29 June 2008

Crime is hot on Indian TV, but it will not pay for long

If there was statistical evidence needed for the overkill that Indian news TV channels are doing with crime stories, especially the Arushi Talwar murder case in Noida/Delhi, it is here.
An article in The Hindu's Sunday magazine says: "A study by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) says that six channels beamed news and special programmes on the double murder for 39.30 hours out of a total 92 hours prime time — from 19:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs — between May 16 and June 7."

Here is my prediction. In the next six months to one year, there will be a dramatic shift away from crime news.

A lot of this had to do in my opinion/interpretation with the prices of television and cable connections dropping to points where TV sets and satellite TV became affordable for millions. This class, which I call the "neo-TV-literate" was wooed with stuff that turned them on in the TRP game. At the same time, the cost of launching new channels and the imperatives of winning market share generated a cycle of "competitive populism" in the space from the supply side.

The cycle is playing out like an IPO boom in the stock market and something -- as they say -- has gotta give.
I do not expect gross TRPs to rule the roost at all and we will have an ordered play of TV news channels. I am not going into the ethical, social and responsibility-related issues here. Some of them are valid, but I don't believe in rantings passing off as informed discourse.

1 comment:

Meera said...

"Here is my prediction. In the next six months to one year, there will be a dramatic shift away from crime news."

Amen to that! Its a relief to hear such a prediction, especially when it comes from a media professional!

:0)