Television

How Hindi news channels perform on counting day

According to BARC, it is the Elections Results day which draws the largest spike in ratings

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MUMBAI: News viewership is event-driven – either scheduled or unscheduled. Elections are certainly the most important of all special or scheduled events. Being scheduled additionally helps news channels plan better. Discussions, flashes, events - before, during, and after the polls and election results day - drive the news genre’s viewership through the roof. Some of the channels even have a countdown clock to the D-Day to heighten the anxiety and interest among viewer about who will come to occupy 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

According to BARC, it is the Elections Results day which draws the largest spike in ratings, followed by Election Day, followed by pre-election days.

As per BARC, on an election result day, the break duration on the channels goes down, with programming increasing. This is due to channels covering the results from multiple perspectives and angles to keep the viewers hooked, and taking lesser breaks.

Election programming plays a key role in helping channels garner big viewership numbers and attracting advertisers. The race for reporting numbers as they trickle in is fierce as viewers switch channels in their hunger for the fastest updates.

Some of the biggest brands in the country also get into the heightened frenzy and spend top dollars on leading Hindi news channels during election season. That’s because sponsorship and native advertising rates are jacked up, keeping in mind the hordes of viewers who will lead to the spurt in ratings.

Across years and markets, we can see a visible drop in some ad insertions on Hindi news on Election Day, as channels take lesser breaks and focus more on the live coverage to increase viewership. Hence, the brands that chose to put their money during this busy time end up paying a premium for the ad inventory. 

Election coverage leadership

Nothing gets the Indian public going like the rough and tumble of Indian politics. More so when election season well and truly kicks off with high-voltage campaigns and rallies by political stalwarts in the run up to polling and eventually counting of votes. The political drama that plays out in all the news studios makes for engagement almost equal to what can be seen on TV soaps and dramas on general entertainment channels.

Hindi news channels put their best foot forward to capture the public mood to not just drive up ratings but also their revenues. In a bid to do so, most channels spruce up their programming with leading experts and political watchers.

Below are the reach numbers achieved by the Hindi News genre leader AajTak in the recent elections.

Below is the stack-up of weekly impressions of the recent elections. The genre leader AajTak emerges as the clear leader here as well. It leads second placed India TV by a goodly measure of about 24 per cent. The second, third and fourth slots are hotly contested with the second, third and fourth placed news channels is around five per cent. 

Below is the stack-up of Election Day impressions of the recent elections.  

The below table shows Hindi News Group and leader AajTak have clocked increased impressions on election result days.

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