NDTV readies for Profit relaunch

MUMBAI: When things are going ok, you still need to fix them to make them fabulous, is an adage some business executives believe in. And that‘s exactly what the folks at newscaster NDTV group‘s NDTV Profit are doing. On the cards, is a total rejig of the business channel‘s FPC - the only thing it will happen post 4 p.m. when business prime time and coverage of the stock market ends.

Says NDTV Group CEO Vikram Chandra: "We have been thinking of revamping NDTV Profit for a while. Though it is good to have business shows during the day, there isn‘t much interest in the channel, once business prime time ends at 4 p.m."

Most business news channels air magazine programming which is related to technology, property and automobiles. And Chandra wants NDTV to refrain from doing just that, he wants programming in the entertainment space to be added on. One show that will continue to be on the channel is The Property Show.

Sources indicate that external and independent TV producers are being called in to pitch in with ideas for programming the late evening slots. Among the business models being considered is the airtime barter model wherein producers and brands can buy time slots and get advertising time in exchange for programming, something which channels like DD and Sun TV have been doing rather profitably. Sources have also said that some programs will also be commissioned for the new channel.

The ‘NDTV Profit‘ name is also likely to give way to another moniker. A date has not been set yet, but Chandra says that in the next three or four months, a brand new channel should be up and running. Though he refrained from giving specific details he did say "It will be a completely new channel in the evening. It will stay as a business channel during the day time."

Some changes have already taken place. For instance, NDTV Profit has over the past months or so put together a special band from 9 to 11 p.m. calling it NDTV Classics. The best episodes of some of its old shows such as The World This Week, 24 hours, Ravish ki Report and Reality Bites are being featured under NDTV Classics.

Chandra says that the reason for telecasting them are two-fold: provide an interim base for the transition process as well as celebrate the completion of 25 years of the NDTV group. "A lot of people have been requesting us to air our old content. It serves two purposes this way," he says. What he has not mentioned is that it is helping keeping the channel‘s costs lower and possibly improving its bottomline. That‘s profitable thinking. 

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