40, 2006: The battle between the two most popular Hindi news channels - Aaj Tak and STAR News (in terms of TVRs) - started heating up from Week 36 onwards, but STAR News finally overtook Aaj Tak in Weeks 40 and 41.
Week 40, 2007: History is repeated as Aaj Tak's dominance in the Hindi news space is yet again challenged by No. 2 player STAR News. Call it mere coincidence, but the timing of the battles is precisely the same as last year.
This year, the race for the top slot heads for a photo finish with STAR News bridging the gap between itself and Aaj Tak to a mere one TRP. Aaj Tak managed a relative market share of 21 per cent, while STAR News was a close second with 20 per cent (Source: TAM, C&S, 15+, HSM, relative market share, avg week 36-39). And then comes along Week 40: STAR News records a 22 per cent market share as compared to Aaj Tak's 21 (Source: TAM, C&S, 15+, HSM, relative market share, week 40).
The last time STAR News achieved a similar feat (for Week 25), it couldn't sustain it for more than a week. "It has happened before and one expects it to go history's way again," says Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal. When agencyfaqs! tried to contact STAR News officials, they shied away from commenting.
In Week 25, when STAR News had done something similar, Mona Jain, executive vice-president, ZenithOptimedia, told agencyfaqs!, "STAR News had been pushing for numero uno position for some time and one could feel it was coming. It was just a matter of time. I expect them to stay at the top. If not, at least STAR News will keep pushing for the top slot as the gap between the number one and two in the Hindi news space has narrowed." But now, even Jain believes that STAR News needs to stay on top over a period of time to actually claim the top slot.
Meanwhile, there hasn't been much movement among the other players. The breaking news king, India TV, has yet again managed the No. 3 slot with 16 per cent market share, while Zee News, NDTV India and Sahara Samay recorded a relative market share of 10 per cent, 9 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.