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Programming revamp benefitted News18 India, says editorial head

MUMBAI: Hindi news channel News18 India, which undertook a revamp of its programming strategy few months back focusing on exclusive reports largely based on sting ops, has claimed that the plan is working as its ratings and viewership have increased.

Some of the sting operations carried by News18 India after programming reboot included ‘ Operation Namak Haram’ that exposed top Pakistani film actors and singers living in India and their alleged involvement in black money deals; ‘Surgical Strike Ka Saboot’ involved a police officer in PoK or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who admitted that strikes were carried out by the Indian Army on September 29, 2016 and ‘Operation Kaali Kursi’ that exposed bank managers of private banks willing to aid an undercover reporter in converting almost Rs. 70 million of old currency notes into new ones after demonetization late last year.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, News18 India consulting editor Prabal Pratap Singh said, “The channel has grown exponentially since its re-launch. Several of our shows are consistently No. 1in their slots. This is a testimony to the content that we have been airing, which is in line with our channel’s philosophy  of `Danke Ki Chot Par’.”

Singh said as the editorial head of the channel, his role is to help the team focus on issues that are relevant to India, especially those viewers who would be watching or tracking a Hindi news channel. “Focus on pertinent content and issues, relevant to our viewers, has ensured tremendous growth in our viewership,” he added.                      

According to BARC India data of weeks 15-18, News18 India had an average weekly impression of 3634 (in ‘000) with a 16 per cent market share in the HSM megacities in NCCS 15+, which placed the channel one spot behind the segment leader Zee News that had a market share of 17.5 per cent during the period under review.  

News18 India is part of the Network18 group that is controlled by Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries Ltd. Reliance acquired Network18 from its founder Raghav Bahl and his associates in 2014.

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