Television

English News viewership decline continues in week 3 of 2020

4 - week average combined viewership of top 5 channels in week 3 was down 23%

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BENGALURU: Viewership of English News channels continued a downward spiral in in week 3 of 2020 (Saturday, 18 January 2020 to Friday, 24 January 2020, week under review). Analysis of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) data of 44 weeks between week 13 of 2019 and week 3 of 2020 reveals that the four week combined average viewership of the top 5 English News channels declined 23 percent for week 53 of 2019 and week 3 of 2020  (4 week period under review) to 1.724 million weekly impressions as compared to the average combined viewership of the 44 week period of 2.235 million weekly impressions. Viewership during the period under review declined 15.1 percent from 2.032 million weekly impressions calculated for the immediate trailing 4 week period (week 49 to week 52 of 2019).

The last few weeks have been reasonably eventful. Among the newsworthy happenings include the fact that the fall out of the Citizenship Amendment Act is still unfolding, not only in India but in other geographies as well. Further, assembly elections for the state of Delhi have been announced, the lawyers of the condemned Nirbhaya rapists managed to delay their executions to the first of February. Please refer to the figure below for the four week average of combined ratings of top 5 English News channels between weeks 13 of 2019 and 3 of 2020.

It must be noted that BARC had stopped publishing data in the public domain between weeks 6 and 12 of 2019 to allow for ratings to stabilize after the implementation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) New Tariff Order (NTO), hence data between weeks 13 of 2019 and 3 of 2020 has been considered in this paper. Though the combined ratings of the top 5 English News channels in week 3 of 2020 were slightly higher than those of the immediate trailing week (week 2 of 2020), they were 24 percent lower than the 44 week average.

The figure below shows that combined ratings of the top 5 English News channels between week 13 of 2019 and week 3 of 2020.

Week 3 of 2020

Ranks 1, 2  and were held by the same channels in week 3 of 2020 as in the previous week – Republic TV, Times Now and India Today TV retained places 1, 2 and 3 respectively. DD India pushed its way to fourth rank from fifth rank in week 3 of 2020,  while CNN News18 dropped to fifth place from fourth. Please refer to the figure below: 

Two channels lost viewership in week 3 of 2020 – CNN News18 and Republic TV as compared to the previous week, while the other 3 made slight gains. Arnab Goswami’sfirst placed Republic TV saw viewership decline by 5 percent to 0.568 million weekly impressions from 0.598 million. At rank two, Times Now saw viewership climb 11 percent to 0.472 million weekly impressions from 0.425 million weekly impressions. Third ranked India Today Television saw  viewership increase 4.3 percent to 0.265 million weekly impressions in week 3 of 2020 from 0.254 million weekly impressions in week 2. At rank 4, DD India saw viewership rise 7.3 percent to 0.207 million weekly impressions in week 3 of 2020 from 0.193 million weekly impressions in the previous week. CNN News18 saw ratings decline 12.3 percent to 0.186 million weekly impressions  in week 3 of 2020 from 0.212 million weekly impressions in week 2.

Please refer to the figure below:


 

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