In the last decade, Indian television has been virtually re-invented. Right at the centre of its evolution stands NDTV, whose own milestones have been a series of ‘firsts’ for Indian broadcasting as well.
In 1988, New Delhi Television launched a new show, The World This Week. The privately produced weekly half-hour programme, aired on Friday nights on Doordarshan, instantly established new standards for objective and credible reporting.
The early commercial and critical success of this flagship program allowed NDTV to break newer and bigger ground quickly. It became the country's first private news producer.
In 1984, a chartered accountant and an economist who was also a trained psephologist was introduced as the new centre point of televised coverage of India's general elections. His prediction of the results proved to be bizarrely accurate. But it was his ability to translate complicated facts into simple analysis that turned Dr. Prannoy Roy into the journalist that India would depend on, night after night, for its news.
Since then, Prannoy Roy, Chairman of NDTV has anchored thousands of hours of news, live coverage of elections and the government's annual budget.
Equally responsible for leading NDTV's tremendous growth is Radhika Roy, Managing Director of NDTV. Today, she is the Chief Executive Producer of NDTV's content.
Radhika and Prannoy's first episode of The World This Week aired on November 25, 1988. The show was a run-away success, providing Doordarshan with a huge weekly hit, bringing in record-breaking audiences and revenue.
In 1989, NDTV produced India’s first live televised coverage of the country’s general elections. And in February 1995, NDTV became the country’s first private producer of the national news bulletin, The News Tonight. In 1998, NDTV was the sole content provider and producer of India's first 24-hour news channel, Star News.
But the company's biggest milestone was established on April 14, 2003, when NDTV launched two 24-hour news channels – NDTV 24X7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi. In January 2005 the company launched a third 24-hour business news channel – NDTV Profit – which became the market leader within just a few months.
NDTV’s news experience is both completed and enhanced by its website, ndtv.com, India’s No. 1 news and television site.
The year 2006 was significant for NDTV. The company has raised the bar of growth several times and outlined a vision to build a global business.
NDTV Networks, a 100% subsidiary of NDTV was incorporated to seize opportunities in areas ‘beyond news’- entertainment, lifestyle, media technology and outsourcing.
The first channel from NDTV Lifestyle – NDTV Good Times, an up-market lifestyle channel for the global urban Indian was launched in September 2007.
September 2007 also saw the launch of NDTV’s city-centric channel in English – NDTV MetroNation in Delhi. This channel covers local news and gives holistic information about the city. There are plans for more local channels in the major metros of the nation.
NDTV Imagine has been incorporated to spearhead the group’s foray into the biggest and most profitable section of television – mass entertainment. Starting with Hindi General Entertainment, the company will expand into movies, regional youth and kids programming.
The focus of the company from now is on the ‘triple play’. NDTV Convergence will exploit the synergies between television, Internet and mobile. This is a model that is unfolding as the most successful industry standard across the world.
Another arm of NDTV Networks is NDTV Labs, which has been developing top quality media software and technology for captive use. This is now being globally marketed and commercially exploited.
In the outsourcing space, the join venture company NGEN Media Services has received enthusiastic response from global media firms in areas of post production services and digital asset management.
These and other plans to take the NDTV brand global are being rolled out aggressively.
The initial global portfolio of television channels includes the highly successful Astro Awani, one in Indonesia, and the latest one launched in Malaysia in September 2007. NDTV Arabia, catering to the Indian Diaspora, was launched in the Middle East in the same month.
All these channels draw upon the expertise of innovative television built by the company over two decades.
For Indian viewers, NDTV is synonymous with fair, fast and accurate reporting. It breaks ground and others follow. From news to lifestyle, city-centric channels, channels in other countries and a foray into entertainment… it is still breaking new ground.
Its brand values are reflected in its tagline– Experience. Truth First.