Report on Hindi News Viewership

Republic TV curiosity factor wanes, NBA channels data absent in week 21

BENGALURU: Has the curiosity factor for Republic TV started dipping? The channel topped Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) ratings for the third week in a row since its inception, albeit with much lower ratings when compared to those obtained during its debut week. Republic TV’s victory can be termed a pyrrhic victory at the best. Conspicuous by its absence was data for the other major Indian English News channels from the weekly top 5 English News channels list for week 21 (Saturday, 20 May 2017 to Friday, 26 May 2017).

Republic TV could obtain just 1,014 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums for week 21. This was just about 48 percent of the Weekly Impressions that the channel had garnered in week19. It ratings in week 21 were even lower than the ratings obtained by the second placed Times Now which had weekly impressions of 1,148 (000s) Sums in week 19. In its first week of operations (BARC week 19), Republic TV had a viewership share of 52 percent and 2,117 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums, which fell to 49 percent in BARC week 20 with 1,703 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums. Week 21 data be termed irrelevant, considering that the data for the channels that Republic TV challenged, and channels that can offer stiff competition in the genre is absent.

It may be recalled that in a coordinated move, English News channels had pulled out of BARC on 18 May, only to return to the BARC fold from midnight of 26 May. English News channels backed by the News Broadcast Association had stripped their signals of BARC audio watermarks. The NBA had requested BARC not to publish Republic TV’s ratings, alleging that the channel had resorted to rampant multiple LCN placements on cable TV networks across the country, which the ratings agency had refused to comply with. In the absence of ratings data for channels such as Times Now, India Today Television, CNN News Today, etc., other channels found places in BARC’s top 5 channels list for the genre of week 21.

Following far behind Republic TV, at second place was BBC World News with just 190 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums. BBC World News reappeared in BARC’s top 5 channels for the English News genre after it had held fifth rank in week 18 with 128 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums. BBC World News has been present in the top 5 English News channels list for 17 of the first 21 weeks of 2017, though never at the second rank.

At third place was Wion with at 68 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums, followed by NewsX HD with just 1 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums. NDTV 24x7 came in at fifth place with ratings of just 0.21 Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums.

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