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Republic performs without Arnab Goswami in Week 27 but how does it help the channel

While the channel has been able to hold on to the top spot despite Goswami’s absence for a week, media experts say that it might not be enough to establish the decrease in dependence of the channel on its founder or the impact on revenues, as yet

Arnab Goswami

Republic TV continued with its leadership in Week 27 of 2018, though this is the first week when the promoter, founder and editor-in-chief of the channel - Arnab Goswami - was not on air.

Goswami was not on air most of the week 27 of 2018 which captured viewership between June 30 and July 6.

According to the BARC data for Week 27 (All India (U+R) : NCCS AB : Males 22+ Individuals), Republic topped the chart with 970 Impressions (’000s), followed by Times Now that clocked 799 Impressions (’000s). India Today Television grabbed 258 Impressions (’000s) and Mirror Now garnered 215 Impressions (’000s). CNN News18 stood at No. 5 with 193 Impressions (’000s).

The general perception about Republic TV’s success has been that Goswami is the driver of the viewership that the channel attracts. Even the revenues generated by the channel were skewed highly for the shows hosted by him. With the viewership of Week 27, the channel has just proven that its performance is not dependent on Goswami, but is a single week’s data enough to say that?

A senior media planner suggested that the viewership must be sustained without Goswami, for a longer period of time.

“The channel has continued with its performance for a week in the absence of its thought leader, however, I don’t think the channel will be able to convert this into revenues in a week. News channels (especially English language) have always been more about perception and less about numbers,” he added.

Dinesh Rathore, COO, Madison Omega, said, “While Goswami was not present on the channel for this one week, the underlying strength behind the channel is him. Goswami’s perception is what the channel’s perception is in the market. Even otherwise, if you analyse, the 9 O’clock anchor is the most popular face on any channel. Also, the numbers are so small in this genre, that the sustenance and continuity of the numbers are a must. One can’t decide or decipher anything basis a single week’s viewership.”

As for whether the viewers have shifted from other channels to Republic, all media experts said that audience are more habituated to a channel than how much they are attracted to it. “Just like newspapers, news channels also become a habit. While newspaper titles are something very rigidly attached to a person, news channels are not that close to your heart. Nonetheless, it is difficult to move a viewer’s loyalty from a news channel. As for Republic, I think if you want to move an ‘Arnab-fan’ out of the channel, than Arnab has to be away for a couple of months,” added a media planner.

Impact on ad rates

Whether this decreasing dependence on Goswami for viewership is temporary or not, what remains to be seen is the channel will be able to push the impact of this on increasing ad rates.

“Yes. It is true that the advertisers have always considered that except for Goswami’s show, nothing else gets much impact viewership. But whether the channel will be able to push ad rates using these Impressions sans Goswami, I doubt. We always look at about 8-12 weeks of viewership before planning the English news genre for the client,” said a senior trading director at one of the media agencies.

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