CNBC-TV18 holds sway even as it turns four

MUMBAI: It's party time for CNBC-TV18. While last month the channel was celebrating accolades, having walked away with the Best Business Programme of the year award for Storyboard at The Indian Telly Awards 2003, this month it is celebrating its birthday. The business channel that claims to hold a unique space in the channel skies turns four on Monday, 8 December 2003.


 CNBC-TV18 has come a long way in a relatively short time. In these four years, the channel managed to overcome teething troubles of distribution and marketing, achieved break-even last year and is now on a roll.

The channel's brand equity speaks for itself. It has held unchallenged sway over the Indian business community for the last four years and seems all set to take on the future.

In the last four months, the channel has managed to attract about 120 brands, which translates into a 25 per cent increase from the average number of advertisers over the last four quarters.

CNBC-TV18 vice president (sales & marketing) B Saikumar confirmed this adding that, "The inventory utilization in the day belt, which is focused on the stock markets, has gone up 300 per cent in the last three months and the traditionally strong evening and weekend belts have shown significant increase as well. The 'day time markets belt', is today the second prime time belt on the channel and this 'additional prime inventory' has given us a unique leverage to accommodate many more brands in prime time."

The upshot of this has been the hardening of CNBC-TV18 rates in the market. Speaking to, CNBC-TV18 CEO Haresh Chawla said that the rates are being 'corrected upwards'. Also, the channel believes that the value proposition of the channel will be retained even at higher rates.

The channel has recently introduced new programming initiatives as well particularly in the day-time 'markets belt'. In an effort to widen its viewer base, it has launched 16 news updates, eight of which are in Hindi.

Among the new programmes is the recently launched second season of the popular and high profile Lessons In Excellence. The first series featured Raghav Bahl and Sumantra Ghoshal while the second season features Raghav Bahl with Jagdish Seth and Raj Sisodia. The CD sets of the second season will hit the shelves in January end.

Further, the channel now has a ticker playing through the advertising breaks during the live market hours between 9 am and 3 pm so that viewers have access to live information even during ad breaks. This spells good news for the advertiser as well as the viewership is retained even during ad breaks.

The channel has also announced the launch of its nationwide management school exercise Trial By Fire, which tries to find out how prepared B-School Students are for corporate life. According to a channel release, the initiative has already attracted multiple entries from B School students across the length and breadth of the country.

Additionally, the channel is about to launch its annual special called That's Entertainment, which is a 40 days special initiative focused on the entertainment industry.

The release claims that the channel viewership has seen a steady upward march across all time bands - the markets band during the day, the business & corporate band during the evening and the feature band during the weekends and late weekday evening.

According to TAM data for 15 July - 20 November, SEC AB M25+, CNBC-TV18 enjoys a channel share of 58 per cent among all English News channels. In fact, it accounts for half of the top 50 programmes among all English News Channels followed closely by NDTV 24x7.

Says Saikumar; "It's a case of bringing together retail investors, business leaders, traders, opinion makers, financial intermediaries, professionals, management students, socialites etc with a wide mix of programming under the wider aegis of business. Our advertisers have also started leveraging this unique three-band feature of the channel to distinct advantage. That apart, as our figures prove, we are emerging as a leader even in 'pure home viewership' across belts. Add to this the overwhelming out of home viewership (that is a characteristic of the channel globally) across a number of markets and regions and we are clearly emerging as high value buy with a guaranteed delivery of consuming audiences."

While television measurement systems are unable to measure Out of Home (OOH) viewing, CNBC Global Media research has established that OOH viewing adds as much as 45 per cent to measured viewing. The NFO Research Report 2003 has also corroborated this fact for India, the release states.

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