Why the HT No TV Day??

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

HT NO TV Day, Jan 29, 2011.

This has been one of the more visible messages wherever you look.

So my question is Why HT NO TV Day?

Before you wonder if I cannot deal with a day without TV, let me inform you that I have been without TV for last 10 days already. And will be like that for several more. It has nothing to do with HT, but has everything to do with ICSE. The exams that my daughter is headed for, and in order to avoid distractions for her, we have blanked out TV totally!

So its not about me.

And I repeat my question, “Why HT NO TV Day”?

So there’s the no-brainer answer. That TV’s created junkies who don’t have a life otherwise, no outdoors, no seeing the sun, no family bonding etc. etc.

Sure, totally agree.

So I repeat my question. I am NOT asking the reasons for “Why a NO TV Day?”, I am asking the reasons for “Why the HT NO TV Day?”. If it was the SPOICP NO TV Day, I would have understood completely.

Didn’t get the acronym? SPOICP – Society for the Prevention of Increase In Couch Potatoes!

Aah.. guess, you are warmed up now πŸ™‚

I am approaching the question of Why did HT initiate this, No TV Day? And I will speculate some reasons, and also some possible consequences here.

1. HT wanted to do good for society. Make the country see the world without TV. Let the youth experience the outdoors. Let families meet and talk and bond again.

Unbelievable? Hey, why not? Lets give them some credit. Maybe this was it. And with absolutely no sarcasm, lets take it that this was the number one reason.

2. Could it be though, a print vs TV thing? An inter-media fight of sorts? A first of its kind!

Why fight TOI, when you can fight the much bigger culprit, who has taken eye balls away? Television. And where there is no one brand, which is an enemy. It is the entire media platform.

I mean, we don’t hear of anyone stuck on a newspaper for 4-5 hours, but we do hear people doing that over television. So that might explain the loss of readership for newspapers in general, and HT in particular.

And this may be a great challenge thrown to TV, by HT, then.

3. And what happens if viewers actually do not watch TV on 29th Jan. Why do I use the ‘IF’? In spite of the 70,810 (as of now) people who have “liked” the FB page of HT NO TV Day, here are the realities:

– its a tiny fraction of the TV viewing mass, so the loss of viewership for television, on 29th Jan, may not even be noticeable,

– Facebook likes are easy to do, getting people to implement on the ground is the challenge. What was that campaign (see I don’t even remember the name – so much for the recall!) where people were asked to not use taxis and autorickshaws? It had huge Facebook fandom, but on ground, there were just as many autos and cabs plying. If at all, there were more than usual.

Because seriously, how does one commute in Mumbai, if you don’t use these autos and cabs??

Likewise, for most people, there’s not much to do in life, if there is no TV. So in spite of the 70K odd likes on the Facebook page, people may still go and watch TV. They may not admit it the next day, just to show the solidarity, but the TRP meters may not register any major slump!

4. But what if people actually stay off TV that one day. And advertisers, to be on the safe side, back off from TV, for that one day. That would hurt television. I mean, its the equivalent of “pet pe laat marna” (hitting my stomach!) for Television industry. Unlike print, which remains closed few days a year (recently on 26th Jan) and hence, sacrifices some revenue, TV never closes. It churns revenues (assuming its programing can deliver) second after second, all 24 hours, all 7 days a week, all 365 days a year. And getting used to that awesome cash counter can spoil one. Even a day’s loss of revenue can hurt badly, then. Because you are not used to it at all!

5. What if TV fights back then? And declares a reverse war? “No Newspapers Day”?? Now that would be a fight worth watching, like a good heavyweight boxing match, in Caesar’s Palace, in Las Vegas! The hook that television has on a consumer, as compared to print, a fight of this kind can end up finishing off print.

I know it won’t happen. Just speculating here. Wondering what kind of consequences has HT initiated with this campaign!

6. Hey, why should it be only print and TV? What if this inspires other media also? And it becomes a full-fledged gang war? Maybe Facebook or Google declare that “There’s no media like online media. Abandon all else, and stay glued here”!! An interesting scenario, right?

Yes, my imagination is running a little wild.

But then again, I am still trying to get over this.. trying to figure out an answer. “Why HT NO TV Day”??!

You have any clues? Please share in the comments below..


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chirag Jethmalani, Tushar Bangera. Tushar Bangera said: Good pointers! RT @sm63: Wondering about the reasons.. my questions on "Why HT NO TV Day?" Check my post: http://bit.ly/eDxBA6 […]

  2. Mr. Mehta,

    It’s an excellent post. The initiative taken by Mr. Ajay Dang, marketing head (West and South), Hindustan Times is a commendable. Its not easy for a new newspaper (relatively) to launch such a campaign and make people talk about it. Irrespective its a success or not, they have successfully scaled from the Awareness to interest (taking AIDA process) among few.


    • Samudra says:

      @Piyush: Hindustan Times is “new”?? It is more than 86 years old. In case you are old enough to regard that as relatively “new”, please do let me know the secret of your long life.

      @Sanjay: I believe the intention was just to grab eyeballs. Not for a single second will I accept that HT seriously thought they could dent TV viewership.

      Just by running the campaign though, many more people have been made aware of HT as a newspaper. At a time when most common people who pick up a newspaper instinctively reach for the TOI because of its Pg3 articles, campaigns by newspapers such as HT and IE probably need such marketing gimmicks (for lack of a better word) can probably be interpreted as screams and shouts, begging to be noticed.

      I personally buy TOI for its ROI (when you have to sell to the kabadiwalla by the kilo) and its advertisements, and IE for the editorials and quality of their investigations.

      Which newspapers do you read?

      • Sanjay Mehta says:

        I read the TOI – not the Mumbai Mirror, although it comes bundled free.
        I also read the ET and the Mint.

        I also believe it was more of a marketing stunt than anything else.
        – Sanjay

      • @Samudra The Mumbai edition was launched on 14 July 2005 (relatively new in Mumbai πŸ˜‰ ). The initiative was undertaken in Mumbai, the reference was on that point. Being an avid HT reader.. I know few facts as Gandhi’s son was in the editor panel when this paper was launched in 1924, its Birla’s pet paper for the center.
        And meri lambi umar ka kya karna hai.. 1st complete ur so called jawaani.. fir batate hai .. lol πŸ˜‰

  3. Prashant M. says:

    Liked the article. Agreed. The hype was created. May be HT wanted to be the first one to bring this campaign into picture. Further, with the advent of 3G the scope of IPTV & tv shows increases. other media vehicles supporting this campaign was expected. I am talking about radio, outdoor & print here.

    the negative points for NO TV day are here: http://www.india-forums.com/tellybuzz/creative-cocktail/8721-a-day-with-no-tv-are-you-game-for-it.htm

    what do U think the future is? HT knows about it and thus rolled out this campaign with huge expenses but seriously… who cares?

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