ET Now hires CNBC-TV18 analysts in viewership battle
As many as five technical analysts who used to offer comment to viewers of CNBC-TV18 are switching to ET Now as the Times Group’s business channel seeks to stem the erosion of viewership and make inroads into the share of the market leader.
Starting 13 December, Ashwani Gujral, Sudarshan Sukhani, C.K. Narayan, Rajat Bose and Deepak Mohoni will offer market advice between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, on ET Now.
“These are the biggest and the most respected names in technical analysis,” said Sunil Lulla, managing director and chief executive of Times Television Network, which runs ET Now. “We are not revamping, but adding more cut and thrust to our markets coverage.”
CNBC-TV18 didn’t respond to email, SMS messages or phone calls seeking its views on the move.
TAM Media Research data shows that in the last six months CNBC-TV18 increased its channel share from 46% in June to 52.2% in November, with ET Now dropping from 17% to 13.8%. The viewership of NDTV Profit fell from 26.3% to 21.2% and that of Bloomberg UTV rose from 10.7% to 12.8% during the same period.
English business news channels get a total of about Rs.250-400 crore of advertising revenue annually, according to two media analysts. TAM estimates total viewership for the channels at more than one million.
To be sure, many of these analysts were relatively unknown before they became popular through their appearances on CNBC-TV18. Mint has a content partnership with CNBC-TV18.
“These technical analysts used to move from one business channel to the other. However, around three-four years ago, when competition started building up, business channels started having exclusive deals with them,” said a former CNBC-TV18 employee. He added that business channels are now aggressively “locking in” experts for exclusive deals to tackle competition.
One expert said he’s being paid Rs.500,000-600,000 a month and is on a three-year contract with a guaranteed increment of 15% per year along with an annual review. He declined to be identified. He was getting Rs.1 lakh a month at CNBC-TV18, he said.
The compensation figures could not be independently verified by Mint.
Another analyst who quit CNBC-TV18 to join ET Now said the year-old channel is doing what the current leader did to become No. 1. “ET Now has grabbed the best voices who can give technical advice on markets,” he said.
“ET Now’s strategy of getting all these analysts in this time band (8am to 4pm) could stir the market share of business channels,” said a media analyst who tracks English business news channels closely. He declined to be identified.