09 January, 2006

NDTV Versus IBN-CNN Live

NDTV Versus IBN-CNN Live

Usually on a weekend (especially on a Sunday) I go to a temple in East Ham (Never been to a temple in Chennai), but this time around the price of the Tube Fares have risen so dramatically that I have had to think twice on things I need to do on a weekend.

As I was sitting at my window sill viewing the Fitzroy Square near the place I stay and out of Boredom switched on the TV and latched on to IBN-CNN. I was watching the news and only then did it click on me that hey this is Rajeev Sardesai's Channel. Yeah the same guy who quit NDTV to form a TV News Channel of his own. The news content was good but the news readers were quite a disaster. The news went on as follows "In the country of Iraq....." oh now u see Iraq is a country. Thanks guys for letting me know...

Rajdeep and his firebrand reporting came under fire from none other than Bal Thackeray using the choicest curse words on Samna - Shiv Sena's magazine. Read this to know more...

I then queried one of my friends who works for the BBC in Chennai and he told me that there were 2 schools of Journalism - one where the Newsreader knows nothing about the news and he/she just reads what the script writer has written for them because they read properly and are presentable e.g.: BBC itself and then there is this other school pioneered by NDTV in India where the Journalists double up as News readers.

It remains to be seen which school, IBN-CNN plans to follow. My channel of choice is and will always be NDTV- the programmes they have are quite nice be it We the People or the Current Affairs ort the double Take all of them are so informative. I have been following the NDTV right from the days of The World This Week on Fridays at 9:30 pm to Mission Kashmir by Barkha Dutt (India's Christiane Amanpour) and also the Vote Counts during every election hosted Dr. Prannoy Roy and Sopariwala

One area where we could see the similarities between Rajdeep's IBN and Prannoy Roy's NDTV can be seen in Sonia Gandhi's Interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV and Rajdeep on IBN-CNN. Read This...

The good thing about the CNN-IBN launch is the competition to NDTV. However, CNN IBN's nowhere near NDTV right now (for me at least) and I think it'll take time getting there. IBN's got one big gun in Rajdeep, but NDTV has more than one (Barkha Dutt & Nidhi Razdan for example, if you want to leave out Prannoy Roy). Plus, NDTV had a head start and they're an established brand, so they'll take time to topple.

The downside of this whole thing is that both channels fall over each other about Exclusive this and Exclusive that, which gets tiresome after a while. NDTV remains my primary TV news source but CNN-IBN's the second choice. I've never quite got used to Headlines Today.

The Times Group is adding its own TV channel to the mix, so I'm sure it'll be interesting times. Tabloid TV maybe?

NDTV has been in the business for a long time even before they went on air with their independent offerings NDTV 24/7, NDTV India and NDTV Profit. As the organisation driving the news channels of Star they catapulted these channels to the top tier of viewership ratings. Prannoy Roy's special programmes before, during and after major elections established his reputation as a psephologist to reckon with. Do we remember him as an anchor in the weekly show 'The World this Week' on Doordarshan?

NDTV sans Rajdeep has many saleable stars in their own right. I think their reputation and popularity stems from the brand value of their anchors. I recall a hoarding put up by NDTV prior to their IPO which has their instantly recognisable anchors and newscasters standing together. We could tell their names. In that sense the journalists took the centrestage. NDTV is right up there on the pecking order of television news channels.

I have been to IBN's site and watched the free video. There is always room for those who seek to raise the bar. Not convinced though about their positioning though. Time will tell...

NDTV is a trend-setter though! It still remains to be seen who leads the English News reading channel in the TRP Ratings....


Blogger Dhiren said...

extremely thoughtful article.
if you have any material on comparing ndtv and aaj Tak please send it to me on

October 08, 2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger troublehater said...

i agree. NDTV will always be India's #1 News Channel in every field.
IBN seems to be an excellent copy of NDTV, but I'd rather stick to the original!

January 27, 2007 7:58 PM  

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