As elections are fast approaching, not only political parties but media channels also started making their moves swiftly. Yesterday, NTV telecast interview with Jagan while TV9 telecast interview with Lokesh. Channels competing with each other with this kind of competing programs is not new. But as this is election year, people are keenly observing the moves of each channel too. While some see telecasting competing programs as TRP race between the channels, some read between the lines and analyze it as power show rather than TRP race because TRPs to interviews of political leaders is almost megligible.
NTV: It is known news that NTV has supported Jagan before 2014 elections. NTV-Neilson Org surveys always predicted Jagan’s thumping victory -be it bye-elections or main elections. But after elections (to be specific, after Kommineni’s exit), NTV stayed neutral. So, now suddenly NTV getting Jagan’s exclusive interview is seen by some analysts as an attempt to slowly tilt towards Jagan in the upcoming election year. If this is true, we can see NTV supporting Jagan full-fledge in next one year span.
TV9: Many people now accuse TV9 to be strong supporter of TDP as it focuses mainly on TDP activities and gives just a bare minimum coverage to Jagan. The allegation became stronger after TV9 gave “too much of coverage” to Kathi Mahesh and Sri Reddy who targeted Janasen chief Pawan Kalyan incessantly. Later Pawan to labelled TV9 as part of “yellow” media indicating it as supporter of TDP. However, if we observe theis channel over a longer period of time, TV9 ALWAYS supported RULING party. Since 2004 to 2009, TV9 strongly supported Congress and YSR. TDP and CBN never got support in TV9 those days. In fact there were several programs that ridiculed CBN’s “two eyes” theory on Telangana. For the same reasons, between 2004 and 2009 it dealt KCR also same way as CBN. Some people still remember how TV9 made fun of inebriated KCR falling after stepping down from a helicopter. During 2009-2014, until 2013(before bifurcation decision announced) it supported Congress and Kiran Kumar Reddy government. From 2013-2014 it stayed neutral and after 2014, it supported TDP strongly.
NTV with Jagan and TV9 with Lokesh: So now, as TV9, which is number one channel,is supporting TDP, probably NTV, which is at 2nd place, may want to support Jagan. As per reports, even though other channels too approached Jagan in the past, he never gave interviews to other (Telugu) channels except Sakshi. So now, as he agreed for NTV interview, immediately TV9 brought-in Lokesh on to the screen. While NTV’s interview with Jagan shows their intention to lean towards Jagan in the election year, TV9’s ability to get IT minister Lokesh’s interview so fast indicates their good “rapport” with him.
But one thing needs to be noted here is – the more these channels exhibit their political allegiance to particular party, the less power they will have in “molding the opinion” of people. Because people could clearly see the motto of the channels in every news and every analysis they air as they their political allegiance.