Television

News consumption in South Indian languages during first 7 weeks of 2018

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BENGALURU: Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has started publishing weekly viewership data of top 5 news channels in each of the four South Indian languages in their respective markets since week 1 of 2018 ( Saturday, 30 December 2017 to Friday  5 January 2018) in the public domain. There are a number of news channels in each of the four southern languages. At the time of writing of this paper, data is available up to week 7 of 2018 (Saturday, 10 February 2018 to Friday, 16 February 2018). The languages and respective markets are Tamil – Puducherry/Tamil Nadu (TN); Telugu - Andhra Pradesh (AP) /Telangana; Kannada – Karnataka; Malayalam – Kerala. The audience profile is urban and rural: NCCS 2+ individuals. Saturday, 30 December 2017 to Friday, 16 February 2018 is the period under consideration or review in this paper. The impressions mentioned are generally the combined weekly impressions of the top 5 news channels of each language or the combined weekly impressions of each channel during the period under consideration. Only those channels that have appeared in BARC’s lists of top 5 channels for each language have been considered in this paper, with a mention of the periodic entrants to the lists.

Comparing news consumption in each of the markets, based on BARC’s combined weekly impressions data for top 5 news channels, news seems to be most watched in Telugu in the AP/Telangana and in Kannada in the Karnataka markets during the first seven weeks of 2018. Tamil news in the TN/Puducherry followed by Malayalam news in Kerala complete the four southern languages. 

News viewership is generally event driven. The biggest event during the first seven weeks of 2018 was the announcement of the budget by Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley. Budget week or week 5 of 2018 (Saturday, 27 January 2018 to Friday, 2 February 2018) seems not to have made too much of an impact in terms of viewership growth for three of the four southern languages based on the sum of the weekly impressions of each week  for each language (combined weekly impressions)  While viewership of the top 5 news channels seems to have peaked in week 5 of 2018 for Kannada, it was the highest in week 6 (Saturday, 3 February 2018 to Friday 9 February 2018) in the case of Telugu and Malayalam. Combined viewership on the top 5 Tamil news channels seems to be declining – it had peaked in week 2 of 2018 (Saturday 6 January 2018 to Friday 12 January 2018).

Please refer to the figure below for combined weekly impressions of the top 5 news channels in each of the four southern languages.

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In all the 4 languages, the order in ranks in terms of viewership of the top 3 or 4 channels has generally been the same. Week 7 of 2018 has seen some shuffling and upsets in ranks in the southern news channels.

Tamil News

Four channels have appeared during all the first seven weeks of 2018 in BARC’s weekly list for top 5 Tamil News channels. Polimer News was numero uno during all the first seven weeks of 2018 in terms of impressions garnering 245,313 impressions during the period under consideration in this paper. Puthiya Thalaimurai was ranked second during the first seven weeks of 2017 in terms of total impressions during the period – the channel garnered 202,887 impressions. The channel was ranked second during weeks 1,2,4 5 and 6 and ranked third in weeks 3 and 7 of 2018. 

Thanti TV was the third most watched Tamil News channel between weeks 1 and 7 of 2018. Thanti TV was ranked second in weeks 3 and 7 and ranked third in weeks 1,2,4 5 and 6. The channel had 193,582 impressions during the first seven weeks of 2018.

News 7 Tamil was the fourth most watched Tamil News channel with 129,361 impressions during weeks 1 to 7 of 2018.  The channel was ranked fourth between weeks 1 to 4 and 6 and 7 of 2017. In week 5 of 2017 the channel was ranked fifth. Sun News was the fifth most watchedchannel with 96,478 impressions during the first seven weeks of 2018. The channel was present in 6 of 7 weeks of 2018 among BARC’s weekly lists of 5 most watched Tamil news channels. Sun News exited the list in week 7 of 2017 to be replaced by News18 Tamil Nadu. Whilst in the top 5 Tamil news channels list, Sun News had weekly impressions of 96,478.

Telugu News

Four channels have been among BARC’s top 5 Telugu news channels during all the first 7 weeks of 2018, but with some shuffling in ranks. The biggest upset seems to be TV9 Telugu, which dropped to rank 2 in week 7 of 2018 from the first rank that it had held during the first six weeks of 2018. The second ranked NTV Telugu clambered to the first rank in week 7 of 2018.

During the period under review, TV9 Telugu was the most watched Telugu news channel with 345,162 impressions, followed by NTV Telugu with 293,500 impressions. TV 5 News was the third most watched Telugu News channel during the first 7 weeks of 2018 with 232,425 impressions. The channel was ranked third for the first 5 weeks of 2018, only to drop to rank 4 in week 6 and to drop even further to rank 5 in week 7 of 2018.

V6 News was the fourth most watched Telugu News channel during the first 7 weeks of 2018 with 214,283 impressions. The channel’s viewership seems to be improving with time. It was ranked fifth during the first four weeks of 2018, it climbed to rank 4 in week 5 and to rank 3 in weeks 6 and 7 of 2018.

Two channels -  ABN Andhra Jy oti and 10 TV were also present in BARC’s list of top 5 Telugu news channels for four and three weeks each respectively.

Kannada News

In the Kannada news space, the ranks in terms of viewership seem to be well defined. The first four weeks saw the same news channels appear in the same rank and order for the five ranks. From week 5 of 2018, rank five has been a contest between two channels.

TV9 Kannada, Public TV, Suvarna News and News18 Kannada were the first, second, third and fourth most watched Kannada news channels respectively during the first 7 weeks of 2018. At first rank was TV9 Kannada with 484,427 impressions, followed by Public TV with 321,758 impressions during the period under consideration. Suvarna News was ranked third with 170,233 impressions followed by News 18 with 120,760 impressions.

BTV was ranked fifth during weeks 1 to 4 and week 6 of 2018. It exited BARC’s top 5 list in weeks 5 and 7 of 2018 to be replaced by Dighvijay 24x7 News.

Malayalam News

Four channels have consistently appeared in BARC’s top 5 Malayalam news channels list during the first 7 weeks of 2018. Three of them – Asianet News (235,849 impressions), Manorama News (107,903 impressions) and Mathrubhumi News (82,472 impressions) have been ranked first, second and third respectively in BARC’s lists during the first 7 weeks of 2018. The fourth channel – News 18 Kerala (36,972 impressions) has seen a small upset – it had moved down to rank 5 in week 7 of 2017 from the fourth rank that it consistently held during the first six weeks of 2018. Media One TV was in BARC’s list for weeks 1, 2, 4, 5 at rank 5 of 2018. It has climbed up a rank to fourth in week 7 of 2018. Two other channels – Janam TV (week 3 of 2018) and People TV (week 6 of 2018) were present in BARC’s weekly lists of top 5 Malayalam News channels during the period under review).

Also Read :

Demystifying news television viewership in 2017

No change in channels in across genres list in first week of 2018

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