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Star Plus leads pay GECs, Aaj Tak tops news genre on both pay and FTA

Separate data throws interesting viewership patterns for pay and FTA channels across genres

For the first time in more than three years of BARC India’s operations, Week 27 saw the separate data on the ‘pay’ and ‘free to air’ platforms. had raised this demand from the industry long back in an article discussing how ranking pay and FTA channels together was hurting broadcasters .

While announcing the decision to report data separately for pay and FTA platforms earlier this week, BARC India said, “The pay and free viewers differ significantly not only in terms of demographics but also in their characteristics, values, lifestyle and psychographics. A study done in these homes by BARC India explicates the personas of these two audience types.”

“Reporting viewership from pay and free platforms separately would enable focussed targeting. Advertisers can plan more effectively by placing insertions on channels available on these platforms in the respective regions. Broadcasters can also make more informed decisions pertaining to content and distribution,” the viewership measurement body said.

With the separate data for pay and FTA channels released this Thursday, Star Sports 1 Hindi was the most viewed channels across pay platforms followed by Sun TV, Star Plus and Zee TV.

Among Hindi general entertainment channels, Star Plus led the pack followed by Zee TV, Sony SAB and Colors. Dangal and Big Magic scored big on FTA platforms followed by six Doordarshan channels.

Among Hindi movies, Sony Max led the pack closely followed by Star Gold and Zee Cinema. &pictures and Movies OK were at No. 4 and 5 with a distant margin of about 140 million Impressions.

Hindi news genre saw Aaj Tak leading on both pay and FTA platforms, according to data sourced by BARC subscribers. Among pay channels, Aaj Tak garnered 82.42 million Impressions while the No. 2 position was held by News18 India with 70.639 million Impressions. India TV was a close No. 3 with 69.53 million Impressions.

However, there was a big gap of over 10 million Impressions between No. 3 and No. 4. Zee News held No. 4 position with 58.216 million Impressions followed by ABP News at No. 5 with 54.212 million Impressions.

On FTA, Aaj Tak leads with 28.581 million Impressions followed by Republic Bharat at No. 2 with 22.625 million Impressions. ABP News and India TV were No. 3 and No. 4 with 22.419 million and 17.955 Impressions, respectively. Zee News was at No. 5 with 16.115 million Impressions.

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