Kannada TV News Channels : The war is on for Supremacy

Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

Bangalore, Feb 27: It is simple economics that a good product is able to find a place for itself even when the market is overcrowded.  But at the same time it is said that it is not wise decision to enter into a crowded market.   The product in question here is the Kannada news channels that have mushroomed in our state and it would be preposterous to say the latest entrant into the field is not wise enough to enter into the already crowded market.   Throwing aside this conventional  wisdom Kannada News channels in the state have grown rapidly and there are additions to the existing ones which make the fight for supremacy for grabbing the viewer’s eyeballs quite a byzantine task if not an impossible one.

So  for  all those who still doubt whether there is space for one more news channel to make it 7 in all apart from the 11 general entertainment Kannada channels,  it is only a matter of time before they are able to get an fitting answer.  This debate has come to the fore with the recent addition of Public TV of former Kannada Prabha and Suvarna Channel’s News Editor H R Ranganth, to the existing stampede of channels.   With one more player in the market   the fight for the top slot in the small screen is going to generate more heat and the clamor for ‘breaking news’ is sure to witness a new high (or is it low?).  One-time firebrand journalist H R Ranganath being at the helm of affairs at Public TV has only added more nosiness and intensity to the existing fight for supremacy among channels for grabbing eyeballs. 

Everyone is waiting with baited breath to know whether Ranganth’s name alone is suffice for the general public to sit up and take notice of Public TV and thus threaten the domination of TV9.  All said and done, ultimately the question zeroes on not about this channel finding a niche but on whether it is going to make any difference at all.   

Public TV which was went live on February 12, 2012 and 7 channels are now competing and combating with one another to climb to the top with ‘breaking news’ of every possible kind.  Public TV has become the 7th Kannada news channel of the state which will fight it out with Udaya News, T V 9 Karnataka, Suvarna News, Samaya, Kasturi and Janashree News channels, with each one trying new stratagem to garner public attention. 

Ranganath is believed to be a straight forward and dispassionate journalist though there is certainly a question mark on his own integrity.  Some have openly questioned his integrity as his name is embroiled in a site he got allotted to himself under discretionary quota during the regime of S M Krishna even as he went on unleashing tirade against politicians doing so in the umpteen number of TV shows he anchored when he was in Suvarna TV.  Whether this channel will make any difference to the existing media scene, is what we have to wait and watch.

Udaya TV was the first Kannada satellite channel to go on air in 1994.  The entry of TV 9 owned by Ravi Prakash of Sneha Television Network in 2006 opened a new chapter in the field of Kannada news channels with its aggressive journalism.  Kasturi News 24 owned by Anita Kumaraswamy (wife of H D Kumaraswamy) with its tagline ‘muktha, nirbheetha and nyayasammatha’ entered the field in 2007.  Suvarna News 24X7 owned by MP and businessman Rajeev Chandrashekar came in 2008 followed by Samaya TV owned by Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani in 2010.  Janashri entered the already crowded scene in 2011 and is owned by Gali Janardhana Reddy, though there are rumours doing the rounds that the channel has changed the hands a few months ago.  

Now Public TV has entered scene with a bang and is trying to ride high in the name of H R Ranghanath who promotes the channel through the company he promoted Writemen Media Pvt Ltd., which he says, is an independent company.  Public TV claims it has not received funding from politicians or businessmen, which sounds quite phony because according to simple arithmetic and as per general industry perception floating a regional channel requires a capital expenditure to the tune to 45 to 50 crores.  From where Ranghanath has been able to manage these funds (not possible just being a journalist) will come out in the open sooner than later.

Leaving that aside, it must be noted that of the four southern states Karnataka’s position is not very strong vis-à-vis its southern counterparts be it in media market coverage is concerned or with regard to the strong political allegiance or views are concerned.  As compared to the other four states Karnataka is said to be small market and the presence of so many channels always leaves a question mark as to how long they will be able to carry on the competition or sustain it and with what credibility, considering that most of these channels are owned directly by politicians belonging to different political parties or has the backing of different political parties.  Having realized the role played by the media in shaping public opinion politicians thought it idoneous to start their own channels.  The result, as we know, media is completely under the control of politicians and businessmen, which surely, does not augur well for a democratic set up like ours.  

The general public can only expect the channel war to reach its nadir in the days to come. TV 9, which is now riding high having topped the TRP’s overtaking Udaya News, is not going to treat the competition cavalierly.  Known for its racy and raunchy stories, which sometimes border on sensationalism, it is sure to use every trick up the sleeve to face the competition. One wonders what kind of sting operations the viewers will be presented with in the days to come.  One can recall the faux pas it committed by TV9 with its erroneous report on pulse polio in 2008. Public TV comes at a time when the political situation in the country is quite volatile and when the state is getting ready for the assembly elections within a year or so.  

At the moment TV9, Udaya, Suvarna and Janashree are giving each other a tough time and Public TV has only added to this challenge with its presence.  Crime, sex, scandals, sensationalism and political voyeurism and breaking news apart from ordinary events and happenings are the fodder on which these channels survive.  Of course Janashree TV has not succumbed to the temptation of sensationalizing for crime-based stories, a welcome departure indeed.

How these channels will conduct themselves in the course of next few years will be crucial.  In the entire fiasco the viewers will have no other option but to keep changing channels in their search for credible or unbiased channel for news and views. 



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Comment on this article

  • Umesh, bangalore

    Fri, Jul 10 2015

    Hi, i watch mibinum4 hours of news in a day.as per me Best News channel is ETV NEWS KANNADA, THEN TV9,after that Samaya tv.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • vinay , bangalore

    Wed, Jul 01 2015

    i love public tv channel best and jennies, good hard working...
    and you people are giving use full news and messages............
    and thankful to ranganath sir

    DisAgree [3] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • vinay , bangalore

    Wed, Jul 01 2015

    i love public tv channel best and jennies, good hard working...
    and you people are giving use full news and messages............

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Divyatej H N, Mysore

    Fri, Mar 20 2015

    according to me public tv is the best news channel in karnataka the whole karnataka people wants the daredevil journalist like h r ranganath..

    DisAgree [9] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kishori Karmarimath, Haveri

    Sat, Dec 27 2014

    I like TV9 the most that too Sheetal Shetty is my favourite news reader bt nowadays she isn 't . The way she ends sentence n explains d thing n vry nice pitch of voice. I am her fan n even I practiced reading news xatly like her.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mahesh, Bangalore -Suggatta

    Thu, Dec 11 2014

    I like Public tv Mr Ranganath Hr sir explanation is Very good , I like HR ,Harish ,Radha Public TV is the No 1 channel in karnataka

    DisAgree [6] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • gurudath, banglore

    Fri, Nov 21 2014

    Tv 9 is the best one for ever,but nwadys public is also providing good news and I like raganath sir anchoring and his way of approaching people..

    DisAgree [6] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Siddhappa, Bangalore

    Thu, Oct 09 2014

    TV9 is the best and genuine. The presentation is outstanding.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Papu,

    Fri, Aug 30 2013

    I love udaya t v somuch

    DisAgree [10] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Apr 21 2013

    Suvarna news 24*7
    good channel,tv9 also good both are top channels

    DisAgree [8] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gururaj, Bangalore

    Mon, Feb 25 2013

    From My Point Of View TV9 is best and we can tv9 as a king maker, all the kannada news channel learnt how to present news to the public from the TV9(except Udaya news),thats the reason they are still on the top of the table. they deserves it..............

    DisAgree [9] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • santosh, gulbarga

    Fri, Dec 28 2012

    TV 9 is like a govt. channel & rest of all are pvt. ones.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • poornesh, bangalore

    Fri, Aug 31 2012

    i think suvarna news best news channel. resent days coming very good program i like anchoring style of mr raghanath bhardawj and hamid palya and one more person is mr gaurish akki

    DisAgree [12] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • janasri news, punith GN s/o nijalingappa gattigunda(v) kolagondanahalli(p) kodihalli(h) kanakapura(t) ramanagaram

    Sun, Jul 29 2012

    I like all news chanel all news therfore ilove and likejanasrinews

    DisAgree [8] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manju from Malaysia, Malaysia

    Wed, Jul 18 2012

    SUVARNA NEWS is better then any news channel in india, before suvarna news i was watching tv9 but now to watch tv9 will get bore, suvarna news presentation,clarity and over all its the king of all news channels in Karnataka.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Mysore

    Tue, May 15 2012

    Looks like most of the news channel are funded by political party. New Entry is Public TV looks to be unbaised and appreciate the effort of Ranganath owner. He has a very good knack in explaining in details about any news which attracts. Lets see how Public TV future goes without support of Politicians........

    DisAgree [12] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pradeep CS, Mysore

    Thu, Mar 29 2012

    I like Janashree TV, its not at all having any shade of Janardhana Reddy, may be some influence of Shree Ramulu, but overall its performance is very good.
    Ananth Chinivar DIKKU DESE is very good debate program.

    All the best

    DisAgree [13] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • niharika gowda , bangalore

    Thu, Mar 22 2012

    t v 9 Kannada is good forever

    DisAgree [14] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • latha, Tumkur

    Wed, Mar 21 2012

    Karnataka state Budget highlights 2012-13

    DisAgree [5] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Mar 20 2012

    it is good

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • JohnS, A,BIDAR

    Fri, Mar 16 2012

    this is very Good news chanel. i like it.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr. Gopalan Puthusseri, Karkala

    Wed, Mar 14 2012

    Tv9 started a very peculiar way of presenting news by pronouncing words split-in at unwanted places and ending sentences with an awkward style. Suvarna started well, but followed TV9 in style. Very irritating way of presentation. One lady news reader (Ms. Soumya?) has developed a peculiar style of ending sentences - very shrill ending deliberately developed(?)to look special???. pronounce the words as it is in its natural kannada way and make hearing the news pleasant. Too garish appearance by some of the anchors is not appreciable.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.H.M.M.Patel, Mysore

    Wed, Mar 14 2012

    All the the channels owened or controled by the politicians.....then how can we expect a fair news from the news channelsAll most all channels are one sided ( Party sponcerd)

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • dattu, kpl

    Thu, Mar 08 2012

    both are channel same but do not followup news. only at present hailet and forget the news

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudharsan Shetty, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Tue, Feb 28 2012

    Pramod Suvarna, Derebail / Mangalore if the media channels camera goes towards your secular party kangress people then there we will so many news makers from your so called secular party kangress, but your kangress support media channel cameras never goes towards your kangress people.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pramod Suvarna, Derebail / Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 28 2012

    whichever is the news channel, but our yeddyji is the news maker. jai ho yeddy saab

    DisAgree [7] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Tue, Feb 28 2012

    Ritesh Shetty, Mangalore/Nagalore

    I agree with you.

    H R Ranganath is a good thinker and analyst. But he does monopoly. He ignores other people in the news desk. It is a bit non-sense. Sometimes I feel he is telling some story while reading news...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul samad, mangalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012


    DisAgree [13] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohandas Kapikad, Mangaluru

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Most TV channals are behind TRP rating, & are craze with giving foolish news, highlighting rape stories, pralaya & exagarations, slapping their own back as top rated channels.

    All channels should learn ethics from basic & telecast with sense. The wrong news published or news published in wrong way will be watched by people across state.
    'Ethics first - Publicity last'

    DisAgree [2] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Louis, Kuwait

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Suvarna 24x7 is the best channel, they caught porn MLA's watching porn Video. TV nine is busy in film news n always busy in telecasting Bhootha n Pretha stories. Busy in slapping it's on back. TV9 loosing it's credit after Suvarna news came into  existence. Udaya news pro congres. Janashri pro BJP. Etv is neutral.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesha Hosakere, Bangalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    I have lot of respect towards H R Ranganath who have started Public Tv.
    I believe he will do justice for the same.I want all culprits to be exposed so that people can understand the double game of all politicians.
    Best of luck for u and ur future.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ritesh Shetty, Mangalore/Nagalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    It is a big torture to watch Public TV Ranganath on air. In fact he never acts as a journalist, he thinks himself as a great scholar or political leader. Please take the back seat and make a way for the emerging journalists.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh, Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 18 2013

    Ranganath is a perfect person for a news channel & we dont need a profesional journlism...He speaks pratical and we need those speech....

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manvit, Kudla

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Call Suvarna news for their live chat on any discussion, first they ask you whetehr you talk for BJP or against it, if you say against BJP they say they will call you back. But they never call you back, thats why if you watch these programms all people talk against BJP, its just to make the people fool.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidanand Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Now a day, people watch News channels when they left with no choice for good program. Cinema channels are bored with same repetition of old Movies or unwanted new movies. Sports channels are getting bored just because Indian Teams are losing every now and then, serials are never ending as well as with some non-ethical stories. Since we have so many channels, just for fun or time pass keep on changing the channel till you get sound sleep.

    Some discussions forum gone so awkward that hoist of the program never allow others to express their opinion fully and some time all are talking but no one is listening. Frankly speaking we never remember what the yesterday’s news in any channel was

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ganesh, Mangaladevi, Mangalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    i think TV9 is doing good job, many criminals and corrupt officer and politician behind the bar, because of TV9.
    for simple reason: one week i did not get this cannel i am watching other news channel but their communication is very poor.
    but TV9 is sound and communication very good. what ever it i like only channel u can give good report like corrupt officer, and corrupt politician. some channels don't. have power to publish against corrupt politican and police dept. but Tv 9 not worried about all this thinks.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • vinay naik, mangalore /dubai

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    most of the news channel main revenue comeing from blackmail.otherwiswe no revenue.also indirectly punding from political party

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Suraj, Mangalore/Dubai

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Suvarna is best for Karnataka TV 9 we getting more news from Andhra

    DisAgree [6] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse


    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    I LIKE this

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh Shetty, Bangalore/Kudla

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru i feel Janasri is the better kannada channel now. Rest all the kannada channels are agents of Congress and JDS.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • shahnawaz kukkikatte, dubai/udupi

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Some channels have alignment with political parties, some are pro congress and some are pro BJP and some are pro communists and some are pro communual. Some channels are there to make money and blackmail by sting operations. The journalistic ethics have been compromised...Forget about the regional channel, even the national and international channels are biased..God alone knows the truth. Anyway journalism has grown very well in India and would continue to grow. But they should work in the best interest of community, peace, nation, truth and act as bonding agent between different faiths and communities...should work as watch dog against social evil practices, alcoholism, corruption, female foeticide, dowry, caste system etc etc....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Walter, Mangalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    All the the channels owened or controled by the politicians.....then how can we expect a fair news from the news channels

    DisAgree [6] Agree [55] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    The craze for English in these Kannada channels are not lost.
    'Breaking News', 'BIG NEWS', etc . etc. Many a times the 'breaking news'are restraint drainers. 'Break or be Broke' seems to be the motto of these channels nowadays. These news
    contents in thses 'breakers' are often suicides,accidents, killings etc.These have no repititive values but are aired till one is disgusted. 'BIG NEWS" does not even have that 'little' to make one sit up and watch. Many of the programmes, serials etc are 'direct lifts' from the more popular Hindi Counterparts.
    The less said of the 'humour or comedy programmes' the better!

    These channels now having 'political bosses'can never ever give us the 'true or unbiased picture'. The pictures therefore are bound to be 'coloured and dirty'. They can give only 'Odeda Suddi' or 'Kattarisuva Suddi'(Kannada Transalation for 'Breaking News!!)

    DisAgree [2] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Rao, Mangalore/Udaipur

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Of course the number of Kannada news channels has increased over the years. But who cares about the quality? In the name of getting viewership all most all channels are reporting only cheap political, crime related or unnecessary items in the name of news. You must have seen many channels are thriving on murder, rape or accident stories…or even daily household quarrels which can happen at any time next to your door!! Also all most all channels use buffoon like specimens, who will be talking nothing other than nonsense! Why cannot these channels, if they do not have their originality just imitate English news channels like NDTV 24X7 or CNN-IBN? Can Burkha Dutt, Prannoy Roy, Vikram Chandra, Rajdeep Sardesai teach these something so called as… journalism??

    DisAgree [9] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • paddu, mangalore

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Here Suvarna news channel acting like Congess agent..

    DisAgree [24] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Mon, Feb 27 2012

    Suvarna News is the Best channel.

    TV9 is losing its scene in state..

    Kumaraswamy's Kasturi news channel is used only to blame Congress and BJP..

    DisAgree [21] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Kannada TV News Channels : The war is on for Supremacy

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