Blog Post

A New Channel Is Born: ET Now Goes On Air With ‘The Economic Times Advantage’

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

After a rather long wait, ET Now, the fourth English business news channel in India, went on air this morning as part of a phased rollout and is available on some of the major cable networks. ET Now is broadcast by Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, which publishes The Economic Times, India’s largest business daily. ET Now will be up against CNBC TV18, the incumbent market leader in the space, which has defined and dominated the segment for several years now. The other players in the market are NDTV Ltd’s NDTV Profit and UTVi from UTV Software Communications Ltd. According to audience research firm TAM Media Research, in April, CNBC TV18 had a 66% market share in the business news segment, while NDTV Profit had 25% and UTVi, 9%.

ET Now’s biggest ally in this battle will be its access to the newsroom of The Economic Times, which is the foremost business news brand in India and also a formidable act to beat when it comes to access and breaking news. What will make this segment interesting is that CNBC TV18 is just as formidable when it comes to business news on TV. Ahead of the ET Now launch, CNBC TV18 forged a content alliance with HT Media’s business daily Mint.

The company was not forthcoming on the project–BCCL CEO Ravi Dhariwal said he could comment only once the channel is fully rolled out. Times Global Broadcasting CEO Chintamani Rao said is an emailed response to a questionnaire: “As its advertising says, ET NOW is The Economic Times advantage on television! The Economic Times is India’s premier source of news for and about business, and now it’s on television.”

The business news segment attracts advertising spends of Rs350 crore annually, said Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal, a media buying agency. She estimates that of this, CNBC TV18 corners about Rs250 crore. The entrance of ET Now will expand this market, she said. “There is definitely scope for ET to expand its equity on TV, I’m sure the channel will do extremely well. It will expand the market rather than cannibalising the competition.” She doesn’t expect a rapid viewer migration, however. “CNBC TV18 has been around for a long time. Media consumption habits don’t change very quickly.”

ET Now Day One Review

The channel looks slick, the promos, the packaging and graphics are top notch and there were relatively few glitches for a newly on-air channel. Cuts to the ET newsroom and live press conferences, co-anchoring from multiple broadcasting centres–all worked smoothly. The production quality of the feature programming on the evening band was good, if not spectacular. During the crucial market hours, the channel was very competitive, even though, for better or for worse, it didn’t have the range of external commentators TV18 features regularly. It will also be a while before the anchors assume the same level of confidence as the veterans on TV18.

What pleased us the most: The integrated newsroom is more than a buzz word for the channel. The degree of integration was impressive, with ET reporters coming on through the day. At least on day one, it seemed like the ET Newsroom was available on call. It remains to be seen how sustainable this is. If an ET reporter comes on air many times in a day on a developing story, she will be squeezed for time for the print duties and also to do the actual, time consuming reporting. If anybody can pull off an integrated TV-print newsroom, however, it will be ET, with more reporters than its competitors by a huge margin. And if there’s anything TV18 must worry about immediately, it will be this–the combined might of ET and ET Now, in news gathering as well as advertising offers. TV18’s plans for a business daily may be revived sooner than later.

There were minor glitches–anchors looking into the wrong camera, gesturing without realizing they are on air, wrong visuals with some stories and a two-second-too-long lag when Mumbai and Delhi broadcasting centres were communicating with each other. But we were impressed with how much went right, compared with the little that went wrong.

In all, a competitive news channel has been delivered. Is the offering compelling enough for you to switch from TV18 during market hours? Not as of today, but it’s too early to pass that judgment. If the channel consistently breaks stories in real time while serving up competitive market hours coverage, that might soon become a serious question.

28 Responses to “A New Channel Is Born: ET Now Goes On Air With ‘The Economic Times Advantage’”

  1. ramakrishjna

    ET is well known to everybody. i’m sure if the channel also enter into the market then the competitors are step down to face the ET channel.

  2. I was watching this morning the Zig Wheels Show and it is very irritating for the host to pronounce the “Lambroghini”. Pick people at least who can pronounce the names correctly. He was butchering all the names of these beautiful cars. You guys in TV have to stop the damn fake English accent. It is very irritating to hear you to pronounce certain words. Breaking the consonants and vowels in wrong place. Have all your anchors and hosts go through English language training.

  3. chandankumar

    hey its really amazing getng updates from ET. em from pakistan, kindly let me know the satelliate frequency and the setup needed to watch this channel live.

  4. <a href="

    ET officials are yet not offering any comments on the channel, but sources close to the scene inform that the channel officials are working on putting its distribution in place.

  5. Superb……………This will definatly beat all competative with RRR style…….Red Rocksolid Restless >>>ET NOW.
    All the Very Best

  6. R K Sinha

    I have liked the quality of print and content. Howevr, there is a big gap between the video and audio as a result the overall impact is horrible. Hope corrective measures are underway to make this channel attractive.

  7. The era embarks that the electronic will soon take over print. The electronic will be in the main league supported by print that’s the future…welcome to digitalization..

  8. nishantesh

    Good channel cnbc is already facing heat.Since cnbc launch some 8 yrs ago they hv never promted channel now they had come with ad CNBC TV 18 it is my religion there r more exclusives.

  9. avinash

    looks very promising. breaking news on day one itself. look very clean. clutter free and international. CNBC and NDTV looks like they want to give everything and anything at one go. hate it!!

  10. shekhar

    it has come out very well, am looking forward to watch regularlly, because ET is my business papaer which i read every day . i sure compitetors will have tuff time..

    wishing you the best of luck..

  11. rakesh

    i think ETNow is worlds better than NDTV Profit – the 4 scrolling tickers is ridiculous. and given that the channel is on its first day live, im really impressed by the content quality and the quality of the broadcasters.

    watch out CNBC

  12. ganesh

    It's content appears to be good but the video is dull
    it is hard to believe as it comes from the Times Group. I rate the other channels in this order -CNBC , UTV, NDTV Profit and Zee business.

  13. Even though the content was good,the looks of the channels and the colours of the tickers were dull compared to NDTV profits.Financial community is looking for a something new rather than one more business channel.
    Surprisingly the author has forgot to mention about Zee business which reflects the lack luster performance of the channel and warns ET now of such disaster.

  14. Sachin

    ET Now is looking very good. Getting reporters from print ET injects the much needed wisdom and expertise which Indian news channels have hitherto lacked.