Television

"Four smaller channels don’t match up to Times Now:" Arnab Goswami

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MUMBAI: Reporting an event and informing viewers with occurrences from that event is no longer enough for a news channel in India. Week 23 of calendar year 2015 showed the television industry some never before incidences.



When the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India announced its ratings for week 22, it showed how India Today Television pipped Times Now to take the pole position in the English News genre. And that’s something Times Now did not like!

The zest to go back to number one saw Times Now and ET Now news president and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami getting into action mode on the first day of the week, which incidentally is Sunday - a day when he is generally off action. The Sushma Swaraj - Lalit Modi controversy turned out to be just the right fodder and Goswami exploited the opportunity by covering the news as extensively as possible. The action that began in the Times Now studio certainly irked the then number one India Today Television’s Rahul Kanwal and he even took to Twitter to express his disdain by tweeting the following:

Not only that, another tweet from Kanwal read as below:

While Goswami in his coverage mentioned time and again that he broke the Keith Vaz – Lalit Modi story, Kanwal tweeted his reservations thus:

The week got over, Times Now regained pole position after securing 345 (000s sum), whereas India Today Television managed 151 (000s sum) followed by NDTV 129 (000s sum). 

Commenting on the ratings and indirectly responding to Kanwal and other channels Goswami said, “My experience has been that leadership is built by doing the news, not by negative marketing campaigns. Each time someone mocks or apes us, our viewership grows. There is a big lesson in this fact. Besides, the massive public response to our LalitGate expose matches the growing number of our viewers. Four smaller channels don’t match up to Times Now. I think it is time for the smaller channels to realise that aping the leader, or spending a lot of money mocking the leader is futile.” 

Now it remains to be seen if this jingoism continues and how it affects viewers and if ever any other channel succeeds to grab the pole position. Overall, not only is the news industry providing news, it is also making headlines.

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