Since its launch in end-December 2000, news and current affairs channel Aaj Tak has, for the first time, emerged as the prime Hindi news channel, according to the latest TAM figures for the week ending May 19, 2001. The channel has relegated its main competitors, Zee News and STAR, to second and third place, respectively, on almost all parameters, including channel share, prime time viewership and average time spent per viewer.
Aaj Tak managed getting a peak viewership figure of 3,07,000, which bettered Zee's 1,89,000 and STAR's 85,000 by far. And even in terms of the weekly average viewership, Aaj Tak touched a high with 1,30,000, followed by Zee (98,000) and STAR (55,000), respectively.
When it comes to channel share, Aaj Tak again outshines its rivals. In comparative channel shares by daypart, Aaj Tak has garnered a 43-per cent share. Zee News is at number two with 31 per cent, followed by STAR with 15 per cent. BBC (5 per cent), CNBC (5 per cent) and CNN (1 per cent) complete the tally.
In the prime time band, Aaj Tak has managed getting 41 per cent channel share, as against Zee's 33 per cent. STAR has a 16-per cent share, while BBC (5 per cent), CNBC (4 per cent) and CNN (1 per cent) bring up the rear. In Hindi speaking markets, the comparative channel shares of news channels is as follows: Aaj Tak has a good 50 per cent, Zee has 31 per cent, while STAR has 12 per cent.
But, perhaps, the most impressive figures that tell on Aaj Tak's performance is the comparative time spent per viewer per day - what is termed 'stickiness' in Net lingo. While Zee and STAR have viewership scores of 28 minutes and 18 minutes, respectively, Aaj Tak has topped with 44 minutes. One interesting fact that these figures throw up is that CNBC - which has otherwise low scores - has a stickiness factor of 16 minutesÖ that is just two minutes less than STAR's.
While all this is certainly good news for Aaj Tak, the one area where the channel needs to improve is reach. The city-wise reach comparison shows that the channel leads Zee and STAR only in Delhi (by huge margins), Calcutta (by a whisker), Maharashtra (sans Mumbai) and Uttar Pradesh (sans Kanpur). Zee is the leader in Mumbai, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Ludhiana, while STAR is the frontrunner in Chennai and Tamil Nadu, Bangalore and Karnataka, Cochin and Andhra Pradesh (sans Hyderabad).
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