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Does the Nation really Want to Know ?

A warm welcome to 2015. I thought we might  begin the year by considering the evolution of a true blue media phenomenon.

Super prime time is a phrase coined by Times Now. To indicate that no other news channel, and in fact very few programs, compare with the TRPs generated by Times Now. But think again. Can Times Now itself compete with the Newshour, aka Super Primetime. Not a chance.

So all the evidence points clearly to one man. The one and only

He is in equal measure derided and adored. One story doing the rounds is about a gentleman who tried to call him on his phone. I believe the voice on the answering machine didn't allow him to complete his request!! The other day, when I related this story at some forum I had two folks from the audience who chided me during the coffee break for ridiculing their all time favorite TV personality.

What makes him the standalone phenomenon that he has come to be in the world of broadcast news?

To a lot of people he is the ultimate loud mouthed loose cannon. Many would question his ability to conduct a decent tea conversation, leave alone a television debate. Did I mention that in real life he is one of the most polite and charming listeners I have ever run into? (Disclosure: I have had that opportunity precisely twice). Once at a speakers' enclosure of some seminar I watched him charm the hind legs off a handful of politicos (including a particularly supercilious know all) and some sundry tycoons. He listened, engaged politely and had them eating out of his hands in ten minutes.

Surprised? Well I was almost in shock. Is this same man I see at 9 pm conducting a daily bar room brawl on television. Making jingoistic accusations across the border, browbeating politicos et al. You bet it was.

After many conversations with the other side, i.e. those who cannot digest their dinner without the Newshour, I finally thought I had him nailed down. He is the master marketer. He has opportunity, psychographics and market sizing mapped out to a nicety. He has responded with product, positioning and place to perfection.

Here's my take on the genius of the man: he invites you every day over dinner for a game of bloodlust. He carefully gathers people that some of us would like to really have a go at. (I keep wondering why those Paki generals and some party spokespersons keep coming back for more). And then he does exactly that. He takes a full blooded swing at them on your behalf. The dinner tastes much better, digests easier and you love the man. You can't get enough of it. He extends the Newshour to the Ninety Minute Lynch. You scream for more. And there you have it: Super Primetime!! Indian Television's Magnum Opus.

Is this a lucky strike? Is it a momentary blip?
I don't think so. Somebody at NYU's media discipline recently wrote that everywhere in the world there is " a market for bias" based on mass insecurity. Politicians, religious leaders and smart media people understand this very well.

Does the nation really want to know? I'm not sure. But many of us certainly want to throw a few blows.

You can bet your bottom advertising dollar on that. 


Pavan Padaki said...

Brilliant articulation- " a market for bias" based on mass insecurity."
It is the new 'Mass-Niche'. The popularity of the brand will be directly propositional to the size of this mass X The extent of insecurity.
No wonder it enjoys a Super Prime time slot.

Pavan Padaki
Author: Brand -Vinci

Pavan Padaki said...

I like this insight:'everywhere in the world there is " a market for bias" based on mass insecurity.'

I would like to add, 'There is always a market for "mass aspiration" based on greed.