Ananya Saha
Mar 20, 2014

‘By making it into two channels, you get two prime times’: Vikram Chandra

Q&A with the NDTV Group CEO on business channel Profit’s revamp, and multiple sponsorship deals for programming bands

‘By making it into two channels, you get two prime times’: Vikram Chandra

NDTV introduced ‘two-in-one channel’ - ‘NDTV Profit & NDTV Prime’ on 16 March 2014. Campaign India spoke with Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, for more on the ‘dual channel’ strategy. Edited excerpts:

You had announced last year that NDTV Profit would undergo a revamp. And now you have announced dual-channel strategy. What was the thought behind this?

We wanted to do a big bang revamp of Profit. We will put more programming on Profit but that is something we could have done in two weeks. This is a completely new and radical strategy. Our strategy is around the concept that prime time for a business channel is only during day time, from 9 am to 5pm. After that time, and on weekends, a business channel is not watched or has very low viewership. However, if you look at infotainment or entertainment channels, their prime time is in the evening and weekends. It was a logical thing for us to do, and I am surprised no one else has done it yet.

By making it into two channels, you get two prime times. Business prime time during the day as Profit and infotainment and entertainment prime time during the evening as Prime.

Would the TG for Prime and Profit differ?

Not entirely. One of the key target TG (not to say that the women will not watch the channel), is urban male. We have often heard that they are TV orphans in the present situation. Men don't have much programming to watch when cricket is not on, apart from news channels. A lot of the stuff that NDTV does is to create programming for this particular TG. We have various programming bands such as stock markets, property, auto, gadgets, comedy, career and education: these are the topics that men are interested in, and we have it on this channel now. We also have general programming that everyone is interested in like ‘Ticket to Bollywood’ in entertainment, which whole family would like to watch.

We are leveraging our known properties into programming bands. Some of these bands could be visualised as channels in their own right but for now, they will get eyeballs as bands.

How are advertisers reacting to this ‘dual channel’ strategy?

The channel is pre-sold and pre-sponsored even before it launched. We are very keen to have this arrangement, and to get partners and sponsors on board before launching. NSE is a partner for Profit, and Micromax for Prime. Videocon d2h has come on board for ‘Ticket to Bollywood’ while Croma is the overall technology band sponsor. MRF is on board for the auto band and Supertech for the property band. These are all one to three-year deals.

How is NDTV communicating the change?

The promotional campaign, featuring Shah Rukh Khan on the concept of ‘Work Hard Play Hard', is currently on. It is a massive campaign. We will keep the communication going though April and May, after the launch phase. We will keep promoting it across various media vehicles.

Campaign India

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