Television

TV news channels, exit polls & Delhi Assembly elections

Accurate predictions helped news channels to gain credibility and trust of viewers

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/13/Arvind_Kejriwal.jpg?itok=JKbAjVnc

MUMBAI: When predictions become a reality, it’s champagne popping time. Or breaking into a Gangnam Style jig on live television. This is exactly what happened with the majority of news channels’ exit polls, which were done in association with various research agencies that surveyed the mood of Delhiites during the state assembly elections.

This time, a majority of the news channels were almost bang-on as far as the final tally for the various parties in the bitterly fought battle to rule New Delhi was concerned. In the process, they possibly gained a veneer of trust from viewers, who have otherwise been possibly put off by the state of news TV and reportage recently. Indeed it should help them get more eyeballs going forward as it most likely did during the vote count and announcement of the results of the hustings on 11 June.

Says India Today Group vice-chairperson Kalli Purie: “Every time we get a poll right the stakes get higher. This was our fifth poll bang on. The trust put in us by our viewers is a big responsibility and makes us work harder. We wear glasses with no colour when we look at data. Data is always neutral. The partnership of the best data input from Axis and serious ground reporting from our team before every election has made this incredible feat possible.”

It was her network which predicted the most accurate outcome in partnership with pollster  Pradeep Gupta’s Axis My India. Their forecast: the Aam Aadmi Party would sweep the elections giving it between 59 and 68 seats in the 70-member Assembly, while BJP and its allies,  would get two to eleven seats and the Congress none.

"We follow international best practices,” says Axis My India chairman & managing director Pradeep Gupta. “Our methodology is highly refined that helps us eliminate margins of error. Our sampling is the most demographically and politically representative in any given election. There's zero tolerance for any compromise on the quality. That's perhaps the reason why the Harvard Business School is doing a case study on Axis My India for the GE 2019 predictions."

India Today Group-Axis My India exit polls have accurately predicted 33 out of the 35 elections over the past four years. And, the trend of being near to correct has been going on since last year’s general election followed by Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand Assembly elections.

APB News Network chief executive officer Avinash Pandey concurs with Purie’s view that accuracy in exit polls helps build up perceptions toward news television. Says he: “The exit polls raise the stickiness and strengthen the loyalty towards a channel; they are a significant element as they predict the outcome of the final result. The data points help news channels establish faith in the eyes of the viewers and emerge as a credible entity.”

He adds that elections being of national importance, “there have been times when news channels have surpassed GEC viewership numbers by comfortable margins during both exit poll and counting days, especially on counting days as the numbers keep changing by the minute.”

ABP News Network in association with Centre for Voting Opinion & Trends in Election Research (CVoter), was the second most accurate with its poll prediction. It projected Aam Aadmi Party to win 51 to 65 seats, followed by BJP with three to 17 seats, and zero to three seats for the Congress, which was quite close to the actual results.

Cvoter sampled 11,839 voters in New Delhi after they cast their ballot on the EVMs.

Times Now editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar points out that exit polls are based on actual field survey and mathematical extrapolation, and “a lot of times predictably algorithms and good fieldwork can give results in line with actual results data. Since exit polls are conducted prior to the actual results and sometimes at least two to three days prior they do help shore up eyeballs on the main day that see a spike in viewership. The maximum traction that news channels generally receive is observed when data is live and counting of votes is on. The second spike comes for the evening debates on the election day.”

Times Now, in association with research agency Ipsos, was relatively optimistic about the BJP’s performance in its exit poll. Ipsos predicted that the BJP would snare 23 seats and AAP would pocket 47, which was quite off the mark.

ABP News’ Pandey says the network’s flagship program Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri attracted sponsors such as Signature Pan Masala, Rakesh Masale, and Tata Altroz. “The property has had a tremendous lineage of viewers for the past 17 years and with every election, it has grown bigger and more popular amongst the viewers,” he reveals.

“A  property such as elections turn eyeballs of viewers and advertisers to the news channels,” says media veteran Anita Nayyar.  “Exit polls set the mood and opinion of the viewers and have an important role to play as it tells in which direction the wave is going. Since viewers are glued to the events such as exit polls and counting days, the advertisers want to take the leverage this opportunity and it becomes important for them.”

Dentsu Aegis Network India chief executive officer Anand Bhadkamkar opines that he would like news channels to be consistently on the button, not just during exit polls. Says he: “Exit polls are definitely one of the factors to increase the credibility of news channels but consistent and impartial performance helps the news broadcaster maximum to generate credibility of the channel. Election is one of the important events where spends do work. Brands and advertisers do want to leverage on the space where there are major eyeballs being glued.”

A view echoed by Madison Media senior general manager Chirag Shah. Says he: “Exit polls’ accuracy in line with actual results does give a short term benefit of consumer buzz related to credibility. But news channel loyalty depends on overall content on the channel. News viewing and relatability is a habit that is formed over a longer period of time. Advertiser support is also a longer-term partnership.”

In the battle for Delhi that concluded on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party for the third straight time emerged victorious, gaining 62 seats in the 70-member Assembly of the national capital; it received over 50 per cent of the vote share. Delhi’s denizens rejected the Congress this election too, like in the last one. Trailing behind AAP, the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged eight seats, improving its performance compared to the 2015 elections when it won just three seats.

But the biggest gainers of this election were the news channels and their research agencies, which predicted the results right.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/republic-logo.jpg?itok=0WJEBK69
Republic TV set to sue Mumbai police commissioner for defamation

NEW DELHI: Accusations have flown thick and fast between the Mumbai police and its commissioner Param Bir Singh and the Republic Media Network over the past few months. The rancour between the two parties only intensified after the former accused the latter of rigging its viewership ratings by...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/star-maa.jpg?itok=LaDfRunW
Star Maa Becomes Top Player in India for Pay Entertainment Channel

Hyderabad: Star Maa has been setting up examples through various programmatic presentations with inspiring stories, audacious reality format, Start stud events and block buster movies. It leads the Prime Time viewership with 42% share showing soaps like Vadinammma, Karthika Deepam, Intinti Gruha...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/ddlj.jpg?itok=NtM56DfM
Come, Fall in Love All Over Again as Sony MAX celebrates 25 years of DDLJ

Aditya Chopra's trendsetting romantic cult masterpiece, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), completes 25 years on October 20, 2020. In a bid to commemorate the timeless movie and offer Indian viewers a slice of Bollywood's golden era, Sony MAX and Sony MAX2 will showcase a special telecast of the...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/mrro.jpg?itok=aebOgUCp
TIMES NOW and MIRROR NOW announce special programming line-up for upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections 2020

As the race to power heats up with the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020, Times Network's best in class news channels, TIMES NOW and Mirror NOW announce an unmatched programming line-up, offering viewers the most extensive coverage of the upcoming elections. 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/2.jpg?itok=fLCSnSv9
Elegance Bratton to helm Hellfighters documentary

Five Fifty Five and Rainshine Entertainment announced the production of a new feature documentary Hellfighters, to be directed by marine corps veteran, and Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival alum, Elegance Bratton.

Television Production House Fiction
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/banijay.jpg?itok=9nhbTT54
Banijay Brands unveils new licensing deals in Asia

Banijay Brands has announced a range of new licensing agreements Mr Bean, MasterChef and Simon’s Cat in Asia, ahead of the region’s week at the festival of licensing.

Television Production House Fiction
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/update.jpg?itok=TwkM-wsz
Bangla channels pin high hopes on Durga Puja

With market sentiments improving over the last few months, brands have started coming up with new and dynamic ways to connect with consumers.

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/barc.jpg?itok=IpU2TYNO
BARC fires back at Republic for misrepresenting private emails

The TRP rigging tale has developed a new twist with BARC India expressing disappointment over Republic Network’s action in in making public,  private and confidential communications between the agency and the newscaster and misrepresenting the same.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/18/arab.jpg?itok=8N_7drwf
Republic Media provides proof of its innocence in TRP rigging charges

Republic Media Network has come out with a statement in which it is claiming a thumping victory against the “fake news propaganda being spread by the Mumbai police about it being found guilty of rigging viewership ratings.”

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required