norms announced by the government for news channel in March.

Dwelling on the programming strategy, the MCCS board member added, "We'll have to devise a programming game plan to ensure that viewers remain with us, as they have done till now. The eyeballs are there for the marketing people to help in a more effective marketing of the channel." It was also hinted that some new shows are likely to be introduced on Star News.

Those who attended today's board meeting included MCCS chairman and ABP group's owner Aveek Sarkar, ABP's CEO Anirrudh Lahiri and Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea. Star News president Ravina Raj Kohli was also in town for the board meet and an ad sales party by Star News.

Coming to that, the networking ad sales party that Star News threw yesterday in Delhi for the advertising, media and marketing fraternity was, as expected, a jazzy affair with live performance by Aasma and later some good taped music, which was enough to lift the spirits of the guests and the hosts alike.

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