Kolkata municipal elections boost Star Ananda ratings

MUMBAI: It is anand (happiness) for the fledgling news channel from the ABP-Star stable - Star Ananda - targeted at the 100 million strong Bengali populace. It is riding high on handsome ratings - an outcome of its focused coverage of the Kolkata Municipal elections last month, which saw the Left sweeping its way to victory.

TAM data for week 26 (19-25 June 2005) indicates that Star Ananda has managed to hook 49 of the Top 50 programme spots across all news channels in Kolkata and West Bengal. Its election special shows -- Kolkata Sara Din chalked up 2.87 TVRs, Hello VIP garnered 2.49 TVRs and Bolun Councilor attains 2.43 TVRs, giving it a channel TVR of 3.54.

The only other show in the Top 50 pecking order was Tara Newz Tara Nazar which was ranked at No 43 with a TVR of 1.39. In fact, Star Ananda's performance, according to sources, in the afternoon band between 1 and 4 pm was most impressive and most of the programmes in the Top 50 were aired during the noon.

Speaking on the impressive performance, MCCS CEO Uday Shankar goes on to add that at MCCS, tremendous efforts has been placed to cultivate the afternoon band and to break the myth that has been perpetuated amongst the news broadcasters that the noon band does not hold potential viewers.

The good showing has secured it a 52 per cent market share in Kolkata, with its piece of the action for West Bengal being a commanding 49 per cent (C&S, 15 plus). Tara Newz the No 2 had a 15 per cent market share both in Kolkata as well as in West Bengal with NDTV India snaring an 8 per cent share each in Kolkata and West Bengal.

According to Shankar, the highlight was polling day on 19 June, for the Kolkata Municipal elections, when it managed to carve out a 69 per cent market share in Kolkata. Tara News was a distant second, holding an 18 per cent share. Its market share on 21 June - counting day - was also an awesome 63 per cent.

Commenting on the completion of one month of Star Aanada, a jubilant Shankar says: "We are looking at expanding the universe of news viewership."

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