Campaign India Team
Feb 05, 2010

Business channels in 2010: What’s in store?

Campaign India attempts to understand how the English business news channel space will evolve in the year ahead

Business channels in 2010: What’s in store?
Campaign India attempts to understand how the English business news channel space will evolve in the year ahead

The English business news channel space has seen a significant amount of activity in the past year. With the launch of Bloomberg-UTVi and then ET Now, the business news space has now been split into a four way battle with CNBC- TV18, ET Now, NDTV Profit and Bloomberg-UTVi. What does the year ahead hold for the English business news space?
 
Campaign India spoke to industry folks to get their perspective. Starcom’s Nikhil Rangnekar is optimistic that 2010 promises to be a better year. “One of the driver categories for business news is the financial category. Other categories that use this genre in their media plans include airlines, cars etc. which were severely affected by the slowdown last year. Since most of the relevant categories have a positive outlook for 2010, they are back on air and this will benefit the genre immensely,” he says.

Agrees Shripad Kulkarni, COO, Allied Media Network, “The business news genre is the one directly linked to business performance, so the genre will see an upswing in revenues for sure.” Motivator’s Rajul Kulshreshtha believes the challenge for English business news channels will be in offering differentiated content. “The challenge is to move out of the “ticker only “ positioning. And this can only happen if they give a serious look at the content that is being aired.The best example of this being Colors. Colors is where it is, because it took the initiative to say that ‘We will offer differentiated content, that is relevant, entertaining.’

The Union Budget, touted as one of the biggest annual events for business news channels and general news channels, as well, is one of the biggest revenue earners for business news channels. Over the years there has been criticism that the budget has become an overhyped exercise, which only the government and business news channels have an interest in.

So will the budget hold good for advertisers this year? Lintas Media Group’s Sudha Natrajan certainly thinks so. “English business news channels are already outperforming English news channels. With the economy showing good signs, and the Sensex moving up and most importantly the sentiment turning positive, I expect this space to grow further.”

Starcom’s Rangnekar believes the budget will be a big draw for advertisers. “With a lot of financial giants back on air, investing in TV advertising and focusing on business news, big properties like the Budget will definitely attract advertisers. Budget to me should be a big draw this year more for the advertisers’ need rather than the expectations of the common man,” he says.

Maxus’ Ajit Verghese says, “This segment currently looks at Rs 300crores of ad revenue.Volatility in market sentiments or business is actually good for this niche. If 2010 is a year of stable growth, which looks likely, then I expect stable growth for this segment.”
 
Ajit Verghese, MD, Maxus India
“There is increased action definitely with the economy out of a slowdown. With key sectors seeing an upswing and many IPOs waiting to be launched, this genre could see increased business. This segment currently looks at revenues worth Rs 300 crores. Volatility in market sentiments or business is actually good for this niche. If 2010 is a stable growth year, which looks likely, then I expect stable growth for this segment. The business space has direct links to the pace of the economy. With ET Now, Bloomberg, etc coming into India and revival of sectors as I mentioned earlier, this space will be better utilised going forward.”
 
Nikhil Rangnekar, exec. dir., India west, Starcom Worldwide

“One of the driver categories for business news is the Financial category. Other categories that use this genre in their media plans include airlines, cars etc. which were severely affected by the slowdown last year.

Since most of the relevant categories have a positive outlook for 2010, they are back on air and this will benefit the genre immensely.

Definitely a much better year than 2009 I would feel.
 
I think UTV after the Bloomberg tie up might grow to some extent.

ET Now might try and make some headway since its a new year. But on the whole I don’t see too many changes in this space.”
 
Sudha Natrajan, president and COO, Lintas Media Group

“English business news channels are outperforming English news channels. With the economy showing good signs, Sensex moving up and sentiments turning positive, the English business channel space looks set to grow further. The revenue from the Budget should be much higher, compared to last year for two reasons: both sentiments and markets were down in 2009 and due to elections there was interim budget in 2009 leading to low interest from advertisers. Presently, CNBC is the undisputed leader. But, ET Now is a serious contender due to their background and has the wherewithal to grow significantly by the end of 2010.”
 
Rajul Kulshreshtha, MD, Motivator

“I guess the challenge for the business news channels is to move out of the “ticker only” positioning. And this can only happen if they give a serious look at the content that is being aired. The best example of this being Colors. The general entertainment channel is where it is, because it took the initiative to say that ‘We will offer differentiated content, that is relevant, entertaining.’ As for the budget, the interest levels will be the same. I guess one can’t go too far with the glamorisation of time. Advertisers buy eyeballs and not time and till that improves , it will be much the same as last year and the year before that.”
 
  Shripad Kulkarni, COO, Allied Media Network

“This genre is directly linked to business performance, so it will see an upswing in revenues.

The Union Budget will be a bigger opportunity than the last year. Here, the stock market is the most critical driver and CNBC -TV18 continues to dominate. Both NDTV and TV18 Networks are savvy marketing guys, so they will maximize revenue opportunities – be it customized content, special events, AFPs or innovative options.

I don’t see anymore channels in this space, but exclusive/niche content on DTH or mobile platforms with a subscription based revenue model would need exploring.”
 

 

Source:
Campaign India

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