NEW DELHI :
The recently concluded Lok Sabha elections have brought good news for television news channels. Data from BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) shows that counting day on 23 May brought an all-time high viewership for Hindi news channels with a total of 620 million impressions. Hindi news channels Aaj Tak, ABP News and India TV occupied the top three spots in ranking, in that order. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes. BARC India is the country’s TV viewership monitoring agency.
Overall, the Hindi news genre attained the third highest weekly level of 2019 so far (Pulwama attack and Balakot strikes got higher viewership) with 1.6 billion impressions with Hindi news channels being viewed by 279 million people over the week, an increase of 30% versus the average of the previous four weeks.
The week in question starts from the exit polls on Sunday, 19 May and goes on to 26 May.
Meanwhile, English news channels were viewed by 14 million people over the week, an increase of 60% versus the average of the previous four weeks.
Overall, the Hindi news genre showed an 87% increase in viewership over the average of the past four weeks. Market leader AajTak more than doubled its weekly impressions to 335.8 million compared to 141.9 million impressions previously. ABP News saw a spike to 243.6 million as against 100 million impressions before that. At number three, India TV notched up193 million impressions compared to 119 million impressions before that while Republic Bharat at number four clocked 188 million impressions versus 112 million previously.
Exit polls that began on Sunday saw a 70% jump for the Hindi news genre which was dominated by Aaj Tak with 47 million impressions, up from 21 million before that. India TV went up to 258 million from 168 million. Counting day, on the other hand, saw a 386% jump for the genre. Aaj Tak went up to 146 million impressions from 20 million while ABP News rose to 114 million from 14 million.
English news channels also witnessed almost 100% growth in their viewership with Republic TV’s weekly impressions jumping to 1.4 million from 0.6 million. Times Now came second with 1.05 million impressions compared to 0.4 million impressions previously. On exit poll day, the overall genre saw a 138% spike with a 183% and 172% rise for Republic TV and Times Now respectively. On counting day, the genre saw a 449% jump with a 591% and 451% rise for Republic TV and Times Now respectively.