Specials

Arnab Goswami: Best time to enter news market when there's no leader

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/Aranb-goswami-ficci-800x800.jpg?itok=dqGQz0d0

MUMBAI: Whether off screen or on screen Arnab Goswami is a passionate and animated speaker, though some would say he’s given to histrionics. "The best time to enter the (news) market is when there is no leader," Goswami said with his trademark flourish, barely few months after leaving Times TV Network as group editor where he often claimed Times NOW was the No. 1 news channel in the country.

He delivered this almost knockout punch against his previous news platform in a sotto voice dressed casually in a jeans with a jacket draped over it. Hopefully without batting an eyelid (his eyes were hidden behind dark shades, though), he delivered his next punchline: “English news market has flattened out. There was a gap of about 15-20 per cent between Times NOW and other channels when I was leading it, but now there is no clear leader."

Gearing up for the launch of his entrepreneurial venture Republic TV, an English News channel, and Republic World, a digital platform, Goswami, in an exclusive conversation with indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of FICCI Frames 2017 here, noted that flattening of the news market was good for his venture

Though Goswami sounds confident about his venture, but, probably, his previous employers do still rile him still. Remember the story of David and Goliath?

"One TV channel constantly says that we are not going to let Republic crush us. Every morning they wake up talking about us, giving interviews. I would tell that channel to stop being paranoid,” he drops his voice --- may be for effect --- and goes on to add loudly, “Your paranoia about us will make you fail.” Full marks for being candid!!

Well, even when we thought Goswami was through with rubbing it in and we could move over to other topics for discussion, he holds the line, if we use cricket’s bowling analogy: “Unhealthy practices in the TV industry have started. One news channel, which has lost considerable amount of viewership, is going around telling distributors that they would be willing to pay more money if they (distributing platforms) could stop broadcasting Republic for a month. I am horrified.

“It reveals a sense of deep insecurity (in Republic’s competitors). They say things like ‘some small channel that has not stopped, has been renamed twice and would be renamed the third time just around the time of launch’. These are all signs of growing paranoia and nervousness. I want to tell these channels to not be worried and do something innovative and prepare for our launch. It’s a more healthy way of being in the business. "

So which are these TV channels that are maligning Republic and are “nervous” and “insecure”? We urge him to come clean on this name game. This time Goswami ducks the bouncer and counter-questions, “Well, everybody knows who they are. Don’t you people know the facts?”

According to the media buzz, Goswami will launch both his digital platform and the news channel in two months’ time. Though Goswami refrained from divulging more programming and other details of his ventures, buzz says the TV news anchor, who grew bigger than the company that employed him till few months, will return to the TV screen by anchoring a show on the channel in his trademark style ---- critics claim he would continue to be the prosecutor and judge making mincemeat of his panelists. "It will happen soon, much before what is been speculated," is all that Goswami is willing to state.

But, just as he cannot let go of a chance to add to the suspense, Goswami pulls back his long-ish hairs and noted with a flourish: “Starting with news in English, the channel (and the whole venture) will expand wherever the audiences exist.”

The two platforms have received an array of supporters from the advertising and sponsorship worlds. "Loads of people have been lining up to advertise with us. There has been a fantastic reception from the market. There has been a tremendous response from the advertisers from all categories --- those who are advertising on news and those who are working with us. They are all excited about the venture,” Goswami boasts, adding bashfully, “This is going to be the most exciting media launch in 2017."

For him, viewership is not just limited to market share, but is based on the total number of people watching a product. Strongly believing that unless a TV channel starts engaging with the audience, it would rapidly loose viewership, Goswami explains: "There has been a fall in viewership (of news channels), but that is because there is lack of innovation. Copycats don't work. You must evolve your own style. I wish people in the English news business start doing different formats on their own. It will be good for them. But, they don't have much time for that because we are coming with Republic. They just have a few weeks."

Is he looking for additional funding for his venture after BJP-backed MP of Rajya Sabha Rajeev Chandrashekhar put in reported over Rs. 3,000 million, apart from several other high networth individuals in their personal capacity? Goswami refused to speak on funding. But he was overheard telling a person, after delivering a keynote address at FICCI Frames 2017 here, that funding for the TV venture is over, though he is actively looking to raise additional investments for the digital platform.

While delivering his keynote address, reeled out in his usual style with emphasis on anecdotes, theatrics and requests for support from “you all”, Goswami highlighted the changing landscape of new business in India. Some of the highlights are as follows:

- Plain vanilla is boring. It is overused and dead.

- Opinion is the future. Having an opinion as a journalist is necessary. Opinions are sacred.

- Encourage speaking of English the Indian way. 'Hinglish' is the way ahead.

- Content will remain the king (where does that leave distribution platforms, the vehicle on which content will ride, we wonder. More specifically, where would that leave one of his many investors, Sameer Manchanda, who also is founder-promoter of MSO DEN Networks?)

- Television will outlive all news genres. There will be a collaboration and not competition of TV and digital.

- Technology will be the democratic enabler for media.

- Delivering news is what matters to India.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/17/year.jpg?itok=5GvcFiSh
2017 was a regulatory roller coaster and the ride continues

NEW DELHI: The year 2017 for the media industry certainly couldn’t be called easy from the point of doing business despite efforts and claims by the federal government that significant progress had been made in the regard.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/17/ye.jpg?itok=x24qJXmR
Guest column: Digital outlook for 2018

MUMBAI: The year 2017 is behind us and, as we peek into 2018, there is so much to look forward to. The digital landscape is so dynamic and ever-evolving that an annual trend-spotting article would be unfair. But still there are key areas where digital is heading and I can safely say that 2018 is...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/11/content.jpg?itok=_9GC25n5
Content segmentation defines English entertainment, movies in 2017

MUMBAI: It was the year of HD for English entertainment in India. Add to it, the bump up in the number of movie premieres and series that you could now see in better quality. Increased adoption of HD set top boxes encouraged broadcasters to go for HD. Content segmentation has emerged as a big...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/11/dth.jpg?itok=QkzMsFlZ
DTH's year of consolidation

MUMBAI: It would be safe to say that this was the year of the big DTH challenge. India’s cable TV multi system operators (MSOs) could not go into many phase IV areas and DTH stepped in wherever analogue broadcast signals were switched off following the crossing of the digital addressable system (...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/09/year.jpg?itok=Qc8RGGh9
2017 a year of rebranding and extending time slots for Hindi GECs

MUMBAI: The year 2017 was a roller-coaster ride for Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) in the truest spirit of the term. The tussle for the top slot in the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings has seen pay TV and free-to-air (FTA) channels hold on tight to the rope.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/09/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=bmTRbT_m
The year of hiccups for marketers

MUMBAI: The year 2017 was when brands were unwillingly thrown into a roller-coaster ride only to emerge dizzy and faint. The highs weren’t enough to ride out the lows.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/04/ear.jpg?itok=jT2Q8mKD
2017: The year OTTs went regional in India

MUMBAI: Over-the-top (OTT) services were undoubtedly the centre of attraction in 2017. The boom in India’s internet users, mainly aided by the growth of Reliance Jio, ensured that OTT players got the right reception and target audience. Not just  mainstream TV broadcasters but even smaller players...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/03/year.jpg?itok=SbrfiYTZ
Making the news: A look at what news broadcasters did in 2017

MUMBAI: News channels were thrown into a storm of activity in 2017 with each player keeping up its oars to wade out of challenges that hit at them like ten-foot waves. With elections and sensational news driving up viewership at various points throughout the year, English news channels had to...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/30/Sahil-Shah1.jpg?itok=weZUchlK
Guest Column: The comeback of full-service agencies in India

By 2020, we will be close to a billion digitised screens. With the advent of cheaper data and smartphones and by virtue of tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon entering the grassroots of India, digitisation has become inevitable. And it’s going to be mobile plus digitised television (...

Specials Year Enders

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories