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We hope that transparency is maintained, says Zee Hindustan’s Purushottam Vaishnava on return of news channel ratings

In an interaction with, Purushottam Vaishnava, CEO of Zee Hindustan, spoke about how it has managed to become a tough contender in the highly competitive Hindi news space

Purushottam Vaishnava

BARC India released the ratings for the news genre after 17 months. The ratings were released on Thursday for the period of Week 6 to Week 10. Eight Hindi news channels had opted in for the data.

According to the numbers made public by BARC, Zee News is at number 4 with a 15.7% relative share followed by Zee Hindustan at No. 5 with 7.2% of relative share. It must be noted that among all the channels in the Hindi news space today, Zee Hindustan is relatively new and is in the playing field among legacy players like Aaj Tak, ABP News.

Prior to the BARC fiasco, it was the norm for every news channel to boast about their viewership numbers. However, the fiasco has led to many advertisers and the public questioning their authenticity. spoke to Purushottam Vaishnava, CEO, Zee Hindustan, about various concurrent topics, including how they are tackling this sentiment.

“Ratings are always a good measurement scale to figure out how our content is doing considering the intense competition in the Hindi news genre. We hope they will always favour us and the system will continue to give us unbiased ratings. If you are No1 you will want to flash it. The question arises on the authenticity of the data, and with reformed data from BARC we hope that the transparency is maintained. It’s a way of wanting to hammer in the achievement in both trade and viewers,” he said. 

As per Vaishnava content has to be at the heart of a news channel, especially at a time when consumers have so many choices. “No one can be too proud to assume that viewers will automatically watch them. You have to keep your ears to the ground and get the right news.”

Speaking about the viewership Zee Hindustan is bringing in, Vaishnava said, “Most of the viewers watch the news out of habit. The channels they choose are also out of habit. To break through their mindset and enter their consideration proves that our content is on the right track. Zee Hindustan is a young channel with a fresh voice; we have got the fire in our belly. We will grow further.” 

He added that the absence of TRP did not affect them much as they were the first channel to set up digital data as a replacement for BARC for advertisers. “Digital always give the right numbers-live. The measurement is far quicker than BARC ratings since it is real-time.” 

“We have always kept the viewers in our mind regardless of it being a TRP dark period. We kept a tab on the viewers' preference through digital platforms, took their feedback to ensure our content was in line with their expectations,” he explained. 

The recently concluded Assembly election season also helped the channel clock in more views. According to Vaishnava, their on-ground reporting has got them good viewership numbers. On the counting day, they were the second most-watched channel from early hours till late evening. Apart from Zee Hindustan, the cluster’s regional channels have also been performing well in their areas. 

“Zee Bihar Jharkhand, Rajasthan and 24Kalak (Gujarat) all opened as the No1 channel. Zee Odisha also opened as a top three channel. This shows we were always on the right track and we have our viewers to thank for that,” he concluded.

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