Ayodhya verdict: Aaj Tak leads the pack

  MUMBAI: As the Allahabad High Court bench was reading out the verdict on India‘s most communally sensitive issue, the common man was hooked on to the news channels for getting updates.

The result: a huge expansion in the news genre. The Hindi news space saw an unprecedented 132 per cent rise over the previous day to garner a genre share of 18.4 on 30 September. And in the All India market, the share of English news channels was 1.27 per cent, up 130.91 per cent from the trailing day.

In the highly competitive ratings turf, it was also a time for news channels to score a point over their rival networks. The winners on that day, when the news genre saw an expansion, were Aaj Tak and CNN-IBN in Hindi and English language telecasts.

As per Tam data (HSM, 15+), Aaj Tak commanded a channel share of 22.7 per cent among the Hindi news channels on 30 September, followed by Star News with 17.8 per cent share.

India TV lost some of its share on the day of verdict (13.2%), as compared to preceding and following days. Zee News clocked 10.9 per cent share, followed by IBN7 with 9.3 per cent genre share (see chart for details).

In the English news channel space, CNN-IBN led the flock with a 23.3 per cent share, according to Tam data for All India, 1 mn+ towns, 25+ years. Times Now was, however, in the closest possible race with CNN-IBN, enjoying a 23.2 per cent share.
  NDTV 24X7 remained at third spot with 19.4 per cent share, whereas News 9 dislodged Headlines Today for the particular day under review. The channel share of News 9 was 14.6 per cent, as compared to 11.4 per cent of TV Today Group’s English news channel.

NewsX, which is soon to be changed into IMN News, saw a 67 per cent jump from its previous day viewership and clocked a channel share of 7.7 per cent.

“The TV news genre saw a huge spike on the Ayodhya verdict day. The ratings indicate that the viewers were more interested in hard news that day,” says a media observer.

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