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West Bengal elections to boost TV news revenues despite ongoing TRP controversy, says ABP's Avinash Pandey

In an interaction with, the CEO of ABP Network says it is important for the industry to make the measurement system and its matrix better for channels to realise their actual ad rates. He also shares the network’s plans for the upcoming Bengal elections

Avinash Pandey

The ongoing TRP controversy has not affected the credibility of news channels and they have witnessed tremendous viewership after the festive season, said Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network.

“Advertisers have continued to repose their faith in us. Investment on news channels goes beyond ratings – many more parameters impact the selection process, such as reputation, strength and credibility of content, affinity among relevant audiences and the proposition of the platform," said Pandey.  

He said the industry must come together to make the viewership measurement system better so that the true value of ad rates can be realised by channels.

“Moving forward, the industry has to work together to ameliorate the measurement system and matrix on the news genre. This would ensure that the channels’ ad rates are as per their values and connect with specific audience groups,” Pandey said. 

West Bengal elections to boost TV news revenues 

The West Bengal Assembly election is an important event, especially for the news genre, as the entire nation sets its eyes on the race.

According to Pandey, “The West Bengal election is one of the most attention-grabbing events of 2021. Advertisers too are, therefore, jumping on to the bandwagon by blocking outlays on the news genre for the next three months. This crucial event has created substantial demand even among different types of advertisers on the genre.” 

He said ABP Ananda, the network’s Bengali channel, has offered viewers with a comprehensive line-up during the coverage of the elections. “West Bengal election is the first major event of 2021, and from revenue as well as audience perspective, ensuring incisive coverage of these elections is very crucial for us. Understanding the importance of this major event, ABP Ananda has offered a comprehensive content line-up to its viewers. In fact, our network was the first to telecast an opinion poll of the West Bengal elections on January 18, 2021. Despite the prevailing challenges of Covid-19, our reporters will report from every corner of West Bengal to ensure that the viewers are fully informed and updated 24x7. We have a special programming bouquet under the branding ‘Banglar Bidhan’ – committed entirely to the West Bengal elections.” 

Pandey said 15 plus programming segments have been ideated under Banglar Bidhan, including Tarokar Chokhe Taroka Kendra, Chalti Hawa, Voter Baddi, Power Meal, and Mukho Mukhi. He said owing to the high popularity and admiration of ABP Ananda in the West Bengal market, Banglar Bidhan has procured a slew of sponsors such as TopTech TMT, Rashmi Cement, ABP Weddings, Dabur Red Paste, Ajanta Shoes and Glucon-D. It is co-powered by Macho Hint and Ganesh Gold Dalia.

On the network’s national channel, they have ‘Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri’ (KBM) covering the elections. Under KBM there are various different shows such as daily programming and weekend special shows, travel-cum-reporting show, an opinion poll and exit poll. A unique documentary series will be telecast, throwing light on West Bengal and its legacy and history. 

Speaking about increased competition in the West Bengal market, he said, “At a 50mn reach, ABP Ananda has reached 90% of all Bengali TV-viewing households. [Source: BARC; TG: 2+; Mkt: West Bengal; Period: Wk 12-34’20, Cum Reach (in Cr)]. We have always provided top-notch content to our viewers, which thereby ensured we always remain on top in the highly-competitive market of West Bengal.” 

“ABP Ananda has been a market leader in West Bengal for over a decade, not because of the long existence of the channel, but due to the high-quality content provided by us.  For an organisation to grow and prosper, healthy competition is always necessary. In fact, ABP Ananda completed 15 years in West Bengal last year. Had the viewers not supported us, we wouldn’t have been able to reach this vital milestone. Our channel has seven district studios based out of Tamluk, Durgapur, Barrackpore, Siliguri, Midnapore City, Baharampur and Cooch Behar to ensure that our viewers are apprised with the latest information from every corner of Bengal,” he said.

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