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STAR News beats Aaj Tak: Freak week or new leader?

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | October 17, 2006
According to the latest TAM data, STAR News has overtaken Aaj Tak in Week 40, earning an impressive 20.3 per cent channel share


The battle between & #BANNER1 & # the Hindi news channels is heating up as STAR News once again emerges as the number one news channel, as per the TAM Media Research (Week 40, C&S, 15+, Hindi speaking markets.) It has garnered a channel share of 20.3 per cent, according to the report.

STAR News has beaten Aaj Tak, which has been a clear leader in the Hindi news channel space for a long time now. In Week 40, Aaj Tak only managed a channel share of 16.4 per cent. Zee News came third with a channel share of 14.7 per cent and NDTV India came close, at number four, with a 14.3 per cent channel share.

Among the other channels, IBN 7 and India TV got a channel share of 8.5 per cent, each, while Sahara Samay National and TEZ followed in next with a relative channel share of 6.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively. DD News and Janmat were the last two channels in the list with a share of 3.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

Interestingly, unlike other instances when STAR News beat Aaj Tak as result of a major event such as the Mumbai deluge, this time, the channel has shown regular growth. In fact, the gap between Aaj Tak and STAR News had narrowed down in week 38 itself, when Aaj Tak got a channel share of 20.6 percent and STAR News followed closely with a 19.5 per cent channel share.

In Week 39, both the channels - Aaj Tak and STAR News - were neck to neck with 19.6 and 19.3 per cent channel share, respectively among the Hindi news channels.

However, a section of advertisers and media planners still want to wait and watch before declaring STAR News a clear winner. They say that the channel needs to sustain this leadership and the next few weeks will be very crucial for both channels. In fact, some of them, Dinesh Rathore, head of buying, Starcom, among them, terms this as a 'happy coincidence', though he doesn't discount the fact that it is indeed an achievement for STAR News to have raced ahead of Aaj Tak.

As a media buyer, Rathore is optimistic about another option being thrown open for advertisers and clients. "Since Aaj Tak has been reigning for a long time, it will be nice to see the monopoly break and more viable options emerge," he adds.

Kajal Malik, regional director, OMS, points out that there's not much that is happening on the news front as such. "Today, it is the sting operations and the sensational news stories that increase the cumulative reach of a channel," she explains.

Malik stresses on the promotions that sensational programmes employ to ensure tune-ins. "There are interesting teaser promotions on channels such as STAR News which are so innovative that one can't help but notice them," she says. According to her, these programmes grab eye-balls because of their sensation and drama quotient.

But Malik is quick to add that these are sporadic peaks and may not be sustained for long, which implies that it is unfair and premature to conclude who the leader is.

Clearly, the inference is that Aaj Tak cannot be sidelined for long ands its supremacy will surface soon enough if STAR News fails to continue delivering.

2006 agencyfaqs!