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CNN-IBN leads pack in Assembly elections coverage

During the five weeks of the electoral process, Times Now showed improvement towards the end and topped the charts on the last two days. NDTV and Headlines Today remained at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 19, 2012

While political parties were working tirelessly to impress voters in the recently held Assembly elections in five states that stretched out over five weeks, the news channels fought their own battles, leaving no stone unturned to give the best coverage, analyses, opinion polls and exit polls. With politicians’ fate sealed in ballot boxes, the performance of news channels was locked in the TAM people meters.

As the poll results began to trickle in on March 6, the news channels began the claim-game for leadership using various parameters. BestMediaInfo takes a look at the detailed viewership patterns on the basis of TAM data released for the last five weeks and the crucial four days starting from final phase of polling on March 3 to the vote counting day on March 6 across key markets and core TGs. First, let’s take a look at English news channels.

The first phase of Assembly elections in five states began five weeks prior to the declaration of results. Ever since, every news channel has, in its wisdom, dedicated some time to election related coverage, whether it was in the form of opinion polls, analyses, expert interviews or exit polls and actual results. Perhaps it would be fair to conclude that, as a single topic, elections consumed the largest share of content/programming over this period.

Also, given the week-wise (or even day-wise) difference in timing/number of hours of election coverage between channels, as well as the very nature of their niche viewership, the analyses here have been undertaken for a sufficiently large five-week period so as to normalise variations caused by the above.

According to the average channel share from Week 6 to Week 10 of TAM 2012 (February 5 to March 10), CNN-IBN was leading the pack in 8 Metros among CS AA, 15+ Years, SEC AB. However, Times Now exhibited growth in the 9th and 10th weeks to come closer to the No. 1 channel. NDTV at No. 3 and Headlines Today at No.4 too registered growth in the last two weeks (see chart below).

Similarly, in all-India 1 million+ markets among CS AA, 15+ Years, SEC AB, CNN-IBN remained the leader for the first four weeks but had to share the No. 1 position with Times Now in the last week. NDTV and Headlines Today followed the same pattern and positions as in 8 Metro markets (see chart below).

The average channel share in all-India market in CS AA, 15+ Years, SEC AB for Week 6 to Week 9 went in CNN-IBN’s favour, but swung in favour of Times Now in Week 10. Like in the case of the other two markets, here also Times Now gained the momentum in the last two weeks. NDTV was about double of Headlines Today’s channel share in the final week (see chart below).

In CS AA, 25+ Years, SEC AB in 8 Metros, CNN-IBN had ruled the English news genre while the viewership pattern for all the channels remained almost similar to that in the other markets and TGs (see chart below).

In all-India 1 million+ markets, CNN-IBN maintained the leadership for the first 4 weeks but could not save its fort in the last week. NDTV and Headlines Today remained the No. 3 and No. 4 channels, respectively (see chart below).

The viewership pattern for all-India market is similar to 1 million+ markets where CNN-IBN led from Week 6 to Week 9 but was overtaken by Times Now at the end. However, Headlines Today had better position in all-India markets in comparison to other markets (see chart below).

The last 4 days – final phase of polling on March 3 to vote counting day on March 6 – were crucial for the news channels because of their 24x7 election coverage. CNN-IBN’s exit poll results emerged as the most accurate in four states. The viewership pattern for these 4 days with complete election packaging saw CNN-IBN leading on March 3 across the TGs and markets while its relative channel share reached 68 per cent on March 4. However, March 5 saw Times Now as a distant leader while there was a close fight among CNN-IBN, Times Now and NDTV on the final vote counting day.

The relative channel share from March 3 to March 6 showed CNN-IBN leading on March 3 and 4 while Times Now emerged as most watched channel on March 5 and 6 in 8 Metros, 1 million+ and All-India markets among CS AA, 15+ Years, SEC AB. NDTV remained at No. 3 and Headlines Today at No.4 (see charts below).

The 25+ Years viewers had not given a clear verdict to any channel on the vote counting day, March 6. The relative channel share from March 3-5 showed CNN-IBN leading on the first two days while Times Now was most watched channel on March 5 (see charts below).

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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