Metro Nation: NDTV corners English city-based news space

NEW DELHI: NDTV today moved into a niche space - an English metro-based channel that is locally focussed in both its content and revenue model.Metro Nation Delhi is the first of the five FTA channels it plans to roll out.

Metro Nation Delhi, which NDTV claims is the the first English, city-based channel in the country, has been on air since 24 September.

Announcing this, Dr Prannoy Roy, chairman, NDTV Ltd, said that this would complement the English newspapers and cater to a so far unaddressed TV viewership of five million.

The value for the money invested is clear: Delhi has a retail and local advertisement kitty that runs into millions of rupees, and has been so far tapped by only small local vernacular newspapers.

Roy said the company‘s research shows that this is a market of sophisticated retailers and other advertisers - from malls to eateries and entertainment hubs that would willingly pay a steep tariff if they can reach out to this TV viewership market.

This is not a ‘pure‘ news channel, Roy explained, but both news and non-news channel that would provide information and localised content, which includes the likes of live shows of college debates (with the one from Miranda College already aired).

Sanjay Nigam, CEO in charge of the channel, said this would be news you can use, which includes road traffic updates, as well as everything that a denizen of Delhi would need to know to be abreast of what‘s around.

NDTV has clearly also sought to take a pinch from the Citizen Journalist concept, but made it radically different, in that colourful taxis, a fully operational studio (OB Van) and a dedicated chopper would feed in news.

The taxis and the bus would move from area to area and bring in local people, take their views and air them Live, Suparna Singh, head of promos and editorial chief at the new channel explained.

Asked whether this is their version of Citizen Journalist, Roy took a snap at rival channel CNN IBN: "This is different, because journalism is a professional thing and just as there cannot be a citizen doctor or a citizen engineer, we are not looking at a citizen journalist.

"We believe that this will make the channel interactive, though the citizen may not be able to talk to the anchor, but his or her views can be aired directly."

Singh stated another of the USPs of the channel: "We believe Delhi is worth fighting for," and explained that the channel will be young, progressive and proactive, and would take up all the problems of the city and fight for the citizen‘s rights.

Asked to how far NDTV would take such fights, Roy stated that the fights about governance would be deadly serious and would be taken to the end.

"The channel is being driven by young people with ‘kinetic energy‘," Singh said, adding that there are 125 people on board.

But there are similar channels in Hindi which have the same formula, so would language be the only differentiator?

Responding to this, Nigam said that the NDTV foray into this arena would be marked by its old track record of credibility and reliability, dismissing the vernacular channels as overtly sensationalised and hardly credible.

In fact, Nigam said that when there is a stress on globalisation, this move towards localisation may seem like an anachronism, but it was not, as today, Delhi is almost like a country.

"The people need info that will navigate the lives of Delhiites," Nigam said, which would be the "unique value proposition" for the channel.

There are many, many Delhis today, and the days of South Delhi ending in Lajpat Nagar are over, and there are many categories of people not from all walks of life but all regions and many countries who need to stay abreast of this city.

This is the specific market the NDTV plans to corner and not just in Delhi; in another few months, there would be four more channels, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, each with its niche programming and sharp local focus.

Roy parried all questions on financial issues, but insisted that there is enough monetary depth in this market to give them a clear sense of fast-track business.

This is why, at least officially, Metro Nation channel would not slash its advertisement tariff, but would offer competitive prices, Roy said and claimed that already there are people wanting to come on board.

While the channel would be FTA, Roy admitted that it would go on one of the DTH service providers, but refused to divulge the name, stating simply: "We have a commitment on DTH."

Latest Reads
Amazon most advertised brand in BARC week 41

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has released its data for last week’s top advertisers and brands between 6-12 October 2018. The data is a reflection of top 10 advertiser and brands across genre on Indian television (U+R) : 2+ Individuals.

Television TV Channels Viewership
No changes in Bhojpuri, Kannada, Marathi segments in BARC week 41

In the Bengali space, Jalsha Movies and Colors Bangla swapped their third and fourth positions in BARC data week 41. No changes were observed in the Bhojpuri, Kannada and Marathi segments. Moreover, Gemini TV and Zee Telugu swapped their second and third positions in the Telugu sector. Flowers TV...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Anil Ambani’s Reliance sues NDTV for Rs 10,000 cr for Rafale coverage

NDTV has been sued for Rs 10,000 crore by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in an Ahmedabad court for its reportage on the Rafale fighter jet deal. The lawsuit is filed against NDTV's weekly show, Truth vs Hype, which aired on 29 September.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Republic TV leads English news genre in BARC week 41

Republic TV continued to lead the English news genre as per All India BARC data week 41. No changes were noticed this week in the English business news genre. Aaj Tak maintained its lead across every Hindi news genre for yet another week. Hindi news urban genre remained unchanged. Zee News dropped...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star Utsav bags leadership in GEC (U+R) in BARC week 41

Star Utsav and Zee Anmol swapped their first and second positions in the Hindi (U+R) genre in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for week 41 of 2018. Star Plus and Big Magic exchanged their eighth and ninth positions in the rural market. Star Bharat and Sony Sab swapped their fifth and...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) extends exclusive television and digital rights partnership with ABB FIA Formula E championship

Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) will continue to broadcast each round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for a further two seasons across the Indian sub-continent - including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Television TV Channels Sports
James Gough’s innovative idea will be incubated with the intent to prototype it at Formula 1®’s Media & Technology Centre

Formula 1® Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver, Lewis Hamilton, today crowned James Gough the winner of this year’s USD $50,000 F1® Innovation Prize at the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in Austin.

Television TV Channels Sports
FLIX FIRST SCREENING: &flix makes October spookier with the multi-city theatrical premiere of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

&flix, the all-new destination for the most-awaited Hollywood blockbusters, brings the much-anticipated sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween on Thursday, October 25

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
BIG Ganga Goes All Out to Delight Its Audience This Festive Season, Launches Engrossing Range of Shows

With the festive season right around the corner, BIG Ganga, the number one Bhojpuri channel in the Hindi heartland

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories