News continues to be consumption-driver despite a fall in BARC week 15

News continues to be consumption-driver despite a fall in BARC week 15

Business news channels show positive growth as compared to general news


MUMBAI: Being the television consumption driver, the general news category has continued to grow by close to 200 per cent and business news by over 80 per cent in the week 15, says a joint report of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India – Nielsen India. However, the news broadcasters this week have fallen marginally in terms of viewership this week as compared to week 14.

The general news category in both English and Hindi languages has fallen by 10 per cent. On the contrary, business news in both English and Hindi languages registered a combined growth by over 16 per cent. The COVID period has given news channels an upper hand to gain viewership than other genres but has been failing to sustain its week-on-week performance and tumbled for the straight third week now.

Retaining its third position, India TV fell most of the top five Hindi news channels by over 11 per cent to 249,898 weekly impressions in week 15. Both Republic Bharat and Zee News declined by 10 per cent each in viewership this week. The former registered 244,655 weekly impressions, whereas the latter secured 242,763. Both the channels continued to retain their last week's fourth and fifth spots respectively.

Being the second most-watched news channel in week 15, ABP News tumbled over nine per cent to 267,044 weekly impressions. While Aaj Tak became the number one TV channel for a consecutive fourth week, as per BARC. It slumped by over five per cent to 350,766 weekly impressions this week. The channel doubled its viewership than peers during prime minister Narendra Modi’s half an hour nation address on 14 April while announcing the extension of the lockdown till 3 May.

English news channels reported a mixed performance in the current week as two news channels out of the top five registered substantial growth, while the other three continued with its decline trajectory.

NDTV24x7 reported a maximum growth by over 75 per cent to 494 weekly impressions in week 15. The channel bagged the fifth spot and its growth is meagre as compared to peers in impressions but the channel certainly has improved its week-on-week performance. Similarly, India Today for the first time, so far this year, has become the second most-watched news channel in the nation. The channel saw a growth of over 20 per cent to 1031 weekly impressions in the current week.

In week 15, Times Now fell most in all of the top five English news channels by over 11 per cent to 815 weekly impressions. The channel has slipped to the third rank from second for the first time so far this year. Continuing to be at number one spot, Republic TV also tumbled marginally by over seven per cent to 1755 impressions week-on-week. Zee Media’s WION retaining its fourth spot has fallen by over four per cent to 600 weekly impressions in the current week of BARC.

As India's economy to be impacted most with the extended COVID-19 situation, viewers flock to watch the business news channels. After general news, it's business news category driving the television content consumption most, points out the fifth edition of BARC and Nielsen India report.

Network18’s both English and Hindi language general news channels failed to get featured in the list of the top five most-watched news channels this week, however, its CNBC cluster has a different story to say altogether. CNBC-TV18, the English business news channel of Network18, reported growth by over 15 per cent to 452 weekly impressions in week 15, whereas the Hindi business news channel – CNBC Awaaz – advanced by over 24 per cent to 2172 weekly impressions in the current week.

Times Network’s English business news channel ET Now, trailing behind CNBC-TV18, registered a growth by 13 per cent to 235 weekly impressions in week 15. While Zee Business, a Hindi business news channel, reported a growth of around eight per cent to 1771 weekly impressions in the current week.

BARC India chief executive officer Sunil Lulla while presenting the fifth edition of BARC-Nielsen joint report had said: “Viewers flocked to watch news more than any other genre post the lockdown was announced by prime minister Narendra Modi on 24 March amid COVID-19 pandemic.”

BARC-Nielsen India has been coming up with television and digital consumption report every week. The report compares the current lockdown period to week two to four (11-31 January) of BARC, which is termed as pre-COVID period.