Television

Hindi TV news consumption higher in urban markets than in rural

News Nation was present during one only week (week 9 of 2018) in BARC’s HSM (U) list with 61.979 m

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BANGALURU: Television has become an integral part of Indian life, be it urban or rural India. Hindi news is one of the largest news genres in the country according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) weekly data. In the public domain, BARC provides data of the top five news channels – the combined urban and rural viewership (U+R), the urban viewership (U) and the rural viewership (R). The demographics used are NCCS: All 15+ individuals. According to BARC sources, the Hindi speaking market (HSM) comprises the All India market minus the markets of the four Southern languages – Telugu from the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana market; Tamil from the Tamil Nadu and the Pondicherry market, Kannada from the Karnataka market and Malayalam from the Kerala market.

The latest BARC universe data- Households and Individuals Universe Estimate – 2017, was announced sometime after January 2017. Using this data to determine Hindi news consumption in (U+R), the author has determined a limited overview of the Hindi news consumption trends as below:

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Note: The author has extrapolated the number of 15+ HSM households (HH) assuming that there is a direct proportion between the total number of households with the total 15+ HSM and total HSM populations. This may not be the actual status. Also the numbers mentioned are not accurate because there are more than five Hindi news channels and their numbers are not available with the author. Hence actual Hindi news consumption in all the three BARC classifications will actually be higher.

As is obvious from the above figure, though the HSM (U) 15+ Individuals universe is smaller in terms of number of individuals as well as number of households, its Hindi news consumption based on the average weekly impressions and impressions per individual are higher than HSM (R).

Which were the most watched Hindi news channels in 2018 until BARC week 26?

One channel – Aaj Tak - led the Hindi news genre during the first 26 weeks of 2018 in HSM (U+R); HSM (U) and HSM (R) and was present in all the three top five Hindi news channels lists – HSM (R), HSM (U) and combined HSM (U+R). Besides Aaj Tak, rural HSM markets showed a partial preference for one channel – News Nation – the channel was present in BARC’s weekly HSM (R) lists for 25 of the first 26 weeks of 2018 as compared to its presence at rank five just once in HSM (U).

HSM (R)

Seven Hindi news channels were present in BARC’s lists of top five Hindi news channels in HSM (R), of which only one channel was present in all the first 26 weeks of – Aaj Tak. During 25 of the 26 weeks, Aaj Tak was ranked first as the most watched Hindi news channel in HSM (R). The only exception was week 18 of 2018 when India TV was ranked no 1 in HSM (R). Aaj Tak’s 26 weeks average ratings for HSM (R) was 46.959 million weekly impressions. 

As mentioned above, News Nation was present for 25 weeks, while Zee News was present for 22 weeks in BARC’s weekly lists for the first 26 weeks. India TV was present in the HSM (R) list for 19 of the first 26 weeks of 2018. News Nations average viewership when it was present in the top five news channels list during the 25 of the 26 weeks of 2018 was 34 million, while Zee News had average weekly ratings of 36.662 million weekly impressions during the 22 of the 26 weeks of 2018 that it was present in the HSM (R) weekly lists. India TV had average weekly impressions of 33.889 million during the 19 of the 26 weeks of 2018 that it was present in BARC’s HSM (R) lists.

The other channels that were present in BARC’s HSM (R) lists were ABP News (16 weeks), News 18 India (15 weeks) and India News (seven weeks).

HSM (U)

Six channels were present in BARC’s weekly lists of top five Hindi news channels in HSM (U) during the first 26 weeks of 2018. Four channels – Aaj Tak (26 week average ratings 62.703 million weekly impressions); Zee News (26 week average ratings 53.229 million weekly impressions); India TV (26 week average ratings 52.834 million weekly impressions) and ABP News (26 week average ratings 44.142 million weekly impressions) were present during all the first 26 weeks in BARC’s list of top five Hindi news channels HSM (U). One channel – News 18 India was present in the HSM (U) lists for 25 of the first 26 weeks of 2018 with an average rating of 45.408 million weekly impressions. 

News Nation was present during one only week (week 9 of 2018) in BARC’s HSM (U) list with 61.979 million weekly impressions.

HSM (U+R)

Six channels were present in BARC’s weekly lists of top five Hindi news channels in HSM (U+R). Three channels were present in the HSM (U+R) lists during all the first 26 weeks of 2018. They were: Aaj Tak with a 26 week average of 109.663 million weekly impressions; Zee News with 88.904 million weekly impressions and India TV with 86.601 million weekly impressions. 

Aaj Tak was ranked first in BARC’s HSM (U+R) lists for 24 of the first 26 weeks of 2018, while India TV was ranked first once (week 18 of 2018) and Zee News was ranked first once during the period in week 25 of 2018. Zee News was ranked second in the HSM (U+R) lists for 12 of the 26 weeks of 2018, India TV was ranked second for 11 of the 26 weeks and Aaj Tak for two of the 26 weeks of 2018 and ABP News was ranked second for one of the first 26 weeks of 2018. India TV was ranked third for 10 of the first 26 weeks, News18 India was ranked third for seven of the first 26 weeks, Zee News was ranked third for eight of the first 26 weeks of 2018 while ABP News was ranked third for one week during the same period.

The other three channels that were present in BARC’s weekly list during the first 26 weeks of 2018 were News 18 India with an average of 77.724 million weekly impressions during the 25 of the 26 weeks that it was present in the lists followed by ABP News with an average of 82.491 million weekly impressions over 21 of the first 26 weeks of 2018 during which it was present in the HSM (U+R) lists. News Nation was present for six weeks during the first 26 weeks of 2018 with a six week average of 73.346 million weekly impressions.

How do the Hindi news channels compare with the Southern language news channels?

Here below is a table that shows viewership of the four markets:

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It is quite obvious that south Indians consume more news in their respective local languages than the HSM does Hindi news. As in the case of Hindi news, the numbers mentioned for the four south Indian markets are limited. Data for the top five channels in each language has been used, when in actual fact, there are more than five news channels in each language.

The author would like to point out that in a previous paper that was recently published, the census of India 2011 numbers for the populations of the four south Indian markets were used and hence the numbers in that report will differ from those mentioned above. However the limited conclusions drawn in the previous (report except for the numbers) remain the same.

 

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