MUMBAI: New kid on the news block Republic TV has claimed it made a “stunning debut on Hotstar” crossing “a million viewers” within a day of its launch.
In an official joint statement of Republic TV and Hotstar, the news channel announced it has “created leadership in the most coveted news audience in the country, the urban viewers”.
Republic’s reach on Hotstar’s OTT platform exceeded that of the top English news channels on television, including Times Now, India Today TV, CNN News18 and NDTV 24x7 amongst both the urban M15+ audience as well as viewers in the top 60 cities in India, according to the statement put out by Republic TV, helmed by Arnab Goswami and funded, amongst others, by entrepreneur-turned-politician Rajeev Chandrashekhar, a vice-chairman of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that rules India.
Claiming that it is a “dramatic announcement given the viewership benchmarks are from a single digital platform”, the Republic TV-Hotstar statement said the new news channel’s viewership figures exceeded that of “traditional news channels significantly”.
According to the claims, Republic TV’s viewership percentage was 208 per cent of Times Now, 229 per cent of India Today, 311 per cent of CNN News18 and 254 per cent of NDTV 24X7. It further claimed that the comparisons are vis-a-vis TV figures that BARC India would collect within all-India 1mn+ towns, including mega-cities, for 22 April 2017.
Indiantelevision.com is not in a position to independently verify the viewership figures submitted by Republic TV and Hotstar. BARC India, the country’s present audience measurement currency, has not yet come out with data relating to Republic TV and other Indian news channels for the period under consideration till the time of writing this report.
Commenting on the matter, the official statement quoted Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as saying, “This is an exciting start and is a testimony to the impactful launch of Republic and the strength of the Hotstar platform, which has become the de facto destination for young, digital India.”
Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani said in the statement, “Republic will be the largest and most impactful news platform. We are excited to partner with Hotstar and bring in an entirely new audience to the Republic community. We are also thrilled to have taken a leadership position on debut itself. ”