News channels report highest ever viewership gain in week 12 post lockdown

TV Today’s English and Hindi news channels have gained most in terms of percentage

MUMBAI: The overall news genre has reported the highest ever weekly viewership so far this year in the week 12 (21-27 March) of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India as compared to the previous week (14-20 March), courtesy the lockdown.

In the current week, the Hindi news channels' combined viewership has surged by around 140 per cent, whereas the English news channels' weekly impressions rose by over 130 per cent.

The unprecedented crisis in the nation due to the spread of the novel coronavirus has led a tremendous surge in the viewership of news channels.

TV Today Network’s Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, dominating the chart for the twelfth week straight, has reported growth of 150 per cent to 5,32,102 impressions in week 12 as compared to 2,16,024 in week 11. The channel, so far, has shown the biggest ever viewership gains this year alone.

Achieving a new feat, Aaj Tak has become the number one channel with 24 crore reach in India's second category in week 12 than all its peers across categories such as news, GEC, and movie. Not just that, the channel has also been the leader in terms of viewership during Janta Curfew day, with over 66 million impressions and 1,98,96,832 weekly viewing minutes.

Jumping to the second spot from fifth, ABP News Network’s Hindi news channel ABP News has grown mostly by over 160 per cent to 3,40,659 weekly impressions in week 12 as compared to 1,30,035 in the last week. This is the biggest ever weekly impressions the channel has achieved in 2020.

Though the channel has slipped to the third position from second, Zee Entertainment Enterprises’ Hindi news channel Zee News has gained the third-highest viewership in the current week. The channel advanced by over 137 per cent to 337,359 impressions as against 142,089 in week 11.

Retaining its place at the fourth spot, Network18’s Hindi news channel News18 India has also grown exponentially by around over 134 per cent to 305,732 impressions this week as compared to 130,391 impressions in the earlier week. The channel has garnered the all-time high reach on news channels of Network18 with over 22 crore reach in India 2+ category in week 12.

Despite gaining over 115 per cent in terms viewership in week 12, India TV fell from the third position to last in the top five news channels list. The channel has gained 296,305 weekly impressions in the current week as compared to 137,578 impressions in the previous week of BARC.

Being number one for the twelfth week straight, Republic Media Network’s English news channel Republic TV has surged by over 130 per cent to 1962 impressions this week as against 852 in the previous week. This is the biggest ever viewership gain, the channel has reported so far this year.

Maintaining its stance at the second position, Times News Network’s English news channel Times Now has grown over by 113 per cent to 1375 impressions in week 12 as against 644 in week 11. The channel, so far, has shown the biggest ever viewership gains this year alone.

TV Today Network’s English news channel India Today Television has gained most in percent-wise by over 184 per cent to 1190 impressions in week 12 as compared to 418 impressions in the previous week. The channel has turned out to be the most-watched channel in the megacities in one day, gaining total impressions of 4417 in week 12 of BARC.

Not just that, India Today has also been the most preferred channel in the 15+ category during the first three days of lockdown period that began from 25 March and which falls in week 12 of BARC. The channel has also ranked number two with a rise of 24 per cent in both megacities and all India.

Retaining its place at the fourth spot, Network18’s English news channel CNN-News18 has grown by over 122 per cent to 848 weekly impressions in the current week as compared to 381 in week 11.

For the first-ever time, BBC World News has been featured in the in top five English news channels’ list with 565 weekly impressions in week 12 of BARC.

A joint report released by BARC and Nielsen India on crisis consumption mentions that the news genre has shown around 300 per cent increase in terms of viewership across the general category (English, Hindi and regional).

The business news channels in both Hindi and English languages have risen by 180 per cent in viewership.

The report also points out that while the primetime consumption of news across the country has surged by over 250 per cent, non-prime time news slot saw a rise of 344 per cent in terms of viewership. However, perhaps for the first time, there has been a drop of over 15 per cent in viewership in general entertainment channels during the primetime slot.

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