Mumbai: More people watched news on television in the past few weeks, mainly because of the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the court verdict the held Hindi film actor Salman Khan guilty in a 2002 hit-and-run case.

In the weeks between 18 April and 8 May, audiences tuned in frequently to catch the latest developments in the Salman Khan case and followed the tragedy that unfolded in Nepal, show data published by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), an industry body for TV audience measurement.

In the Hindi news segment, TV Today Network’s news channel Aaj Tak emerged as market leader for all three weeks, closely followed by ABP News. ABP News is the Hindi news channel of the Kolkata-based ABP Group.

The two channels were among the top eight news channels in this segment that includes India TV, Zee News, DD News and IBN 7. The data show viewership of news channels started peaking at around 11.45am on 25 April, the day the earthquake struck.

In the English news segment, the Times Group-owned news channel Times Now emerged as market leader in all three weeks, followed by CNN IBN. The other channels in this segment include NDTV 24x7 and Headlines Today.

The data also showed that viewership at English news channels peaked on 25 April and 6 May, the day a Mumbai court decided on the Salman Khan case.

Though, unlike in Hindi news, higher traction was seen on 6 May, indicating audiences viewing English channels flocked to their television sets in larger numbers when they broadcast the Salman Khan story.

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