ET Now revamps to offer both, business and general news

MUMBAI: It’s not just a cosmetic change that the Times Network is doing with its hitherto business news channel -- ET Now. Concurrent with a new logo and its tagline 'Rise with India,' the network is also repositioning it.

No longer will it offer reportage and coverage of business in India and internationally alone; it is broadbasing itself beyond 5 pm in a bid to offer holistic news for business. And, with this shift, it is hoping to shape the discourse of politics, governance, technology, markets, business and economics in the country.

Times Network CEO MK Anand explains that the attempt is to create a new kind of news product which will feature business news when it is needed in the day and bring significant issues to the attention of decision-makers towards later in the evening after the close of the markets. “We have to move from competition-focused leadership to purpose-driven leadership,” he says. Which, it is doing.

Between 8 am and 5 pm, like in the past, ET Now will continue with its coverage of business developments and markets. Come 5 pm, its news journalists will start presenting general news, special shows, and prime-time debates. The target: the upwardly-mobile and on-the-go Indian; anyone who wants to take part in the India growth story, going forward. Post 7 pm, it will feature a mix of speed news, debates and major national news updates.

In keeping with the 'Rise with India' theme, the channel will air The India Development Debate at 9 pm. It is being pitched as the most intellectual debate on news TV to be anchored by the ET Now managing editor Sandeep Gurumurthi and Supriya Shrinate.  The show will feature some of the most erudite experts discussing subjects that impact India’s holistic development and imagery.

"CNBC TV18 is a great competitor to us in the English business genre," highlights Anand. “We are not worried about our GRPs; ET Now is right now third in the English news genre with Times Now and Republic TV ahead. The prime-time band for ET Now is 8 am-11am. And, we have a solid hold on the viewers in this band as compared to CNBC TV 18 and India Today."

According to BARC India's viewership ratings in the last three-four weeks, ET NOW has been closely chasing the business news leader CNBC TV-18.

To push the new imagery and offering of the new ET Now, the network is using all the might and resources of the Times Group. Ads are slated to break in The Times of India and in The Economic Times, which will continue for two months. An extensive digital campaign too has been drawn up on all its online properties, even as ET Now’s sister channels will lend support. And, outdoor hoardings in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru will also make a splash about the new ET Now.

Estimates are that the new branding campaign costs around Rs 50 million. Will the repositioning spawn imitation from the rest of the business news channels?

It well might, for, as Anand says, "The success of Times Now is evident in the past 12 years, before and after our star anchor. Our existing and new competitors have gone after the same niche.”

Also Read:

Times Now narrows gap with Republic TV, again

Times TV gets into a gunfight with CNBC TV18 on Budget Day claims

Times Now will be globally 'regional', non-mirror HD by next quarter

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