Union Budget 2010 springs a surprise: BloombergUTV, CNBC Awaaz, Times Now and Aaj Tak lead their respective genres, as per aMap

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 03, 2010
aMap data for budget day, February 26 is out; and it has some surprises in store for news channels and media pundits alike

aMap data for budget day, February 26 is out; and it has some surprises in store for news channels and media pundits alike.

Business news channel generally experience a spike in viewership during the budget telecast.

This year in the English business News genre, there is a huge surprise when it comes to channel share. BloombergUTV has emerged as the No.1 channel on budget day with a share of 40 per cent ( C&S, 25+, SEC A&B, All India). CNBC TV18 follows next with a channel share of 26.7 per cent, while NDTV Profit managed to get 20 per cent viewership in this genre. Recently launched ET Now also managed to get a viewership share of 13.3 per cent in the genre.

For obvious reasons, this viewership share between English business channels has come as a surprise for many in the industry. As Mona Jain, chief operating officer, VivaKi Exchange, says, "BloombergUTV has sprung a surprise, because the channel was expected to deliver numbers somewhat similar to that of NDTV Profit. Improved distribution and a huge marketing push, in terms of a heavy outdoor and print campaign, appear to have done the trick for BloombergUTV."

In fact, it is learnt that BloombergUTV ran a Budget-led roadblock of three minutes across its network channels, immediately after the Finance Minister's Budget speech. All these promotions helped in attracting viewers to the Budget coverage on the channel.

In the Hindi business news genre, however, there weren't any surprises. As per aMap data for C&S 25yrs+, NWE, CNBC Awaaz has managed a market share of 75 per cent, while Zee Business has the remaining 25 per cent.

This year, the Budget coverage on CNBC Awaaz, was guided by the fact of shortening the Budget offering -- by condensing half an hour's discussion into just five minutes and the channel preferred not to waste time in in-depth analysis. Instead, the channel kept switching quickly between highlights of the budget, and its repercussions-reactions in the stock market.

When it comes to the English general news genre, the pack is led by Times Now. According to aMap data for C&S 15+ All India, Times Now has recorded a channel share of 23 per cent, followed by NDTV 24X7 (17.7 per cent) and CNBCTV18 (13.5 per cent).

According to one of the media planners, Times Now's success in Budget coverage is reflective of the news channel's usual (read non-Budget period) viewership.

Among English news channels, Times Now has become the channel of the masses, as it stays clear of intellectualising subjects or using jargon; instead, it delivers direct news in simple language.

In the Hindi general news genre, Aaj Tak emerges as the winner with a channel share of 25.2 per cent (as per aMap data for C&S 15yrs+, NWE). At No. 2 and No. 3 are STAR News and Zee News, which have registered channel shares of 19.3 per cent and 16.3 per cent, respectively.

Jain concludes that unlike English news, where the audience's attention gets divided between, say, the internet and English dailies; the dependence for Budget updates in the case of Hindi news is less on these two media. Since Hindi news channels also have a larger viewer base to draw on, it results in higher time spent on individual channels within this genre.

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