ET NOW has newly added Prime time debate show, The India Development Debate coinciding with ‘Rise With India’ proposition, pitted as the most intellectual news debate on Indian television that is being anchored by the Lead Anchor and Managing Editor of the channel Sandeep Gurumurthi along with Supriya Shrinate.
This debate show engages the most erudite experts to discuss subjects that affect India’s holistic development and imagery on every Monday to Friday at 9:00 PM.
Speaking exclusively on the latest developments in the channel and on the newly launched show “The India Development Debate”, Sandeep Gurumurthi briefed us as following:
1) How different is this debate from the debate on the News Channels?
It is radically different from every debate show in the country. Our endeavor is to put India’s development at the core of the public discourse. So therefore not only is the choice of topics that we debate very different but even the nature of speakers. From topnotch economists to policy makers, the pedigree of guests on the show is also a key differentiator. The idea of this show is not to manufacture outrage but to help India develop and to help every Indian rise with India
2) Do Debates act as the major drivers of viewership in News Channel/ Business Channel?
We are not doing this debate show with the intent to drive viewership. We are doing this show with the intent of being change agents. For a business channel, bulk of our viewership comes from market hours. But I do believe a lot of non-business viewers will switch to ET NOW to watch the India Development Debate. Frankly today no one is talking Development. So it is neither a ‘business channel’ issue nor a ‘general news channel’ issue. We will own this space and make others follow suit.
3) After this experiment of moving beyond market hours helped ET NOW to gain Market Shares?
We are already among the most watched English news channels in the country.
4) Don’t you think debates imposes too much of views than the News Content…?
Depends on the nature of the debate and also on the anchors. I think our debates are solution-oriented, so while we don’t thrust our viewers with our views, we do look at finding solutions to the key issues affecting India’s development.
5) Cracker crackdown, Delhi metro fair hike, Farm loan waivers, Bullet train project – 4 issues raised on India Development Debate will the issues /remedies be carried forward to a conclusive end i.e will the suggestions be placed before relevant authorities?
Infact we are going a step ahead. In a lot of these debates we actually get policy makers on the show to help find solutions. E.g. on GST, we got CEO’s, economists, tax experts on a platform with the Revenue Secretary to thrash out the immediate tweaks needed to smoothen the transition. In just 3 weeks we have had PiyushGoyal (railway minister), JayantSinha (mos aviation), Rajiv kumar( vice chairman- Nitiayog), Amitabh Kant ( CEO- NitiAyog), HasmukhAdhia ( Revenue Secy) participate in the show.
6) Would you expect them to create an Impact in the respective corners…
How would be able to achieve it…?
Yes, that’s the only reason we are doing this.
7) What’s Market share of ET NOW vis a vis your competition
Depends on who you define as competition. In the 6 metro cut, we are the 3rd most watched English news channel (Source: BARC| 22+ M AB| 6 Metros| Wk 32-41’17| All Days; 24 Hrs| Rank basis 3 EBN and 7 EGN channels) Not too many people realise that It’s something I can live with. Specific to the business news category, I would urge everyone to look at the data in a more granular manner. ET NOW gets bulk of its viewership from 6 metro markets, which are core business/news markets. There are business news channels that claim to be leaders and get 40% viewership from Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam. I have raised it with BARC several times and I hope they will look into it, because these anomalies do affect credibility.
8) Won’t you end up competing with you own Channels like TIMES NOW and MIRROR NOW.
I don’t necessarily think so. Both those channels have a different value proposition for the viewer.
Sandeep Gurumurthi, the Lead Anchor and Executive Editor of Times Network’s Business News Channel ET NOW, anchors the prime-time flagship Business Tonight @ 9pm, daily market news bulletin and Markets@Lunch.