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Viewership floods news genre

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 01, 2013
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Both, the English and Hindi general news genres increased their weekly GRPs by about 50 per cent and 97.4 per cent, respectively, on the back of the coverage of the flood ravaged hill-state of Uttarakhand.

News broadcasters count among the people who prosper in times of tragedy. When disaster strikes, during elections and in extreme situations, the genre share for news (both Hindi and English) has always risen, bringing smiles on the faces of broadcasters.

Uttarakhand floods

Uttarakhand floods

As flood waters ravaged Uttarakhand, the viewership and reach of the news channels went up significantly. The coverage included visuals of the rivers, the rescue operations, the current situation of the valley, the politicians visiting the place and debates over the issue. To add to the tragic situation, one of the rescue choppers crashed in the valley due to the foul weather, killing 20 army personnel.

Consider this: The average weekly reach of Hindi news channels between Weeks 22 and 24 (May, 26 to June, 15) was 76.24 million vis-a-vis 91.22 million in Week 25 (June, 16 to June, 22), registering a growth of 19.7 per cent (C&S 15+, HSM). The GRPs of the genre have also increased from 117 points to 231 points (97.4 per cent growth). It must be noted that GRP is a function of reach and time spent on a channel. Apart from this, the Hindi news genre share among the total TV viewing universe has grown from 3.8 per cent (between Weeks 22 to 24) to 7 per cent in Week 25, mapped on C&S 15+, HSM.

On the same lines, the average weekly reach of the English news genre between Weeks 22 and 24 was 6.24 million against Week 25, when it was 7.31 million, an increase of 17 per cent (C&S 25+, All India 1million+). The GRPs too have increased from 5 points to 8 points in the same time frame, a growth of 60 per cent. The genre share also increased from 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent.

While the Hindi channels are viewed in the Hindi speaking markets, the English news channels generally have higher viewership in the metros. Considering the six metros (Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad), the genre garnered a reach of 3.99 million between Weeks 22 and 24, against the 4.64 million that it got in Week 25.

Interestingly, the Delhi market generally (calculated over Weeks 22 to 24) contributes about 17.3 per cent to the total reach; this contribution went up in Week 25; in this week, when the coverage of the flood ravaged area was telecast, the Delhi region contributed 23.8 per cent of the total reach generated by the English news genre. The contribution from the Mumbai market has also increased marginally from 22.4 per cent (between Weeks 22 and 24) to 23.4 per cent (Week 25).

Hyderabad has maintained its 23.3 per cent contribution. However, someone's gain is another's loss. Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata have all decreased their contribution in the genre reach, despite the tragic times (the telecast of coverage). Bengaluru has dropped from 8.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent, Chennai, from 14 per cent to 12.4 per cent and Kolkata from 14.9 per cent to 10.3 per cent.

Now, looking at GRPs, the English news genre has seen an increase in the GRPs from 7 points to 9 points (which is about 28 per cent increase). If we consider the market-wise contribution, the results don't necessarily go hand-in-hand with the reach contributions.

Delhi puts in close to 11.7 per cent to the total GRPs of the genre, whereas in Week 25, the market contributed close to 15.7 per cent. Mumbai, however, has dropped its contribution marginally from 3.9 per cent (Week 22 to 24) to 3.8 per cent (Week 25). Hyderabad, too, dropped the contribution from 37.3 per cent to 30.3 per cent. Bengaluru has decreased from 13.9 per cent to 12.8 per cent. Chennai, surprisingly has increased its contribution to genre GRPs from 22.4 per cent (Weeks 22 to 24) to 28.2 per cent (Week 25). Kolkata's contribution decreased from 10.9 per cent to 9.2 per cent.

For the record, the news genre always witnesses spikes in viewership during elections and budgets. By definition, the genre recently saw increased numbers with incidents like the Delhi gang-rape case, Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement, Baba Ramdev's march, protests at India Gate, IPL spot-fixing and Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru hanging, amongst others developments.

The Hindi news genre includes the channels Aaj Tak, ABP News, DD News, IBN7, India TV, Live India, NDTV India, News 24, Samay, TEZ and Z News, amongst others. The English news genre includes CNN IBN, Headlines Today, NDTV 24x7, News X and Times Now.

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