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BARC wk 28: English news ratings decline

Combined ratings of top 5 channels declined to 3rd lowest since week 13

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BENGALURU: The combined weekly ratings of the top 5 English news channels declined to the third lowest total in week 28 of 2019 (Saturday, 6 July 2019 to Friday, 12 July 2019, week or period under review) since week 13 of 2019. Calendar year 2019 has been an eventual year as far as publication in the public domain of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly viewership data is concerned. First, the ratings agency stopped publishing ratings in the public domain from week 6 of 2019 after the implementation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) New Tariff Order (NTO), ostentatiously to give time for viewership to stabilise and hence prevent ‘misuse’ of data. On coercion from TRAI, BARC started putting up data in the public domain from week 13 of 2019 onward, only to revert to an older version of treating data on the landing and outliers from week 23 of 2019.

During the six weeks since BARC’s adoption of the older method of treatment, ratings of a number of genres have been impacted. The three lowest combined ratings of the top 5 English news channels have happened post week 23 of 2019 – 1.948 million weekly impressions in week 24; 1.918 million weekly impressions in week 26 of 2019 and 1.929 million weekly impressions in week 28 of 2019.  However BARC’s reloaded method of treatment alone cannot be said to be the only reason for lowering of ratings – the last few weeks have seen the ICC’s World Cup 2019 being played in England and Wales, and the timings of cricket matches being played in the tourney often overlapped primetime of a number of genres. The week under consideration saw the last match being played by India – the rain affected match that India lost against New Zealand and was ousted from the tourney at the semi-final stage. The period over the past few weeks has also seen heavy rains and flooding in a number of places across the country. These factors and maybe some others could have had an adverse effect on television viewership.

Let us see how the English news genre performed in week 28 of 2019

As mentioned above the combined viewership of the top 5 English news channels was 1.929 million weekly impressions in week 28 of 2019, a decline of 1.8 percent from the 1.964 million weekly impressions in the previous week (week 27). Four channels saw their ratings decline, while one – India Today Television saw a 25.8 percent increase in viewership in week 28 of 2019.

At its normal first place was the Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV which saw ratings decline of 5.7 percent in week 28 of 2019 to 0.593 million weekly impressions from 0.629 million weekly impressions in week 27. Also continuing on at its previous week’s second rank was Times Now with a 7.8 percent decline in ratings in week 29 of 2019 to 0.424 million weekly impressions from 0.460 million weekly impressions in week 27.

Retaining its previous week’s third rank was pubcaster Doordarshan’s DD India with a 3.1 percent decline in ratings in week 28 of 2019 to 0.345 million weekly impressions from 0.356 million weekly impressions in week 27. Climbing up a place to fourth rank was India Today Television with a 25.8 percent increase in ratings to 0.288 million weekly impressions in week 28 of 2019 from fifth rank and 0.229 million weekly impressions in the previous week. Dropping a place to fifth rank with a 3.8 percent decline in viewership to 0.279 million weekly impressions in week 28 of 2019 from fourth rank and 0.290 million weekly impressions in week 28 was CNN News18.

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