Television

News broadcasters seek advertising support to manage increased Covid-19 coverage

As per BARC-Nielsen report, the viewing of news channels went up in last week by 57%.

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MUMBAI: News broadcasters are leading the battle against COVID-19 and have emerged as the most essential source of news and information during the lockdown. Now, they are seeking support from the media fraternity in terms of advertising.

News Broadcasters Federation president Arnab Goswami said, “At a time when other media can scale down resources and expenses, news broadcasters are scaling up their effort, and going all out to scale up their resources on the ground. We, the news broadcasters of India, consider ourselves as a public and emergency and essential service at a time of national crisis, and are absolutely committed to playing our role in ensuring that by reaching out to the largest part of India's 1.3 billion people, we stall the spread of this dangerous virus.

"I appeal at this time to all my friends in the media industry, and our partners in all sectors to contribute to the efforts of the news broadcasters by supporting news channels in terms of advertising in this period as a preferred partner in this difficult time.”

Across India, broadcasters in all languages are doing non-stop programming with almost 100 per cent focus on battling the coronavirus and ensuring the success of the nationwide lockdown. Besides the news on the latest figures and the degree of spread of the pandemic, news channels have put hundreds of experts, doctors, public health experts, civil and police personnel, and government officials on air in a massive effort to disemminate the right information and counter the barrage of fake news.

The NBF would also like to point out that viewership trends in news channels have significantly risen, as per the latest report on trends put out jointly by BARC and Nielsen on Friday. As per the report, the viewing of news channels had gone up in last week by 57 per cent and Hindi news channels by 67 per cent.

Regional language news channels are also seeing a major spike in viewership and the increase in viewership has been across segments. Interestingly, BARC CEO Sunil Lulla had pointed out during the press conference that even the kids category saw viewership jump in news channel consumption by a whopping 87 per cent. The statement from the NBF says, "[It] is a clear indicator that the nature of informative and contextual news programming on battling Covid 19 among news channels is being received favourably across all segments of the TV audiences."

The NBF also added that it would like to place on record the genuine support that news channels and its member channels have received so far, and would like to assure the media industry and the industry stakeholders that the news broadcasters of India will work hard to bring factual news to the people of India to strengthen the fight against Covid-19. 

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