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Times Now and ABP News were genre leaders on vote counting day

If we compare viewership on March 11 (Saturday of Week 11) to the average of last three Saturdays, the English news genre grew by over six times. The Hindi news genre grew by over three times on that day

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 24, 2017


Both English and Hindi news channels won big on counting day of the recent Assembly elections in five states (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand) on March 11, 2017. Times Now continued its lead in the English news flock with 859 Impressions (’000s), while ABP News grabbed the top slot among Hindi news channels with 65,555 Impressions (’000s).

As per the data shared by BARC India, if we compare the viewership on March 11 (Saturday of Week 11) to the average of last three Saturdays, the English news genre (All India (U+R): NCCS AB : Males 22+ Individuals) grew by over six times, while the Hindi news genre (HSM (U+R) : NCCS All : 15+ Individuals) grew by over three times on that day.

Another interesting viewership trend was that this is the first time that an English general news channel crossed the 2,000 Impressions (’000s) mark in a single week’s data. Times Now clocked 2,282 Impressions (’000s) in Week 11, followed by CNN-News18 that had 1,006 Impressions (’000s) and India Today Television with 805 Impressions (’000s).


The Hindi news genre too saw a high but it was fairly comparable with the numbers recorded in the weeks post demonetisation in November last year. In the full week (March 11-17, 2017), Aaj Tak garnered 178,049 Impressions (’000s) at No. 1 and ABP News closely followed with 160,270 Impressions (’000s).


Looking closely at the English news genre for viewership trend on counting day, Times Now clocked 859 Impressions (’000s) vis-à-vis 99 Impressions (’000s) on an average Saturday. This was the first election after the channel’s heavyweight anchor Arnab Goswami’s exit. However, the channel stayed put with its content promise and put its best foot forward with experienced professionals like Rahul Shivshankar, Chief Editor, and Navika Kumar, Managing Editor, Politics, along with other senior journalists.

The No. 2 player, CNN-News18, grew from 46 Impressions (’000s) on a normal Saturday to 470 Impressions (’000s) on counting day. It must be noted that while Times Now has a heavy brand value and has been a consistent leader of the flock, CNN-News18 largely gained on its reputation earned during Bihar elections when it was the only channel that got the results right boasting on its network power. On vote counting day for Bihar Assembly elections, while all the other channels were taking data from Nielsen and, hence, ended up reporting flawed numbers, CNN-News18 had its own team at the counting centres and was the only channel in the English space to give the accurate results. It was a huge gain on credibility of the channel.

At No. 3, NDTV 24x7 garnered 328 Impressions (’000s) compared to 63 Impressions (’000s) on an average Saturday.

India Today Television was a distant No. 4 despite the presence of heavyweight election expert Rajdeep Sardesai and its star anchor Rahul Kanwal. The channel garnered 187 Impressions (’000s) on counting day against 71 Impressions (’000s) on a regular Saturday.

BBC World News ranked fifth with 36 Impressions (’000s), while NewsX didn’t find a place in the top five most-watched English news channels. Former Group Editor of NDTV Barkha Dutt was on NewsX for the special day but that didn’t help beef up its viewership.


Looking at Hindi general news genre, ABP News was yet again the most watched Hindi news channel on vote counting day. The channel clocked 65,555 Impressions (’000s) on March 11, compared to 12,921 Impressions (’000s) on an average Saturday. The channel had some popular faces including Abhisar Sharma and Dibang leading from the front while it had also brought in the famous voice of Bigg Boss – a rave in the Hindi GEC space.

At No. 2 in the genre was Aaj Tak that gained 56,985 Impressions (’000s), up from an average of 17,486 Impressions (’000s) on a regular Saturday. The channel’s heavyweight anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai led the charge during the counting in five states.

Rajat Sharma’s India TV garnered 46,504 Impressions (’000s) against 14,675 Impressions (’000s) of a regular Saturday.

India News, with Deepak Chaurasia as the main presenter on counting day, clocked 35,771 Impressions (’000s) while the average of last three Saturdays showed a viewership of 11,408 Impressions (’000s).

News 24 stood at No. 5 with 35,734 Impressions (’000s).



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