Television service in India is available throughout the country. Broadcasting is a central government monopoly under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, but the only network system, Doordarshan, also known as TV1, accepts advertisements for some programs. Doordarshan, established in 1959 and a part of All India Radio until 1976, consists of one national network and seven regional networks. In 1992 there were sixty-three high-power television transmitters, 369 medium-power transmitters, seventy-six low-power transmitters, and twenty-three transposers. Regular satellite transmissions began in 1982 (the same year color transmission began).
Indian television viewers - By 1994 some 6 million people were receiving television broadcasts via satellite, and the number was expected to increase rapidly throughout the rest of the decade. Cable television was even more prolific, with an estimated 12 to 15 million subscribers in 1994.
A Snapshot of Indian Television History
Television in India has been in existence for nigh on four decades. For the first 17 years, it spread haltingly and transmission was mainly in black & white. The thinkers and policy makers of the country, which had just been liberated from centuries of colonial rule, frowned upon television, looking on at it as a luxury Indians could do without. In 1955 a Cabinet decision was taken disallowing any foreign investments in print media which has since been followed religiously for nearly 45 years. Sales of TV sets, as reflected by licences issued to buyers were just 676,615 until 1977.
Television has come to the forefront only in the past 21 years and more so in the past 13. There were initially two ignition points: the first in the eighties when colour TV was introduced by state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) timed with the 1982 Asian Games which India hosted. It then proceeded to install transmitters nationwide rapidly for terrestrial broadcasting. In this period no private enterprise was allowed to set up TV stations or to transmit TV signals.
The second spark came in the early nineties with the broadcast of satellite TV by foreign programmers like CNN followed by Star TV and a little later by domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV into Indian homes. Prior to this, Indian viewers had to make do with DD’s chosen fare which was dull, non-commercial in nature, directed towardsonly education and socio-economic development. Entertainment programmes were few and far between. And when the solitary few soaps like Hum Log (1984), and mythological dramas: Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1988-89) were televised, millions of viewers stayed glued to their sets.
When, urban Indians learnt that it was possible to watch the Gulf War on television, they rushed out and bought dishes for their homes. Others turned entrepreneurs and started offering the signal to their neighbours by flinging cable over treetops and verandahs. From the large metros satellite TV delivered via cable moved into smaller towns, spurring the purchase of TV sets and even the upgradation from black & white to colour TVs.
DD responded to this satellite TV invasion by launching an entertainment and commercially driven channel and introduced entertainment programming on its terrestrial network. This again fuelled the purchase of sets in the hinterlands where cable TV was not available.
The initial success of the channels had a snowball effect: more foreign programmers and Indian entrepreneurs flagged off their own versions. From two channels prior to 1991, Indian viewers were exposed to more than 50 channels by 1996. Software producers emerged to cater to the programming boom almost overnight. Some talent came from the film industry, some from advertising and some from journalism.
More and more people set up networks until there was a time in 1995-96 when an estimated 60,000 cable operators were existing in the country. Some of them had subscriber bases as low as 50 to as high as in the thousands. Most of the networks could relay just 6 to 14 channels as higher channel relaying capacity required heavy investments, which cable operators were loathe to make. American and European cable networks evinced interest, as well as large Indian business groups, who set up sophisticated headends capable of delivering more than 30 channels. These multi-system operators (MSOs) started buying up local networks or franchising cable TV feeds to the smaller operators for a fee. This phenomenon led to resistance from smaller cable operators who joined forces and started functioning as MSOs. The net outcome was that the number of cable operators in the country has fallen to 30,000.
The rash of players who rushed to set up satellite channels discovered that advertising revenue was not large enough to support them. This led to a shakeout. At least half a dozen either folded up or aborted the high-flying plans they had drawn up, and started operating in a restricted manner. Some of them converted their channels into basic subscription services charging cable operators a carriage fee.
Foreign cable TV MSOs discovered that the cable TV market was too disorganised for them to operate in and at least three of them decided to postpone their plans and got out of the market.
The government started taxing cable operators in a bid to generate revenue. The rates varied in the 26 states that go to form India and ranged from 35 per cent upwards. The authorities moved in to regulate the business and a Cable TV Act was passed in 1995. The apex court in the country, the Supreme Court, passed a judgement that the air waves are not the property of the Indian government and any Indian citizen wanting to use them should be allowed to do so. The government reacted by making efforts to get some regulation in place by setting up committees to suggest what the broadcasting law of India should be, as the sector was still being governed by laws which were passed in 19th century India. A broadcasting bill was drawn up in 1997 and introduced in parliament. But it was not passed into an Act. State-owned telecaster Doordarshan and radiocaster All India Radio were brought under a holding company called the Prasar Bharati under an act that had been gathering dust for seven years, the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990. The Act served to give autonomy to the broadcasters as their management was left to a supervisory board consisting of retired professionals and bureaucrats.
A committee headed by a senior Congress (I) politician Sharad Pawar and consisting of other politicians and industrialist was set up to review the contents of the Broadcasting Bill. It held discussions with industry, politicians, and consumers and a report was even drawn up. But the United Front government fell and since then the report and the Bill have been consigned to the dustbin. But before that it issued a ban on the sale of Ku-band dishes and on digital direct-to-home Ku-band broadcasting, which the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Television was threatening to start in India. ISkyB, the Murdoch DTH venture, has since been wallowing in quicksand and in recent times has even shed a lot of employees. But News Corp has been running a C-band DTH venture in the country which has around 20,000 subscribers.
In 1999, a BJP-led government has been threatening to once again allow DTH Ku-band broadcasting and it has been talking of dismantling the Prasar Bharati and once again reverting Doordarshan’s and All India Radio’s control back in the government’s hands. Some things change only to remain the same.
Besides Doordarshan, Zee TV–an independent station broadcasting from Bombay since 1992–uses satellite transmissions.n fact, because Doordarshan is the only network that is permitted to broadcast television signals domestically, Zee TV and other entrepreneurs broadcast their Indian-made videotapes via foreign transmitters.
TV channels in India. Other networks joining the fray are Cable News Network (CNN–starting in 1990); Asia Television Network (1991); Hong Kong-based Star TV (1991); Jain TV, near Bombay (1994); EL TV, a spinoff of Zee TV in Bombay (1994); HTV, an affiliate of the Hindustan Times in New Delhi (1994); and Sun TV, a Tamil-language service in Madras (1994) (see Broadcast Media, ch. 8). In a communications breakthrough for Indian Televiosn in July 1995, Doordarshan agreed, for a US$1.5 million annual fee and 50 percent of advertising revenue when it exceeds US$1.5 million, to allow CNN to broadcast twenty-four hours a day via an Indian satellite.
Indian television channel Doordarshan offers national, regional, and local service for Indian television viewers. The number of televisions in India sets increased from around 500,000 in 1976 to 9 million in early 1987 and to around 47 million in 1994; increases are expected to continue at around 6 million sets per year.
More than 75 percent of television sets in India were black and white models in 1992, but the proportion of color sets is increasing annually. Most television sets are produced in India. - Indian Television Data 1995.
The television channels guide of India provides extensive information on the popular television channels of India. Under the television channels directory view an online website listing of leading national and regional television channels of India and browse the websites to get detailed information such as program schedules, calendar, news, analysis, etc. Popular television channels on a wide variety of topics including sports, religion, entertainment, music, movies and news is available under the directory on television channels.
Television Channels – Directory
Actors & Actresses (21)
Amusement & Parks (27)
Bollywood Information (58)
CDs & DVDs (35)
Chats and Forums (45)
Clubs in India (25)
Dancers & Troupes @ (18)
Event Organisers @ (239)
Events & Fashion Shows (30)
FM Radio Stations (16)
Games & Gaming Sites (34)
Humor (76) Magic & Magician (16)
Models & Modelling (11)
Movie Theaters & Tickets (24)
Movies and Films (64)
Music & Songs (87)
Musical Instruments (42)
Restaurants & Cuisines (85)
Software Download (25)
Television Channels (76)
TV Serials / Shows (16)
Yoga & Meditation (58)
Television Channels Websites
• 123Channels.com - offering free television online and watch live TV channels.
• Zee Tv - A official site of Zee TV network that provide all information about all shows & serials, shows and serials broadcasting also listing.
• BBC CBeebies India - A website providing information about television program for children’s.
• Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd, - A kids tv channel providing entertainment video, contests, nick home cinema and nick mobile.
• Amul TV - A TV chennal providing movies, shows.
• Set India Pvt. Limited - A cartoon television channel providing various types of cartoon shows.
• Alliance Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd. - A TV channel on real estate providing news & information about real estate such as banking & finances, budget business and company analysis.
• 9XM - A musical entertainment Hindi channel providing bollywood songs, videos and bollywood news.
• Inx Media Pvt. Ltd. - An entertainment Hindi channel airing family programmes, devotional programmes, videos and movies.
• Zee Kannada - A Kannada language GEC competing in the South Indian market.
• Indusind Media Communications - A Hindi channel showing bollywood movies.
• Alpha Marathi - A Marathi language channel airing Marathi programmes.
• Classic Cinema - A Hindi movie channel airing old bollywood movies.
• Zee TV - A television channel providing information about Zee TV programme guide.
• Zee Studio - A hollywood channel showing movies, movie calender, stars, gallery, events, gossip and community.
Seven Star - A healthcare TV channel showing health related information.
Zee Cinema - A Hindi movie channel airing action oriented films.
Zee Sports Limited - A 24 hour sports channel showing sports like cricket, football, tennis, golf and motor sports.
Submitted by Arulanandini, MSc Psychology, August, 2009.
Television in India/An analysis 0f 50 years in The Hindu
Fifty golden years?
In the beginning, television was earnest.
It was determined to educate, first the general populace in a handful of villages around Delhi, then, with the weighty intervention of Vikram Sarabhai, farmers in 80 villages, also around Delhi. The people running TV knew just a tiny bit more about the medium than the people receiving it, but they meant well. Engineers doubled as cameramen, editing equipment did not exist, so recording a skit meant that you started again from the beginning if somebody goofed. They learned on the job. Teleprompting meant the announcer scribbled reminders to herself on her hand. If the nation was grateful for these improvised ministrations, it is not recorded.
Sarabhai thought big and he thought rural. He wanted to reach the most difficult and least developed areas of the country first. So the next target was 2,400 villages in six states in six languages. It created history, and the people at the top were pleased. The village folk were bemused. When the novelty wore off, they went back to their daily chores. The official evaluation showed that in the year it lasted, 39 per cent of the people in the experimental villages never viewed even a single programme. But, what the heck, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment was the first of its kind in the world, and we can keep claiming that till kingdom come.
In the beginning television was educational.
It sought to compensate for India’s dismal rural schools. Unfortunately, TV needs electricity to run. Sometimes it was there, sometimes it was not. But the kids liked this new thing which had their teachers bumbling around trying to figure out what their role was supposed to be when the idiot box came sporadically to life and blared lessons. The children began to ask questions, they got the school lab cupboards opened, TV was forcing teachers to attend classes regularly as they had to provide feedback. But, mercifully for the teachers, all well-intended experiments come to an end. Even if it was sporadically revived later, in other parts of the country.
Early on TV discovered its noble role as a Development Communicator.
The initial goals were modest, you told people not to spit in public places, to wash their vegetables before cooking them, to plant trees. Then came the Emergency and the Twenty Point Programme where planting trees acquired the status of a mantra. Doordarshan Kendras competed with each other to produce quickies on each of the 20 points and telecast them. Mercifully, most of India had not acquired television sets as yet.
Early on, it became The Great Employer.
When the Emergency brought with it the need for a propaganda machine, TV was hastily expanded to Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow. There were hardly any TV hands around so you sent radio professionals. But since entire Kendras offered opportunities for all kinds of employment, never mind skills, politicians woke up joyously to the possibilities it offered for their kith and kin. The broadcaster was, after all, a government department, ripe for those two hardy -isms, adhocism and nepotism. Once you’ve got in, you stay till retirement.
During the Emergency Doordarshan was born and rapidly discovered its true vocation.
Lack of experience has never been a constraint for anybody feeling purposeful within Doordarshan. Lessons on censorship and propaganda were quickly learned. Sanjay Gandhi and his five point programme had to be promoted, Jai Prakash Narain was to be blacked out, the only films to be shown on Doordarshan were those of film stars who had supported the Emergency. A huge opposition rally being organised? Telecast “Bobby”, just at that time. Alas, people attended the rally anyway.
Halfway through those fifty golden years, Indian television discovered colour, and then sponsorship.
The country’s scientific advisors thought colour TV was not a good idea, it would make development communication non-serious. But I and B Minister Vasant Sathe went to what was then Ceylon and found to his mortification that even they had colour TV. Finally, getting the Asiad clinched the issue. Much has been written about the warm and touching saga of “Hum Log”, telecast through 1984-85. Less about its success in selling Maggi 2- Minute Noodles. Advertising had discovered television. In years to come, it would reorder the medium to serve its purpose.
There is no greater patriot than television.
It fought militancy in Kashmir and Punjab. Doordarshan spawned a genre known as sarson di saga, in which brave tales were told of families that fought back the dark intruders. Independent producers were able to make some money producing these, even as people in Kashmir and Punjab, miffed at this insult to their intelligence, turned to Pakistani serials.
Loyalty demands censorship. You don’t tell people that the Prime Minister has been assassinated because it might undermine the State. You don’t show that the Babri Masjid has fallen because it could spark riots. When Rajiv Gandhi was killed, DD did not interrupt a programme on birds to announce his death because by then, he was not the Prime Minister, he was a mere opposition leader.
But censorship spawns competition.
In 1991 Nalini Singh’s booth capturing footage for Doordarshan had the Cabinet Secretary and the Home Secretary of the Government of India trying to decide if it should be shown.
But everything Doordarshan declined to show appeared on video news magazines. They prowled the countryside in search of stories, took the camera where DD didn’t, covered riots while Doordarshan’s camera teams regularly fled violent situations because they would have to face the music if their cameras were destroyed. DD’s news division would later buy footage from other camera people present. Karan Thapar, Madhu Trehan, Tavleen Singh and others interviewed anyone willing to make controversial statements within government, or outside.
Television discovered religion.
With “Ramayan”, then with “Mahabharat”, then with “Krishna” on DD2. Zee TV picked up where DD left off, so did all the others that followed. Religious channels followed at the beginning of this decade, NDTV Imagine and Colors reinvented the same epics, exactly two decades later. Everybody made money on god sagas, including NRI academics who hotfooted it to India to write books on the subject.
It discovered women.
In the beginning there was Kalyani in “Udaan”, loveable, believable, emulate-able. Then came Rajni who quickly acquired a fan following. “Hum Log” had brought us a bossy grandmother, doormat mother, plucky daughters. “Humraahi” brought us more pious role models. Then came “Tara” on Zee. Neena Gupta gave us “Dard”, and “Pukar”, and on satellite TV, “Saans”. “Tulsi” reinvented India womanhood, Jassi restored normalcy.
Television has spawned women producers who, for a while, laughed all the way to the bank. Ekta Kapoor listed her soap factory on the stock exchange. And decades after Doordarshan’s efforts on behalf of the girl child, the atrocities against her are being spun into hard cash. Who would have thought you could turn child brides, servant girls, and aborted foetuses into money spinners on television? If a social problem is not mitigated, do the next best thing: exploit it commercially.
And everybody discovered news.
What began quite sedately with Neeti Ravindran, Tejeshwar Singh, Prannoy Roy, Vinod Dua and S.P. Singh, has now acquired a life of its own. NDTV made it a soap box for the chattering classes, India TV reinvented it as a horror genre, Zee News made it a platform for solving marital dilemmas. Down south, TV9 makes flood victims in mid-water perform for the cameras, while Sun TV and Jaya TV have taught others in the business not to be squeamish about Using Television. TV news is India’s vicarious new reality.
In the beginning we were truly a mass audience. Alas, no longer.
We watched “Buniyaad” and “Chitrahaar”, and cricket and Mile Sur, and the Torch of Freedom. We watched (or switched off) when Doordarshan showed us documentaries on public sector zinc factories or the uni-gauge conversion of Indian Railways (and failed to get the spelling of gauge right). We listened to Prime Ministers and Presidents at critical moments in our history.
Then came Ridge and Brook via satellite uplink from Hong Kong, followed by MTV and Channel V, Sun TV and ETV and Zee and Star. We splintered into many audiences riven by language and interest and class. Sometimes we watched the same ads but in many languages. The only thing that now unites us on TV is disasters of the 26/11 kind.
Because, even Indo-Pak cricket matches are no longer every Indian’s cup of tea. We’ve learnt to be unpredictable. Good luck to all you media buyers out there.
The writer, Sevanthi Ninan is a media critic and columnist based in Delhi.
Analysis of TV Programs in India
Small screen tamasha
NUPUR BASU in The Hindu
Between clones of programmes conceived in Western boardrooms and Indian ones that perpetuate various stereotypes, the viewer is yet to experience true empowerment on the small screen.
The streets of Kabul were deserted at 8 p.m. last summer because the Indian soap “Saas bhi Khabi Bahu thi” was being beamed on television sets. A newspaper reporting this phenomenon may have surprised many readers. But it did not surprise me. I had travelled extensively in Pakistan while directing a documentary — “Michael Jackson Comes to Manikganj”— on the impact of satellite television in South Asia in 2000 and from Macchcher Colony, Karachi’s biggest slum, to the buzzing marketplace of Peshawar, to the leafy neighbourhoods of Lahore and Islamabad, I had recorded a loyal viewership for Indian soaps and game shows across the border. Pakistan during those years had no satellite television and it was the Indian channels that were exercising monopolistic control over viewers hungry for satellite television images in South Asia. The same hunger was recorded in Bangladesh (for Bengali satellite channels), Sri Lanka (Tamil satellite channels) and Nepal.
Interestingly though, before satellite television came with its glitzy glamorous soaps and game shows, it was Pakistani soaps that were much sought after in markets in Delhi and other North Indian cities as they had a rapt viewership amongst a huge segment of viewers in India. Celebrated as the high quality of parallel cinema in India, these Pakistani soaps sold in the form of VCDs which VCR-owning households watched.
Indian streets also emptied out on mornings that “Ramayana” aired on the only State-owned channel, Doordarshan, also watched in rapt attention by millions of viewers. “Sustaining family viewing on programmes like ‘Ramayan’, ‘Hum Log’ on One TV and One Channel resulted in a captive viewer in those early years for Doordarshan — a phenomenon that got totally fragmented when cable television came with it’s multiple channels and Indian homes began to get multiple TV sets,” says Akhila Sivadas, from the Delhi-based Centre For Advocacy and Research (CFAR) which has done several studies on Indian television.
The last 50 years of Indian television, which saw the birth of India’s State-controlled channel Doordarshan in the late 1950s and which held monopoly for nearly three decades to the opening up of the skies with satellite channels which today go up to 400 channels, has been a roller coaster ride for both the ever-increasing eyeballs in India and it’s neighbours. The interesting cross-border pollination in South Asia can best be described as Good, Bad and Ugly.
From serials like “Hum Log”, “Tamas”, “Nukkad”, “Malgudi Days” and even “Rajani” on the State-owned Doordarshan to it’s satellite avatars in soaps like “Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi” and the entire K series by Ekta Kapoor that became synonymous with Indian masala, these soaps commanded high TRPs . “Most of these soaps were highly sensational, highly voyeuristic and highly ambitious — issues of identity, entitlement were explored while depicting the Indian family in turmoil. It also took the clock back by showing the Indian woman as conventional,” says Sivadas adding that “these clichéd genres however created a stock of loyal viewers while others came and went away disappointed.” Adored by certain segments of viewers and lambasted by others, these soaps came to stay and dominated for over a decade. It is only of late that there is a shifting of gears to more socially relevant soaps like “Balika Bodhu”, “Radha ki Ladkiyan Kar dikhayenge”, “Lado”, “Ladies Special”, “Antara” and others. The Indian woman however remained central in the soaps as they remained the principal viewers of this segment of programming with news and sports being categorised as the programmes that men watched.
“From soaps to reality shows it was like a seamless transition for Indian television producers,” says Akhila Sivadas. Reality shows first surfaced and tested the waters in the form of game-based shows like “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. Anchored by Amitabh Bachchan, KBC created television history in terms of reach and TRPs within the very first week of being on air. A remake of the British show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” it did effectively what “Ramayan” had done earlier to viewers — emptied the streets and brought the entire family back in front of the television sets from the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai to the leafy bungalows of Lutyens’ Delhi. Only the object of worship had changed — from God to Money. Its success inspired the graph for reality shows which then took several forms from game-based shows to talent hunts like “Sa Re Ga Ma”, “Nach Baliye”, “Aja Naach le” and “Indian Idol”.
These mass-mediated shows that involved hundreds of people from the aspiring small towns of India did in a sense lead to a democratisation of television and gave a false sense that the people actually controlled the medium. However, time and again, scams on how the SMS polls were conducted showed how it was not as level a playing field as it was made out to be and things were not above board.
Of late the graph of reality shows has been climbing with programme makers and channels lining up for such programming to shore up sinking TRPs and keep their channels afloat. The motto is clearly to create, shock and awe. The more bizarre and more voyeuristic, the better the chance of it getting on the channel. Reality shows like “Bigg Boss”, “Rakhi Ka Swayamvar”, “Khatron Ke Khiladi” and “Sach Ka Saamna” have had their share of voyeuristic viewership and also lambasting critique. While “Khatron Ke Khiladi” got adverse publicity when one of the participants nearly got killed with water in his lungs, giving rise to critique about “cruel entertainment”, “Sach Ka Saamna” had Indian parliamentarians across political parties demanding that it be taken off air.
Information Minister Ambica Soni, speaking at a seminar on 50 years of Indian television organised by Public Service Broadcast Trust (PSBT) in September this year, said that she had sleepless nights as her colleagues from Parliament put her on the mat demanding that the programme be dragged off air. The programme makers had in turn defended themselves saying they were only depicting Indian reality. The minister warned programme makers to keep in mind the sensitivity of people while putting out such reality shows or the government would be forced to act.
The jury, however, is still out on reality-based shows on Indian television. In fact it is out on Indian television in its present avatar itself. Fifty years after television came to India, Indian audiences are caught between programming that is still being dictated by western boardrooms based on cloned shows that have worked abroad and Indian serial producers who continue to script along the patriarchal view of the Indian family. The audience is restless — they have tasted empowerment and demand it on their television screens as well.
Nupur Basu was a former Senior Editor with NDTV and is presently an independent journalist and documentary filmmaker.
Sangeeta Tanwar | afaqs! | New Delhi, May 05, 2009
Going by its past, Times Now makes an unlikely leader. For a channel that was dismissed by many, it has beaten rivals and stayed at the top successively for six of the past seven months (up to April 25, 2009). In April 2009, it reached its peak with a 35 per cent market share among the English news channels, (TAM Media Research, C&S, 15+ years, All India).
But then, the television news genre is unlike any other. According to Divya Radhakrishnan, president of the media agency, TME, “At about Rs 1,200-1,300 crore, news channels get a disproportionate share of the TV ad pie of Rs 8,300 crore.” Their revenue share is about 15 per cent even though the viewership is less than 9 per cent. Within the news genre, eight English channels get a much bigger slice, about Rs 650-700 crore. This is almost the same as about 15 Hindi and 25 regional news channels put together. (Ad revenue from the English news genre is split equally between five general English channels and three business channels.)
According to Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, “For almost all male targeted products the first irreplaceable genre is news. Within that if we are targeting businessmen, corporates executives and professionals, English and business channels become extremely relevant. A lot of urban working women also now watch these channels with equal zeal.” Which is why an advertiser – especially from BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), telecom and automobile segments – is ready to pay a premium for spot rates on English news.
THE ENGLISH NEWS GENRE
Among the general English news channels, one of the first to monetise the premium profile of audience was NDTV 24×7. Launched in 2003, the channel was an instant hit and lured a growing number of viewers as well as advertisers. For three years, it had a great run of the market and completely dominated the space (with Headlines Today as a weak No 2).
Then, in 2005, Rajdeep Sardesai, one of the key faces at NDTV, crossed over to the Network 18-CNN camp and launched ‘his own’ English news channel (he owns a minority stake), CNN-IBN, in December. This was followed by Times Now in January 2006 from Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL). Interestingly, Times Now’s editorial head, Arnab Goswami, too, is an old NDTV hand.
Times Now started with a whimper but CNN-IBN hit the ground running: the latter bit off 34 per cent and 33 per cent market share in January and February 2006 (TAM data for C&S 15+). Times Now got a 2 per cent and 6 per cent share. For the next three years, while CNN-IBN fought to maintain its initial momentum, Times Now kept moving up slowly. The shares of the three were often close while another new player, NewsX (currently awaiting rejuvenation) kept Headlines Today company.
With BCCL, India’s largest media company, backing it and a TV veteran like Sunil Lulla at the helm, Times Now had a strong tail wind to propel it forward. The early belief was that a combination of business and lifestyle news would appeal to an increasingly global and aspiring audience in India. In hindsight, that thinking was flawed. According to Lulla (he now spearheads Alva Brothers’ Real Global Broadcasting), “The channel faltered as it packed too much of business news and lifestyle update. It fell short of positioning itself as a pure news channel.” That is why the channel had a content tie-up with Reuters. As the channel changed focus, the Reuters tie-up was broken off in early 2008, which also enabled easier cross-promotion of Times Now among the Group’s other properties.
Besides failing to get the content mix right initially, Times Now also suffered in distribution. The channel made itself available in different markets through the cable operators in a step-by-step, phased manner rather than take a big-bang approach. This meant that many important markets for English news (Bengaluru for instance) didn’t get exposed to the channel early on.
Nevertheless, in spite of the hiccups, before he quit in January 2008, Lulla had seen the channel through many highs (for a five-month period from November 2007 to March 2008, Times Now was the leader but then lost that lead. The channel first broke into the top slot in April 2007. These fluctuations emphasise how difficult it is to secure and maintain a lead in the English news genre.) Besides others, Lulla’s efforts were buttressed greatly by Goswami, who has been the ‘face of the channel’ since launch and worked ceaselessly to build editorial equity for Times Now (News Hour is a case in point). Goswami also focussed on hard news as opposed to studio-based or discussion-oriented content (which is NDTV 24×7’s forte).
When Chintamani Rao took over as the chief exec of Times Global Broadcasting (the BCCL arm that owns Times Now, besides the upcoming ET Now) in February 2008, his immediate task was to maintain and build on the viewership gains. Not an easy thing to do, but Rao, a 30-year ad veteran (McCann Worldgroup, O&M and Lintas, among others) and a one-time chief of India TV, was well-suited to the job at hand. Maintaining the lead in February, March and April (1-25 April, 2009), the channel faltered a bit for the next three months of 2008, but again picked up in July and has never looked back since with the exception of September.
Explaining Times Now’s content philosophy, Rao says, “We do not throw news at the audience, rather, we pick up things that will be of interest to them. Also, we do not tie ourselves down with formats or genres, instead, we give priority to news happening throughout the day.”
This philosophy seems to be working just fine. Realising that news was supreme, Times Now, under Goswami’s editorial direction, reinvented itself as a no-nonsense news channel that connected with viewers through hard news delivered quickly rather than dishing up ‘intellectualised’ fare. The channel also worked harder at marketing itself better – for instance, through events such as Emvies and Abby Awards.
There was no single success formula for Times Now, but it did a series of things that catapulted the channel into the big league. Apart from the sheer focus on news, the bright look and feel of the channel helped. The logo and look were designed by Giant Octopus, a Florida-based specialist firm. Packaging for a channel is critical. This involves look-and-feel in terms of logo, colours, signature tune that appears during bulletins, design of the news studio and other presentation devices that give it its distinct appearance.
There are some, however, who say that Times Now thrives on controversy. For one, Prabhakar, head, Centre For Media Studies Lab, observes: “Times Now is far more aggressive than NDTV 24X7 and CNN-IBN in taking a stand on issues that appear controversial. They are more opinionated and jingoistic in coverage. A case in point is Varun Gandhi’s controversial speech in Pilibhit, where the channel lost no opportunity in playing up the news.”
But the tipping point for Times Now seems to have been the Mumbai terror attack of November 26-29, 2008 – when the channel’s coverage improved its credibility and perception. Acknowledging this, Sandeep Sharma, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Times Now, says that the terror attack “has done to Times Now what the Gulf War did to CNN”.
THE BUSINESS SIDE
But fighting for eyeballs is only one part in the war amongst news channels. The other, equally tricky part is turning hard news into hard cash. Do higher audience ratings necessarily or immediately convert into ad revenue?
Concrete sales data for English news channels is hard to come by (given that BCCL is privately-owned and those that are listed usually give consolidated figures for all bouquet channels), but media sources estimate that among the top three (Times Now, NDTV 24×7 and CNN-IBN), Times Now managed a revenue share of 10 per cent and 23 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
However, a growing top line does not guarantee a healthy bottom line and there are several reasons why making money from a news channel is a tough proposition. Nikhil Vora, managing director, IDFC SSKI Securities, says, “First of all, high distribution cost is putting a lot of stress on everyone’s operating costs. Secondly, the English general news genre has three players commanding a market share of 22-30 per cent each. This is unlike other genres where we have a distinct No 1 player followed by a big tail of secondary players. With more or less identical market share, the revenue pick for each player is marginal.”
As Vora says, a channel must pay a very high carriage or placement fee to cable operators if it wants to ensure that more viewers are able to receive it on their limited-channel TV sets. As per industry estimates, the annual cost of distributing a channel went up from Rs 15 crore in 2006 to about Rs 25 crore currently. Together with manpower (the cost of which has also been rising due to limited availability of broadcast journalists), distribution accounts for 60-70 per cent of the operating costs of a news channel. The rest is made up by equipment maintenance, marketing and other expenses. While costs have been going up, ad revenue – which accounts for a high 90 per cent of overall revenues – has not been commensurate (with DTH, subscription revenue will grow, but this will take time).
Rao is cautious in dismissing such concerns. “Had the cost of operations been unviable, why would one be in the business in the first place?” he argues. All the same, he goes on to say: “We are a tight running ship, with constant monitoring parameters keeping track of operating efficiency. Money, technology and infrastructure are critical but what’s more important is what you do with it.”
Sharma says that the sales strategy of the channel has been to prioritise yields over volumes. Essentially, what this means is that Times Now goes for big premium brands emphasising its better hold on SEC A and B viewers.
There are a couple of things many electronic media companies are doing to turn the tide in their favour. For one, they are looking at increasing synergies within their bouquet of channels – in terms of resource utilisation, cross-sales deals and audience development. Two, they are looking at separating news businesses from lifestyle and entertainment (NDTV recently proposed hiving off its news and entertainment arms into separate companies). This division helps players to raise more funds for their entertainment business, where full foreign investment is allowed compared to the 26 per cent cap for the news category.
Of course, each company or group will weigh its own options. Some say that BCCL has an advantage over others, as being family-owned, it can take quick decisions on where to put its money and doesn’t have public shareholders breathing down its neck. The industry is eagerly awaiting the launch of ET Now, which is supposed to build on the huge lead of Times Group’s business paper and encash this brand equity into ‘electronic rupees’. There could also be some resource-sharing with Times Now, besides bundled deals to advertisers.
The bottomline: Times Now can hardly rest on its laurels. The current elections, which will see extensive coverage and high-voltage debates by almost all players in the news genre, are likely to see upsets and heartburns in the pecking order of channels. Unlike in the GEC genre where major shifts in ranking of top players occur only once in several years, news players see their fortunes swing month-by-month, week-by-week, breaking-news-by-breaking news. The next couple of months will really test the mettle of Times Now. Watch that space.
Television broadcasting is the transmission of visual images , generally with accompanying sound , in the form of electromagnetic waves that when received can be reconverted into visual images.
Very High Frequency:(VHF)
A band of radio frequencies falling between 30 and 300 MHz; VHF signals are widely employed for television and radio transmissions . In the United States and Canada, television stations that broadcast on channels 2 through 13 use VHF frequencies, as do FM RADIO stations. Many amateur radio operators also transmit on frequencies within the VHF band.
Ultra High Frequency:(UHF)
A band of radio frequencies from 300 to 3000 MHz;UHF signals are used extensively in television broadcasting , typically carrying television signals on channels 14 through 83.
Broadcast while actually being performed; not taped,filmed or recorded.
The process of sending TV signals to subscribers through a wire. Cable television started, as a community antenna television (CATV)service for small towns and suburbs that needed better reception.
Videocassette recorder: (VCR)
An electronic device for recording and playing back video images and sound on a videocassette tape.
Digital versatile disk:(DVD)
An optical disk technology with two layers on each of its two sides, holding up to 17 gigabytes of video, audio, or information; DVD-video is the usual name for the DVD format designed for full-length movies and played through a box that will work with your television set.
Direct- to –home satellite service :
A digital technology that delivers up to 150 channels to a plate-side receiver on a subscribers house; these services include the DBS format in the united states and the DVB format in much of the rest of the world.
Direct broadcast satellite:(DBS)
Technology that allows a household to received hundreds of channels which are delivered digitally to a small dish installed on a side of house or apartment building; a set top box converts the digital signals to analog signals that are accepted by the TV. The DBS satellites operate from orbits directly above the earth’s equator and just over 22,000 miles up.
Internet Movie Database (http://imdb.com)
Broad casting and cable (http://www.broadcastingcable.com)
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has announced a set of guidelines for the telecast of news in emergency situations.
A committee set up on October 2 and led by Justice (Retd) JS Verma, former chief justice of India and chairperson of the National Humans Rights Commission, drew up a list of dos and don’ts for news channels covering sensitive situations.
Justice Verma says, “The judiciary and media are very powerful, so we must be very careful in our approach. It’s a first-ever industry initiative in this regard. Broadcasters needed a self-regulatory mechanism, rather than somebody else imposing rules on them.”
According to the guidelines, “All telecast of news relating to armed conflict, internal disturbance, communal violence, public disorder, crime and similar situations should be tested on the touchstone of public interest. No live reporting should be made that facilitates publicity of any terrorist or militant outfit or its ideology, or tends to evoke sympathy for the perpetrators or glamorises them or their cause, or advances the illegal agenda or objectives of the perpetrators.”
During the Mumbai attacks, many news channels, including Aaj Tak and India TV, received notices from the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting for their coverage.
The guidelines also emphasise that during live coverage of hostage situations or rescue operations, no details should be broadcast or information given of pending rescue operations, or regarding the number of security personnel involved, or the methods employed by them. Respect should be shown to the dead and their visuals should not be shown on television.
The guidelines suggest that broadcasters should refrain from being in live contact with victims, security forces, or other technical personnel or perpetrators during the course of the incident. Continuous or unnecessary broadcast of archival footage that may agitate the viewers should be avoided. If any such footage is shown, then it should clearly indicate ‘file’, along with date and time wherever feasible.
What will happen in case of non-compliance by the channels? Justice Verma says that though the committee has the power to penalise such errant channels, it wouldn’t want to do so.
“No one can ignore public opinion. If what you are saying is correct and is accepted by them, then there is no question of not following the guidelines. Non-compliance will erode their (the channels’) credibility,” he says.
NBA secretary general Annie Joseph says, “The recent attacks made it extremely urgent that such guidelines be issued at the earliest.”
The history of television is a history of technology and policy,ecnomy and sociology,and entertainmet and news.Television as a medium has never been static.Rather,it evolved through changing technologies,including changes in presentation(such as color programming) and distribution(by cable,satellite,and fiber optics).
The key step was put forward in 1927 when the 1st experimental broadcast was done.The progress was slow but slowed further down,especially, during the post-war period when the different elements like staion owners, set manufacturers,programmers, consumers and advertisers was waiting each other to begin.
THE COIN-and the two sides
Arguments about television donot surprise media historians!!Television has always been a controversial factor.
*Known as a “vast wasteland”, television made us worrying as it presented violent behaviour acceptable in society.Critics have argued that while the ‘idiot-box’ creates pictures in our headsit desroys the power of imagination and thus kills the essence of creativity.Some belive the impact of ads creates unaffordable and unneccessary desire for products and services.At times it destroys the diversity of folk and ethnic cultures and replace it with a consummer culture.
* Turning the coin, we find television expands the world of people.At times, programming pushes cultural boundaries;at other times it reinforces the status quo.It brings the world to our homes and playa wonderful role as an entertainer and informer.
It includes a variety of technologies such as broadcast,cable, satellites,fiber optics, and combinations of these
Four market factors in international televison will determine the nature and extent of imports and exports.
1.availability of distribution systems,
2.avaliability of programming,
3.cultural resistance &
4.international corporate cooperation.
Trends and innovations in television can be categorized according to Technology,Ownership and content.
Technlogy and economics will drive many expected changes.Till now with digital television creeping to our homes we have intereactive televisions at horizon.
With the Telecommunication act on 1996, the ownership was less limted and companies and network grew advancing to reach the horizon.
TELEVISION CONTENT and DIVERSE SOCIETY
The same content reaching reaching different levels of society was suspected.Later changes entered the content being diverse for it diverse audience. Children learnt a great deal about how they should behavefrom watching television.
It is possible that no racial group will constiute a majority in the world in future.Television companies need to do a better jobof representing society if it hopes to attract the world wide audience and to prevent it own replacement by the advancing group of computers!!!
Archive for Television
Source: Ashwini Gangal, afaqs!, Mumbai, March 25, 2011
The FICCI 2011 session began with some hardcore facts and figures, courtesy Cartoon Network’s ‘New Generations 2011′– a research study on Indian kids’ lifestyle and the evolution (over the last 10 years) in terms of their attitudes, behaviours and preferences. The focus of the study was kids in the age group of 7-14 years, belonging to SEC ABC, based in 19 cities, across four states (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra). The study also included face-to-face interviews with the parents of kids in the 4-6 years age band.
Duncan Morris, vice-president, research and market development, Turner International Asia-Pacific shared some eye-opening statistics. It was found that 79 per cent of the respondents are mobile phone users, and 92 per cent of kids have mobile phones in their homes, compared to a mere 17 per cent a decade ago. Also, the research revealed that the number of kids with computers at home has increased from 6 per cent in 2001, to 22 per cent in 2011. Moreover, while a meagre 2 per cent of the homes surveyed had DVD players in 2001, today, the same figure is a whopping 61 per cent.
Additional findings showed that kids in India are more likely to interact with computers and online content than their parents. Specifically, the data revealed the following: amongst internet users, 22 per cent of kids access the internet daily and 67 per cent of kids play online games, followed by 51 per cent of kids listening to or downloading music. While 45 per cent of kids go online to search for information, 26 per cent do so for emailing purposes, 23 per cent for homework and 19 per cent for social networking.
Jargon of the session being ‘i-volution’, the study shed light on how kids today are a highly ‘i-volved’ breed, thanks to all the internet exposure amidst other technology. Duncan shared, “The study showed that today kids are more influential, intelligent and informed than they were a decade back.” He added that TAM data showed that Indian kids’ love for the television has remained stable over the years; in fact, a slight increase over the years was noted.
The average amount of time an Indian kid spends watching television is around two hours and 18 minutes a day, said the data. “Internet usage,” Duncan continued, “has grown, but still has a long way to go in terms of growth.” Further, it was found that beyond television, the usage of second and third screens in homes (internet, mobile) is additive - that is, it does not serve to replace television usage in any way.
Era of Online Gaming
Sharma then began the discussion with, “As the digital space proliferates in the country, it poses both a challenge as well as an opportunity for traditional media.” Regarding online gaming, he added, “It’s a stress buster for kids, especially those without siblings and with limited outdoor place to play. Mumbai is an apt example.”
Parents, he informed, didn’t regard online gaming as taboo any longer as, in their opinion, it instils in their kids a healthy spirit of competitiveness. In fact, even marketers and brand consultants are using this medium to address/target kids. Thus, the medium needs to be appropriately customised by content owners.
Nazara’s Mittersain shared some facts found by his team. “Today, we get around 150-200 game downloads per day; of these, 25 per cent are downloaded by kids aged 7-14 years, or by their parents (for the kids).” Thus began the discussion on ‘edutainment’ in the online space. Much to the delight of those present, Simon said that the multiple screens that are a part of kids’ reality today, give them ‘i-gasm’ and ‘ear-gasms’ (maximum exposure to various kinds of content).
This content, pitched Sharma, though available in abundance, needs to be localised. Suneja said, “Kids’ ability to gravitate towards good content is far better than that of adults. However, the content needs to be marketed properly and a lot of education on the matter is required for the marketing fraternity in India.”
Psychological Hazards Facing ‘Screen-agers’
Psychiatrist Dr Chavda amazed the audience by sharing the possible adverse effects of the media. Overuse and over-exposure is linked to attention deficit disorders, a condition called ’slow media rage’ (akin to road rage, it comprises undue aggression triggered by malfunctioning machines/gadgets), overly aggressive behaviour (as a function of violent video games), and pervasive developmental disorders (for instance, autism).
“The next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) - a compilation of diagnostic criteria for mental illnesses - will include a disorder called ‘Media Addiction’!” he shared, asserting, “Marketers must exercise responsibility and regulation. It is a must.”
The question naturally arises why they prized Rs.100 for all the private channels which they voluntarily join in hands for the sake of free broadcasting. TRAI simply said that this is for cable TV networks and operators. We could see the Doordarshan channels in free of cost if we bought the antenna once in the time of Doordarshan epoch.
Local cable TV networks procuring the broadcast from the cable TV networks and they delivered to the houses of India with hundred fold of profits inclusive of many technical faults.Also the taxes paying to the local governments by the cable TV operators are frivolous.
In foreign countries there are many conditions prevailing to channels pertaining to advertisement. But deplorably we have not formed that types of terms and conditions in our country.Why the government deliberately declines the duly rights of commonalty and proletarian community by forming a new act?
We know what is happening in the case of Mr.Umashankar who crusades ceaselessly for the cause of government cable TV network.It is a well known news in Tamilnadu.
There should be no advertisements in paid channels. The channels which telecast advertisements should be in absolutely free of cost. There should be no agents in delivering the free channels to the people.Now it is the duty of the government.
The program coordinators and directors of television media do not speak the sentences legibly and clearly. We can call them “Tamil killers” or “Tamil destroyers” certain speakers delivers their speech which does not have any sense of meaning. At times they are not all literal. For example “KALAKKAPOVATHU YARRU”,the program telecast on a TV channel, where they exaggerate the level of nature of the program. Compeer of the above told program even does not have a proper pronunciation and grammar in her speech.
Computers do not know clearly how to distinguish the pronunciation of “zha”,La” in Tamil.
Since the culture of a region is decayed, the culture of that community is also destroyed.
There are 233countries where Tamil speaking people live.Televisions are powerful connecting media which unite those people. Among all other language, English is the only one which occupies each words when we speak. Hence the media should nourish the culture and originality of a particular race of people, just by maintaining the language without mixing English with the regional and classical languages.
The following Tamil programs don’t possess its title name in Tamil, such as airtel super singer junior 2, vijay talkies, Dream homes, Kutties club, Dance Jodi, vijay times, top ten movies, comedy times, super ten.
English mixing in Tamil announcement
We can observe this English mixing in Tamil, as Bharathiar said in his poem before 6 decades that “Tamil ini mellachagum”. Tamil channel are responsible for destruction of Tamil language for example, A Tamil compere introduces the judges in Tamil like The one and only Mr.Mano the sweety Shubaji, which are supposed to be told in Tamil.
English dominancy in Advertisement
30% English words dominate in Tamil ads. It shows that Tamil language is perishing gradually. Chellax, Nicyl talcum powder ads attract people just by mixing the English language in Tamil advertisements and destroy the originality of the Tamil
Vernacular style of Tamil:
Television programmers encourage the collocial words instead of speaking correct Tamil for example, “konjam shakiya irrukku”“ungalodu pesina gujalaa irrukku”.
Athu Ithu Ethu is a good title but the participants speak vernacular Tamil. All these issues make us think that there is a scarcity for Tamil words.
Discussion and Conclusion:
Tamil has been recognized as “classical language” but it should be made a living language even is non-Tamil speaking countries. This is possible by only introducing a commonly accepted slang and accent of Tamil. We should not commercially allow the other language words to mix in Tamil. Only then we can protect the uniqueness of Tamil and its originality.
SUBMITTED BY N.VINOTH KUMAR, I MA.COMMUNICATION
Doordarshan still has a wide reach. But to gain credibility and audience share, it must put its house in order first.
An Analysis Published in THE HINDU Sunday Magazine on 24, Oct, 2009
While a fair amount has been written about 50 years of television in India, there has been an unstated assumption that this had to do with Doordarshan alone. It is true that the first decades of television in this country had to do with Doordarshan, since it was the only television channel, but the picture changed dramatically from the early 1990s onwards, as private channels became visible and more and more people began watching them.
Keeping the focus on Doordarshan, though, is useful, as it continued to be — and still is — by far the largest television network in the country, and one can look at what happened to it as private channels emerged and took away more and more of the audiences with glossy entertainment programmes and with slickly presented news bulletins in the news channels that came up, broadcasting round the clock.
Having worked all through their professional lives knowing that they were the only television channel in the country, Doordarshan programme and technical staff were inclined to be a little more casual than was desirable. While this is understandable, the result was at times shoddy programmes, both in terms of content and technical presentation. One needs to ask if the advent of private channels jolted them out of their complacency into presenting better, more professionally made programmes, which they were certainly able to make.
But before one tries to look for answers to that, two major factors must be kept in mind, as they compounded the television scene and made it more complex than it would otherwise have been. One is the fact that private channels emerged and grew with a rapidity that was breathtaking. They developed more and more confident and polished programmes not over years but in months, as they competed not just with Doordarshan but with one another. The other is that, just to make things really messy, Doordarshan was made a part of the ‘autonomous’ corporation called Prasar Bharati as that hastily and most ill-prepared law was brought into effect with even more haste and with less thought than it needed.
Consider how the scenario changed. In 1994 Jardine Matheson brought out a study of television channels in India, reporting on the market share each one had, and the rate of growth. It prefaced this study with the disclaimer that it was not considering Doordarshan, in particular what was then known as the Metro channel, because it was so far ahead of the other channels that the comparisons would make no sense, and this was, the study said, not because it had any inherent advantage in terms of reach but because of the astonishing turnaround it had made to become the foremost of the entertainment channels in the country.
Some years later in the last quarter of 1999, McKinsey made a study of the condition of public service broadcasters around the world in the midst of the plethora of private channels that had come up, and they concluded that the larger public service broadcasters were not just holding their own, but actually shaping audience preferences and thus the nature of programming. They found this was true particularly of those PSBs that were funded by licence fees or by law that put them beyond the reach of the State or of advertising money, and that another major reason for this to have happened was because they continually introspected and reviewed their programme formats and content, and costs. Doordarshan was not even considered among the PSBs they studied world-wide.
The shift in international perception from 1994 to 1999 is too obvious to miss. It is, of course, easy to dismiss these ‘foreign’ assessments as being uninformed — which some people no doubt will declare them to be — but one is deliberately mentioning them as they are more disinterested and therefore dispassionate in their conclusions. They know about Doordarshan, and the two totally different assessments are indicative of where the broadcaster has gone.
True, Doordarshan still has a great reach; but, if one were to leave out those areas where private channels are not visible, what is the audience-share that Doordarshan has? Only DD News has a respectable share, and that is because it is not, as private channels and the print media would have us believe, a mouthpiece of the government of the day. The low-profile hardworking people in DD News have kept it objective, and that is how it is perceived by many more than one thinks. And it does not bring in the mandatory story on a curvaceous film star or celebrity cricketer into each news bulletin as private channels do.
DD News underscores the poignancy of Doordarshan’s predicament. It can be a credible, very widely watched and appreciated network; but it simply must put its house in order. Introspection, in the government and in Prasar Bharati, focused and productive introspection is what is urgently needed, if it is to be a truly effective public service broadcaster.
The writer is former Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and a former Director General of Doordarshan
Online Advertising scales to numero uno at UK
Internet advertising in UK has grown up 4.6% in the first half of 2009 to 1.7 billion pounds according to Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Television Advertising has gone down to 1.6 billion pounds from 1.9 billion, year on year.
Internet accounts for 23.5% of the total market.
More time spent on Online, faster Broadband and sophisticated Online technologies have made this change.
Source: ANI, “Online Advertising beats TV at it in UK”, Brand Line, Page 4, The Hindu Business Line, Coimbatore, October, 8, 2009.
DOOMSDAY FOR NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
For hundreds of years Newspapers have been the main source of information of any kind. But the technological developments in recent times are slowly eradicating the Newspapers existence itself.
For many, a day does not begin without the newspaper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. It is an easing into the day’s routine, while catching up on what happened around the world.
The newspaper, when it started, was a non-profit organization. It’s main objective was to pass on information. Later on, as advertising and marketing trends started increasing, newspapers became the main source of reaching the general public. Soon, newspapers became huge money making business organizations all over the world. And after this, newspapers were solely dependent on ad revenues.
The end of the newspaper is a possibility with many going out of business right now; for the reason that the worldwide reach of the internet is so powerful. Many read their news online nowadays. Many newspapers did not plan ahead enough to move forward into the 21st century. Though some newspapers went online, many failed to do so.
Newspaper companies can survive since they do have some power of readers yet but it is declining fast.
The city of Boston (U.S.A), was faced with the threat of losing its leading newspaper a short while ago. Will the 137 year old GLOBE survive or not, was the question. Even though the Mayor weighed in that the newspaper was crucial for the city, he ruled out any possibility of government assistance. The future of The Globe was in serious doubt as it was in deep financial debt.
The current recession has had a major impact on the Newspaper industry in America. Other dailies such as the Star Ledger of Newark, New Jersey and the San Francisco Chronicle were also subject to a closure threat in order to achieve cost savings. Some newspapers have shut down. The Christian Science Monitor, renowned for its international coverage has stopped printing a daily paper and publishes daily news online and a prints a weekly edition.
While the newspaper goes through a tough phase, so do magazines.
Numbers sometime tell a story, and the figures for Business Week suggest it is having one tough time. McGraw-Hill, which has owned Business Week for 80 yrs now, recently put it up for sale. A handful of potential investors are still looking at the company. Business Week lost more than $43 million last year. A buyer would also have to assume much of the $31.9 million in debt.
Print advertising is down and readers’ attention is being diverted to the Web. Apart from Business Week, rivals like Forbes and Fortune have also been hit particularly hard, as automotive, financial services and technology advertisers have pulled back their marketing spending.
Business Week was buoyed by dotcom advertisements in the late 1990s, and had more than 5,000 ad pages in 1999. Last year, it had only about 1,900 pages. Its share of the as pages among competitors- Fortune, Forbes and Fast Company- has fallen in the last 6yrs.
Ad revenues for newspapers have gone down as well. The Globe saw a drop of 30% in the first quarter. With 24hr news channels and websites that offer much of the news content free, newspapers and magazines are at a critical time in the life cycle.
Another Newspaper which recently went up on sale was The Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper is going through a tough phase incurring million of dollars in debt and is having troubles Union rejected concessions for cutting its losses.
People say the good thing about less newspapers and magazines means less trees will be used that is good thing environmentally. Something about this moment with the thought of the end of the newspaper & magazines forever is sad on some level. Think about the people of the past who created the first newspapers all that work of creative ideas to make the newspaper a reality is special. The newspapers of the past with should never forget what made the paper so wonderful in the first place. Technology is growing at such a fast pace that soon, even books would disappear. The e- publishing is taking over the print media and soon, in a few decades or so, paper/ books would become a thing of the past.
Newspaper: The Hindu
Websites: www.google.com, www.outlookeverything.blogspot.com, www.newspaperdeathwatch.com
Submitted by AK.Shardul (Oct, 2009)