Television

Star News: Comme ci, comme a.

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/02/16/city%2060.jpg?itok=G6w-J5qP

After the initial few bumps on the runway, the take off seems to have been smooth, give or take a few continuing glitches.

The seamless transition of a NDTV steered Star News into a Murdoch controlled Star News Hindi was met by a few sneers and brickbats in the first few days when presenters fumbled with tele prompters, the new graphics and logo refused to gel with old Star News loyalists and the changed format seemed a trifle déclassé from the one viewers were used to thus far.

Just over two weeks old now, Star News has brushed up its act and to its credit, now looks and acts more or less like any of its rivals. The first week did seem a tad tabloidesque, with Page 3 kind of stories doing the rounds, those in the second week turned to more serious issues. The slant is still definitely urban, and the Hindi a bit forced. The well turned out presenters still stumble a bit on the tele prompter, but comfort levels with the camera are definitely rising.

As a brand, Star News seems positioned for the well-off city dwellers. Blocks like City 60 (the 10 pm band with a metro focus) and Star Savera (the breakfast edition) engage with their variety of topics. Stories on politics, barring the major stories of the day, are conspicuous by their rare appearances - it‘s issues like school children burdened with school bags in Bhopal and the dwindling population of the white tiger in Bengal zoos that find pride of place in coverage.

Hindi is classical, and presenters as well as correspondents obviously take pains to ensure that English words don‘t slip into their talk. This evidently, is not always successful. Star News‘ various correspondents spread into the interiors of the country and abroad are in fact more at ease with the lingua franca and quite camera friendly. A slightly jittery Gaurav Sawant, currently in the interiors of Iraq, too is lens friendly in his continuing reportage from the war torn territory. But a whole hour of prime time dedicated daily to Iraq Report (9 pm) - live coverage and snippets interspersed with local experts expounding on their view of the war - does drag, now that action, essentially, is over.

City 60 that follows, and the Rajat Sharma anchored Aaj Ki Baat, on the other hand, are racy, pacy and gripping. Star News has managed to touch a chord with local masses with coverage of events like ‘Gudi Padva‘ last week and Bihu, the north-eastern New Year festival. But while the north, west and north eastern parts of the country are covered amply, coverage from the south is a mite scanty. With its self professed Hindi overtone, the south of the Vindhyas may not exactly be Star News‘ targeted territory, anyway.

Background colours, graphics and channel ID are some aspects that however do not stand out. With an all out battle between news channels, offering more or less similar fare, it is the packaging that will be the differentiating factor. While Sahara Samay, with its non metro image thus far, has managed to cook up a slick look for itself, Star News, despite the strength of the Murdoch empire, an experienced hand like Ravina Raj Kohli and ready footage from Fox, Sky News and CCTV, has fallen short of the massive expectations that preceded the launch of its new avatar. The logo confounds the most for viewers used to the earlier one. News, spelt out in Hindi, takes a while to ingest. The scrolls, one in Hindi and one in English, are just enough for a continuous supply of news - the channel is not adding to the clutter with stock indices, metro temperatures and time, unlike some of its rivals.

The six remote controlled robotic cameras, news desks, a 21 monitor video news wall purportedly, the first of its kind in India, may have helped put into place a technically superior product, but ultimately, it is content that counts. While a smug Sumit Roy claims that it is editorial that has placed the Sahara clutch of channels above the rest in the first few days of competition, Star News still has time (and some quite experienced journalistic staff) to spruce up its working. A Salman-Vivek spat and a Bandra bomb blast can elicit similar coverage from all channels, but it is the breaking news and indepth coverage that will set the winner apart, when it is time to separate the grain from the chaff.

NDTV has managed just that within 24 hours of operation. A revamped, smarter Zee News is expanding coverage area and Sahara Samay with its vast network of local reporters, is penetrating the nooks and crannies of the country for stories. Star News will need to wrangle more exclusives and beat the others with unusual angles to the same trite story, to keep itself afloat.

On the advertising front, it has, as yet, the best of the brand lot - lifestyle, FMCG and insurance are all present, thanks probably to the support of the Star Network. Jeeva soap, Polar fans are some of the brands that have also stepped in, but the overwhelming presence remains that of Amul and MRF. Needless to say, much ad space is occupied by cross promotions of shows on Star Plus, Star Movies and even the Mission Everest show on National Geographic.

Highlights of first fortnight - the channel view:

"Our core premise is we need to give news which is relevant to people‘s lives. We do not believe in covering boring press conferences." That, according to Star India corporate communications head Yash Khanna, is where Star News is coming from.

Says Khanna: "Our report on the plight of a young boy from Bihar awaiting a brain operation in a Delhi hospital for over four months due to lack of beds resulted in action being taken by the health minister. Star News followed the story to its conclusive end.

"Our reporters in Baghdad traced an Indian in an Iraqi prison who had been held there for the past nine years. We were the only channel to get him and his family living in Mumbai. We will be getting the two to talk to each other live."

Referring to Star News‘ coverage of the US-led invasion of Iraq, Khanna said, "Our reporter Prabhat was the first Indian reporter to reach Basra, Iraq. We are the only Indian channel to send a team of three reporters i.e. Prabhat Shunglu, Pervez Bukhari and Gaurav Sawant."

Star News has been on the ball as far as news breaks are concerned, asserts Khanna. "We broke the news of two successive MIG crashes in Punjab & Haryana in this month. We were also the first to show the visuals of these two incidences in which the planes fell on residential areas." And making the point that political coverage gets its due, Khanna said," We broke the story of the Rajasthan government prohibiting the sale, distribution and carrying Trishuls. We were also the first to break the arrest of VHP leader Pravin Togadia in Ajmer after the ban was imposed.

"We were first of the blocks when Union cabinet minister Shanta Kumar resigned," said Khanna.

"We carried a series of special reports on the need, status, benefits, the malpractices associated with body donation and the related superstition that people have regarding body donation. The peg used for this series was the body donation offer by former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu. We are also on a regular basis carrying stories on the water crisis and power shortage," he adds.

The channel has some aces up its sleeve in the form of known faces hosting special shows - like MJ Akbar‘s Akbar Ka Darbar, Vir Sanghvi‘s Vir Ke Teer and film journalist Rajeev Masand‘s Masand Ki Pasand, but some of these will materialise gradually by June.

If it is to survive the summer of reckoning, Star News‘ time is now.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/22/kbc.jpg?itok=ETOcxSNn
Star Suvarna to telecast 'Kannadada Kotyadhipati 2018' the Kannada version of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' as part of its revamp

May 21, 2018: The third season of Kannadada Kotyadhipati, the Kannada version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’, which sets the stage for a revamps of Star Suvarna, the Kannada GEC channel of Star Network will premiere in June’18. Since January 2018, the channel has gained viewership share in...

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/22/Republic_TV-CAF_India.jpg?itok=4m-WJW5E
Republic Network partners with CAF India to nurture the Culture of Giving amongst Indians as part of its first year celebration.

Republic TV, India’s number 1 English news channel for non-stop 53 weeks is celebrating its milestone first year anniversary in a unique and special way. Republic TV has partnered with Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, a not for profit organisation to fuel and accelerate the spirit of giving...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/22/ipl.jpg?itok=jxhUTa_K
Star spending up to Rs 2 cr on production per IPL match

MUMBAI: After having bought rights for almost all important sporting properties in India, Star India had the massive task to ensure that it sets a new benchmark for cricket. In February, it won the audio-visual production rights for IPL 2018, making it the first time that a broadcaster is...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/hichki.jpg?itok=YnbGpJnc
Watch Rani Mukerji’s ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award’ winning performance in ‘Hichki’ only on Sony MAX

After garnering success at the box office and a heart-warming response from the audience, the Rani Mukerji starrer ‘Hichki’ is all set for its Worldwide Television Premiere only on Sony Pictures Networks’ number 1 Hindi movie channel, Sony MAX on Saturday, 26th March at 9pm. Directed by Siddharth...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/raid.jpg?itok=P0Yt38Li
World Television Premiere of Raid on Star Gold

This May, Star Gold to bring the World Television Premiere of Raid. Touted as first Bollywood project to be based on an Income Tax raid, this Ajay Devgn starrer hit will be showcased on 27th May 2018, Sunday at 1 PM on Star Gold.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/travelxp.jpg?itok=fZ5WlyF7
Travelxp explores Nagaland this month; Strictly Street, Krazee Foodie return for second seasons

Travelxp, the world’s leading travel channel, continues to excite its viewers with its popular show ‘Xplore Nagaland’ and new seasons of ‘Strictly Street’ and ‘Krazee Foodie’ as it continues to bring an experience of new places, diverse cultures and exotic cuisine straight to viewers’ living rooms...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/bbc.jpg?itok=bcNVAmGo
BBC StoryWorks expands into India

BBC StoryWorks, the global content marketing team within BBC Global News Ltd, has expanded into India with staff now based in the country for the first time as part of wider growth across the Asia Pacific region.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/firstpost.jpg?itok=eJfp--s7
Firstpost turns 7: a look back at the milestones

MUMBAI: Firstpost.com India’s leading digital news platform known for its path breaking content and remarkable journalism, celebrates 7 years in the industry. The platform was launched in 2011 by Network18 as an exclusive online news and views website and app accessible across platforms and...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/21/star-sports.jpg?itok=CvBZ76Tv
Star to telecast IPL finale on 17 channels, adds Marathi Malayalam feeds

On the evening of 27 May, Star India wants to ensure you see nothing but IPL on your TV screens, no matter where you are or what language you speak. It has roped in Star Pravah and Asianet movies to add two new language feeds for better reach of the IPL 2018 in Marathi and Malayalam respectively.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories