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While the network fought a losing battle to retain primacy, it plunged into acute financial distress.
Prannoy and his panellists had the unenviable task of reversing all the explanations they had conjured up.
On air that evening, Prannoy attempted to explain why things had gone so wrong.
YOU HAVE TO BE A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON to celebrate a business milestone at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
But considering that Radhika and Prannoy Roy launched their 24-hour news channel, more than 15 years ago, at the prime minister’s official residence, it seemed apt that, in 2013, the programme to mark the twenty-fifth year of its parent company, New Delhi Television Private Limited, was held at the president’s.
“Couple of days ago, I asked Radhika, the founder of NDTV, what’s kept NDTV going for 25 years,” Prannoy began in his relaxed drawl, a slight smile flickering across his face.
Though he is probably the channel’s most recognisable personality, he regularly makes it a point to remind people that the company was founded by his wife, and that he joined her after.
Beginning with one show on that channel, NDTV expanded the range of Indian television news, introducing international standards in reportage and presentation.
In the process, it gained an early lead in viewership ratings, and dominated the advertising market.
At least one of these chains of transactions casts doubt over whether the Roys are still in complete control of the network they founded and built.
In January this year, a stockbroker named Sanjay Dutt filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the enforcement directorate, or the ED, and the directorate general of income tax investigation.
Along with the government bodies, Radhika and Prannoy Roy are also named as respondents in Dutt’s petition.