Television

Skewed biz model hampers electronic news media functioning

MUMBAI: The electronic news industry is struggling against a business model of low subscription income, high carriage fees and commoditised content, experts said.


“We are currently operating on a broken business model where subscription revenues are low and, thus, one has to depend heavily on advertising for revenues. The process of digitisation has started improving the scenario but we do have a long way to go,” said NDTV Ltd group CEO Vikram Chandra.


Another challenge is that journalists as a breed are only just starting to adapt to new media. While there has been commoditisation of news, one must also realise that as technology is evolving journalists too need to upgrade. Instead of shirking or challenging new media, journalists can adopt means of using it to monetise news.


Essel Group News Cluster Group CEO Dr Bhaskar Das said, “The goal should be to maintain objectivity of the news across platforms. We must remember that the consumer has become increasingly platform agnostic in news reception.”


The silo mentality in the journalistic community is also a challenege that needs to be overcome. In an age where the consumer uses multiple forms of media, often simultaneously, journalists cannot afford to limit themselves to just one medium. They need to evolve and learn to be present and visible across mediums.


“This is the reason why in our channels, we have made it mandatory for our reporters and journalists to be present across platforms and maintain blogs and Twitter accounts,” said Russia Today TV managing editor Prof Alexey Nikolov, while speaking at Ficci Frames.


The session titled ‘Electronic News Media: Stock Taking and the Way Forward‘ discussed the challenges involved in running a news channel and explored ways to overcome these. The panel discussion was moderated by senior visiting fellow, national university of Singapore and author Dr Nalin Mehta.


India News Editor-in-Chief Deepak Chaurasia threw light on the political arm-twisting that prevails and prevents news channels from reporting certain news. Another impediment faced by news channels is the monetary pressure applied by various multi-system operators (MSOs).


“At the end of it, we are responsible for our own predicament. Many people with deep pockets have started news channels and have increased the carriage fees, which has affected all the other channels. There are no definite rules and this gives people with vested interests a chance to take advantage and pressurise channels,” he said.


Nikolov also stressed that while social media has taken the front seat, the audience is now looking for credibility. So the trick now would be to sell trust, competency and different points of view rather than only news.


Chandra added that in this case, trust can be built according to the niche that each channel wants to occupy. It depends on the ideology and the business model. In a country of India’s size and population, channels will find their own comfort zone and survive.


On the topic of trust, Das said: “Trust is non-negotiable. What is worrisome is that trust has become subjective. Whose trust are we vying for today (as news channels)? Is it the viewers’ trust or the management’s trusts or the politicians’ trust or the advertisers’ trust? It is the audience’s trust that matters and today’s viewers are intelligent and astute enough to understand where the value of news lies. They can differentiate the trust worthy from that which is not and that’s why some news channels work, while others fail to attract the masses.”


The silver lining, however, is that for the past one year the news channels, the government and other industry stakeholders have come together to discuss these matters. “It is a beginning. At least now we all agree that there is a shortcoming in the audience measurement system and process in the country. On the content side, there have been suggestions about framing a content code. In this case, the matter is too subjective and to reach a consensus is very difficult,” averred Chandra.


The panel concluded that the need of the hour is to revamp the business model so that it is not heavily skewed towards one means of revenue, in this case advertising. Once that is resolved, the channels can take a stronger stand on content regulation.


“The problems are complex and the fear of government interference plays a big role too. We have made a start and need to keep going as it is a long road ahead,” Das concluded.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/cn.jpg?itok=BRpRY0Oq
Zapak and Cartoon Network India partner to launch ‘Ben 10 - Alien Run’ mobile game

Anil D. Ambani led Reliance Entertainment’s Zapak, India’s leading Gaming Destination, in association with Cartoon Network India, rings in the New Year with an epic launch for fans and gamers alike, with Ben 10 - Alien Run Mobile Game.

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/makarskratni.jpg?itok=GEQT4q5A
Sony Entertainment Television makes Makarsankranti memorable for the commuters of Western Railway

The local trains in Mumbai are known to give a unique glimpse into the lives of Mumbaikars.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/atul.jpg?itok=WTNlgJrH
ZEE announces offer on Zee Family Packs, now at Rs. 39* per month

With the new tariff/pricing regime all set to come into effect from February 01, 2019 ZEE, the No. 1 television network of the country, announces attractive launch offers for its consumers. Zee family packs will be available for Rs. 39* only. This special launch offer has been devised for consumers...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/chopra.jpg?itok=7oVlfmU9
Viacom18 introduces VIACUBS - a day care facility for employees' children

In continuation of its gender inclusive policies such as a 36-weeks maternity leave and flexible work arrangement, Viacom18 today announces the launch of Viacubs – a child day-care service for Viacom18 employees. Viacubs is a part of Viacom18’s WAVE initiative which focusses on safety, wellness,...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/shaurya-mehta.jpg?itok=Kyr3wOqF
Privé Unscripted to offer thought-provoking content from BBC

ZEEL’s premium English movie channel - &PrivéHD - is all set to telecast its new offering from the BBC library- Privé Unscripted. It brings not just movies inspired by real life but life itself showcased in all its raw and unscripted glory. The content from ZEEL’s association with BBC Studios,...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/palia.jpg?itok=N9_9Ii3e
MTV to up its game in 2019 with new format shows

After claiming to have doubled its viewership in 2018, MTV is all set to up its game by launching the eighth season of MTV Unplugged, a singing show, on 26 January, 8 pm onwards. Royal Stag Barrel Select and MTV have collaborated to present the program.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/graph.jpg?itok=xdrIJAzs
Hindi Movies most benefited genre in Chrome DM week 2

With a growth of 0.93 per cent as compared to last week (1), the Hindi movies genre marked the highest opportunity to see (OTS) among all categories in week 2 of Chrome Data Analytics & Media. In the Hindi ovies genre, Rishtey Cineplex gained the highest OTS with 95.1 per cent in HSM excluding...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/16/volley.jpg?itok=8Qd7RBy4
Pro Volleyball League players present Mumbai team jersey to Sunil Gavaskar

Pro Volleyball League stars Mohan Ukkrapandian from Kochi Blue Spikets (L) and Ranjit Singh from Ahmedabad Defenders (R) present the official UMumba jersey to Mumbaikar and cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar, who is a panellist on Sony Pictures Networks India’s live studio show, Extraaa Innings.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/16/nikhil.jpg?itok=NLbJtsSq
Nikhil Sangha’s Happy Anniversary has a powerful social message for all

While January 24 is observed as the National Girl Child Day across India, Nikhil Sangha’s short film ‘Happy Anniversary’ has a delicate yet poignant message for us all.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories