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BARC week 24: Hindi news ratings plunge further

Combined ratings of BARC’s top 5 Hindi news channels were lowest ever across urban and rural

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BENGALURU: Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) sum of weekly ratings of top 5 Hindi news channels across the Hindi speaking urban – HSM (U) and rural – HSM (R) as well as the combined HSM (U+R) were lowest ever in week 24 of 2019 (Saturday, 8 June 2019 to Friday, 14 June 2019, week or period under review). BARC recommenced publishing of data in the public domain in week 13 of 2019 after a hiatus of seven weeks to allow ratings to stabilise after implementation of TRAI’s new tariff order, and the ratings for week 24 were the lowest ever since then.

The sum of weekly impressions of the top 5 Hindi news channels was 457.884 million weekly impressions in HSM (U+R); 187.489 million weekly impressions in HSM (R); and 275.549 million weekly impressions in HSM (U). Comparatively, the 11 week average (between weeks 13 and 23 of 2019) of the sum of weekly impressions of the top 5 Hindi news channels in HSM (U+R) was 653.192 million; in HSM (R) it was 288.937 million and in HSM (U) it was 367.834 million.

Of the reasons that this drop could be attributed to is BARC having reverted to the earlier process of treatment of landing page beginning with week 23.  Added to this is the fact that the timings of the ongoing cricket tourney by the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales overlap primetime of most channels, including Hindi news, could have affected viewership ratings. Many in the industry feel that BARC reverting to the old treatment of landing pages and filtering out data from outliers is better.

There was no change in the list of channels in HSM (U+R) and HSM (U) except for shuffling of ranks. In the case of HSM (R), India TV re-entered BARC’s list of top 5 Hindi news channels. Living Media (India Today Group) flagship Hindi news channel Aaj Tak continued its supremacy at rank 1 of the Hindi news genre in urban, rural as well as combined urban and rural markets. Aaj Tak was the only channel among the top 5 that saw ratings in week 24 of 2019 climb as compared to week 23.

HSM (U+R)

With 115.088 million weekly impressions in week 24 of 2019, Aaj Tak led BARC’s weekly list of top Hindi news channels as compared to 110.763 million weekly impressions. Continuing on at second rank was Network18’s News18 India with 93.574 million weekly impressions in the week under review as compared to 97.484 million weekly impressions in the previous week.

Climbing up a place to third rank in week 24 of 2019 was Rajat Sharma and Ritu Dhawan’s India TV with 87.283 million weekly impressions as compared to fourth rank and 88.807 million weekly impressions in week 23. Dropping a rank to fourth place in week 24 of 2019 was ARG Outlier Media’s Republic Bharat with 81.129 million weekly impressions as compared to third rank and 90.570 million weekly impressions in week 23. At fifth rank in week 24 of 2019 was Zee Media’s Zee News with 80.790 million weekly impressions as compared to 88.617 million weekly impressions in the preceding week.

HSM (R)

At rank one in HSM (R), Aaj Tak garnered 49.718 million weekly impressions in the Hindi speaking rural market in week 24 of 2019 as compared to 50.815 million weekly impressions in week 23. Climbing up a place to second rank was the erstwhile Ananda Bazar Patrika’s ABP News in week 24 of 2019 with 35.906 million weekly impressions as compared to third rank and 38.881 million weekly impressions in the previous week.

Dropping a rank to third place in HSM (R) during the week under review as Republic Bharat with 34.764 million weekly impressions as compared to second rank and 40.454 million weekly impressions in week 23. News18 India also climbed a place to fourth rank in HSM (R) with 33.721 million weekly impressions as compared to fifth rank and 34.771 million weekly impressions. Re-entering BARC’s weekly list of top 5 Hindi news channels list for HSM (R) was India TV with 33.370 million weekly impressions in week 24 of 2019.

HSM (U)

Aaj Tak regained its first place in the urban Hindi speaking market in week 24 of 2019 with 65.370 million weekly impressions as compared to second rank and 59.948 million weekly impressions in the previous week. Dropping a place to second rank was News18 India with 59.873 million weekly impressions as compared to first rank and 62.713 million weekly impressions in week 23.

India TV retained rank three in week 24 of 2019 with 53.913 million weekly impressions as compared to 54.765 million weekly impressions in week 23. Also retaining its previous week’s fourth rank was Zee News with 50.028 million weekly impressions as compared to 53.451 million weekly impressions in week 23. Completing the quintet in HSM (U) was Republic Bharat in week 24 of 2019 at its previous week’s rank 5 with 46.365 million weekly impressions as compared to 50.116 million weekly impressions.

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