Television

Most watched South Indian channels in 2018

Most watched South Indian channels in 2018

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BENGALURU: The South Indian television market comprises of the states and union territories in which the four prominent South Indian languages (by alphabetical order): Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu are spoken. Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) Universe defines these territories as: Kannada – Karnataka state; Malayalam – Kerala state; Tamil – Tamil Nadu (TN) state and the Union Territory of Puducherry; and Telugu – the states of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana. These states and territories will be referred to as the South Indian states henceforth in this article.

BARC says that its data is based on the following viewer geographies and demographic parameters for GEC/News in Hindi, Channels other than News channels and News channels in the four South Indian languages:

(a)   Hindi GEC/News: Hindi Speaking Markets, both urban and rural or HSM (U+R): NCCS All: 15+ Individuals.

(b)   Telugu Channels other than News/ News: Andhra Pradesh or AP/Telangana (U+R): NCCS All: 2+ Individuals

(c)   Kannada Channels other than News /News: Karnataka (U+R): NCCS All: 2+ Individuals

(d)   Tamil Channels other than News /News: Tamil Nadu/Puducherry (U+R): NCCS All: 2+ Individuals

(e)   Malayalam Channels other than News /News: Kerala (U+R): NCCS All: 2+ Individuals

BARC India Universe Estimate Grid 2018 was adopted from week 29 of 2018 onward. Before that BARC India, Households and Individuals Universe Estimate – 2017 was used. Until (including) week 28 of 2018, BARC’s Universe 2017 estimates have been used and from week 29 to 2018 onward, BARC Universe 2018 estimates have been used in this paper to determine viewership per HH.

It must be noted that according to BARC sources, the urban and rural Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) comprises All of India minus the states that have the four South Indian languages. The unit of viewership measure or ratings in all cases in the charts below is thousand weekly impressions.

Television penetration in these five states Southern States and Union Territories is highest with more than 91 percent of the households having a television set. According to the BARC India Universe Estimate Grid 2018, the South Indian states account for more than a third (34.76 percent) or 68.374 million of the total 196.730 million television HHs in the country. The five South Indian states and one Union Territory constitute 30.93 percent (258.509 million) of total population of ages two years or more (2+, 835.839 million) according to the latest BARC India Universe Estimate Grid. 

There are a number of channels in each of the four South Indian languages covering genres such as GEC, movies, infotainment, kids, etc. BARC India makes available in public data of the top 5 or 10 channels other than news channels and the top 5 news channels in each of these South Indian languages along with data for other genres/languages for each language every week. The conclusions drawn by the author in this paper are hence limited to the data that is disseminated by BARC India in the public domain. Just to give a flavour of the importance of the South Indian markets for broadcasters and marketers, a comparison of the gross viewership ratings of the top 5 channels for all the first 33 of 2018 (Saturday, 30 December 2017 to Friday, 17 August 2018) of each of the four South Indian languages and Hindi GECs’ in HSM (U+R) is indicated below. 

In the public domain, BARC India provides data for the top 10 Hindi GEC channels in HSM (U+R), HSM (U) and HSM (R). The author has used ratings data of only the top 5 Hindi GEC channels in HSM (U+R) in the comparative figure below.

South Indians consume more news in their respective local languages and markets than the Hindi speaking viewer does Hindi news in HSM. In South India, more Kannada news per HH in Karnataka is consumed than in the case of other South Indian language in its respective state and territory HH. Please refer to the figure below for the Gross Combined Impressions of the Top 5 News channels of weeks 1 to 33 of 2018 in Hindi and the four South Indian languages.

After this short preamble, let us move to the status quo in South India. To belong to the top South Indian channels other than news channels and the top South Indian news channels list and for ranking in this paper the following filtering criteria have been used (2) The channel must have appeared in BARC’s list of top 5 channels in the respective language and state or territory for all the first thirty three weeks of 2018, (2) combined weekly ratings of the eligible channels across all the 33 weeks of 2018 are used to determine the ranking.

Two ranking systems have been used in this paper – one is on the basis of gross viewership during the first 33 weeks of 2018 and the other is by gross viewership during the first 33 weeks of 2018 per household in the respective state and territory. As mentioned above gross viewership per household has been determined by using BARC Universe 2017 estimates for weeks 1 to 28 and BARC Universe Estimates 2018 have been used week 29 onward. 

Top South Indian TV channels other than news channels in weeks 1 to 33 of 2018

Sun TV, the flagship Tamil general entertainment channel (GEC) of one of the most profitable media companies in India- The Sun TN Network Ltd, is one of the most watched channels in India as is evident from its week on week number one position in BARC’s weekly lists of top 10 channels across genres. Sun TV accedes its first rank annually during the weeks around when the Indian Premier League (IPL) is being played to the channel that airs the event in Hindi. Until IPL 2018, the cricket league was aired on Sony Pictures Network India’s Hindi movies channel Sony Max. Since 2018, the right to air the event was won by Star India, and its Hindi sports channel Star Sports 1 Hindi occupied premier rank in most weeks that the event took place in BARC’s weekly lists of Top 10 channels across genres. 

The top fifteen South Indian channels other than news in the list below are those that have appeared in BARC’s weekly list of top 5 channels in their respective South Indian languages during all the first 33 weeks of 2018. Thirteen of the channels are GEC and two are movies channels – one movies channel in Kannada and one in Tamil. The Sun TV Network has channels among BARC’s top 5 weekly lists in all the four South Indian Languages. Six of the top 18 channels in the list below are from the Sun TV Network (four local language GECs and both the movies channels among the fifteen), three each are from Star India and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel), two are associated with Viacom18 and one is owned by Insight Media City. 

Four channels have the same ranks based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership and 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH (rank 1 Sun TV-Tamil; rank 13 Udaya Movies-Kannada; rank 14, Surya TV- Malayalam and rank 15 Flowers TV-Malayalam). Noteworthy is the fact that the second most watched channel in terms of 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH – Asianet (Malayalam) is ranked tenth based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership. Colors Kannada is ranked third based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH as compared to rank 10 based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership; Star India’s Telugu Flagship channel Star Maa is ranked fourth in terms of 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH and second in terms of 33 Weeks Gross Viewership alone. Zee Telugu is ranked fifth in terms of 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH as compared to third rank based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership. Please refer to the figure below for Gross Viewership and Gross Viewership per HH for the top 15 South Indian Channels other than News during the first 33 weeks of 2018.

Top South Indian Television News channels in weeks 1 to 33 of 2018

There are a number of news channels in each of the four South Indian languages. TV9 Kannada is the most watched news channel in Karnataka and has the highest 33 Week Gross Viewership as well as 33 Week Gross Viewership per HH in South India amongst the local news channels in their respective states and territories. Thirteen news channels from South India appeared in BARC’s weekly lists of top 5 news channels in their respective languages in their states and territories during all the 33 weeks of 2018. There are four Kannada and Telugu news channels each, three Malayalam news channels and two Tamil news channels that are listed below. 

As in the case of South Indian channels other than news above, for South Indian news channels also there is variance in ranks when viewed from 33 Weeks Gross Viewership and 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH perspectives. None of the News channels except for TV9 Kannada (rank 1) have the same ranks for 33 Weeks Gross Viewership and 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH. Based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership, Public TV (Kannada) is the second most watched South Indian news channel, but from the perspective of 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH, Public TV is ranked third. Similarly, TV9 Telugu is ranked third based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership, but is ranked fifth based on Gross Viewership per HH. The Malayalam news channel Aisanet is ranked fourth based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership, but ranked second based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH, while the Tamil language news channel Polimer News is ranked fifth based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership, but is ranked eighth based on 33 Weeks Gross Viewership per HH. Malayalam channel Manorama News is ranked is ranked eleventh based on 33 Week Gross Viewership, but is ranked fourth based on 33 Week Gross Viewership per HH. Please refer to the figure below Gross Viewership and Gross Viewership per HH for the top 13 South Indian news channels other than News during the first 33 weeks of 2018.

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