Four most watched channels on Indian television

BENGALURU: Despite many experts predicting the decline and ultimate death of conventional television, the medium is still one of the largest ones for entertainment, for news and for marketers in terms of viewers. Notwithstanding the fact that more channels have come under Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC), the moot point is that the number of television advertisements in India has increased says an industry watcher. So, which were the most watched television channels week on week in the country during until week 35 of 2018?

Analysis of BARC weekly data for the top 10 channels across genres NCCS: 2+ All for weeks 1 to 35 of 2018 (Saturday, 30 December 2017 to Friday, 31 August 2018, period under consideration) have revealed some interesting facts. The most notable one is that only four channels have appeared in BARC’s weekly across genres during all the first 35 weeks of 2018. All four are general entertainment channels. Two are free to air (FTA) and two are flagship channels of the networks of which they are a part of. Three are Hindi and one is Tamil. In alphabetical order they are: Star India’s FTA and renamed channel Star Bharat: Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s (Zeel) FTA Hindi GEC channel and its flagship Hindi GEC Zee TV.

Please refer to the figure below:

(The only parameter considered in this report is limited to BARC ratings. Reach, viewership share, have not been considered here. BARC weekly viewership data for the top 10 Channels Across Genres available in the public data is in terms of thousands of impressions (000s))

Sun TV is the most watched television channel in India. Period. Its average ratings during the first 35 weeks of 2018 are even higher than the average ratings of Star India’s sports channel Star Sports 1 Hindi during the weeks that IPL 11 was played in 2018. Sun is a regional channel with a major portion of its viewership limited to the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry markets.

Zee Anmol and Star Bharat are the first and second most watched Hindi GECs respectively in India. The viewership of both the channels is driven more by rural numbers as compared to urban. The fourth most watched channel in India is Zee TV. Zee TV’s ratings are driven more by urban viewers than rural viewers.

Until week 33 of 2018, Sony Pictures Network India’s (SPN) women focused Hindi GEC Sony Pal consistently appeared in BARC’s weekly top 10 channels across genres. However, since the past two weeks (weeks 34 and 25 of 2018), the channel has missed BARC’s weekly lists of top 10 channels across genres bus.

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