Bangalore: Kannada news channel – News First completed one year in the industry. The Channel was launched on Sept 20, 2020.
“The pre-launch messaging about “Quality Andhray News First, News First Andhray Quality” (Quality means -News First, News First means Quality) appears to have struck a chord with audiences,” the Channel said in a statement.
News First launched an awareness campaign on the pandemic and took the campaign to the villages with “Hallee Chalo” (Let’s go Village-ward, drive away Corona – Save Villages). The movement was latched onto by the state and central governments. This led to renewed Covid awareness and action in villages. The government and people met a city-focused Covid awareness campaign, My City, My Safety, for Bengaluru’s apartment complexes with equal interest.
Apart from relentless Covid coverage, News First has got noticed for a clutch of people-centric and inspirational programming, include Nimma Paravagi (On behalf of the common man), Naanu Nanna Sadhana (Recognising Business Achiever’s from Tier 2 – Tier 3 cities), Yaavdhu Asaadhya Valla (Nothing is impossible), Vijayaee Bhava (May victory be with you), Idhidhu Idhange (News as it is) Mane Mane Meenakshi (Every household has a lady who loves TV serials) News First, in fact, has a lot going for it.
Fast News, drag-free News, scream free News, more news breaks and exclusives than any other channel, high-quality graphics, tastefully done upsets, anchors who look the part, and strong content focus. India First, Prime Show, etc., rule the prime brand. Via frequent fast news shows spread through the day, News First ensures more on an average than any other Kannada news channel.
Speaking on the achievement News First CEO, S Ravikumar – CEO, News First said, “Well begun is well, done. One can’t say half done so early in a brand’s life. More so in the year of the pandemic. We’ve done well under the circumstances, I should say. Market and audience feedback has been encouraging. We’ve covered all of Karnataka cable and DTH homes. The team has lived up to its potential. Some of our shows have received good traction. But when excellence is ideal, there is always room for improvement.” The withdrawal of BARC ratings upset our plans. Any strategic maneuvering can be done only after the ratings are out. But we are optimistic about our brand’s performance and hence the ratings.” Even before the Channel launched, there was a lot of buzz about the brand. Primarily because the promoters Ravi & Maruthi with their core team had built TV9, Kannada.”
He further added, “Post-launch, the hype has stayed true. There is a lot of market interest in the brand. The content, delivery, and anchoring are getting noticed. The Kannada news market was full of me-too brands. News First comes as a breath of fresh air. Quality is something they promised. Quality is something they are delivering. The channel aesthetics, for instance, stand out. So, anyone flipping channels can stay for a glance.”
“In many cases that’s all it takes to convert a cat on the wall viewer. Grabbing the floating viewer is the key. There are many of them out there eager to stay. News First has definitely made a start by holding this viewer tired of noise and news drag. Even their non-prime time programming like Mane Mane Meenakshi and Vijayee Bhava are being talked out. It shows that the team is—definitely and content firm—definitely early days. But the brand has an X factor not seen for a while in Kannada news. They may just be the differentiator in the Kannada news market,” Ravikumar concluded.
SH Maruthi – Editor in Chief, said, “The program names aren’t run of the mill or copy-pasted from national channel shows. Previously known words and phrases have been brought to life as program names across different time bands. The catchy program names are meant to create a sense of belonging in audiences. The rediscovered names are meant to make audiences feel one with the brand and experience an indescribable gush of emotions. News First is making all the right noises. The BARC rating withdrawals were a downer. But they don’t seem to have diminished hopes about the brand’s perception. Ratings are likely to be out anytime soon.”
S Divaakar – Business Head said, “Milestones are key moments in the life of any brand. We are happy to have reached the one-year milestone. A century of sorts during cricketing times! Always a good feeling. However, we are aware that it’s just the beginning of an indifferent year. We have a long way to go. The market is easing up after the lockdowns. As soon as BARC eases up on the ratings, the game will truly be on !” On social media, too, News First has shown they are second to one. News First has been a consistent No: 2 on Youtube. In fact, on occasions, News First has beaten the No: 1 channel on Youtube. It has been amongst the Top channels on Facebook. It is a matter of time before we know if News First measures up to the markets’ performance yardsticks. Till then, we’ll let the team revel in their first anniversary moment!”