The single-most powerful event in the country, and a sort of lifetime opportunity for the new channels to make or break an impression, is the election. For the younger channels (such as STAR News, Sahara Samay, Doordarshan News and NDTV India) the stakes are even higher. Elections for them is an acid test of acceptance. Which explains why all the channels went whole hog covering the Assembly polls held recently with live bulletins, interviews, exit polls, analyses et al. The results of all that actions have started pouring in.
According to figures released by TAM Media (for C&S 15-plus individuals in Hindi- speaking markets) STAR News' election specials (on the exit poll and counting day) have helped it emerge as the No 2 Hindi news channel (in the week November 30-December 6) after the unequivocal numero uno Aaj Tak. NDTV India too gained a lot of mileage from its well-put-together election package.
Consider the following statistics. In the markets of Delhi, Kolkata, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Mumbai, and rest of Maharashtra (the data from Rajasthan and Bihar is yet to come in), STAR News channel's market share on the counting day in the time band of 8.00 am to midnight was 17 per cent. The corresponding figures for NDTV India was 16 per cent. Aaj Tak, as expected, had the lion's share of 36 per cent. While ZEE News managed to capture 12 per cent of the market, terrestrial channel Doordarshan News was tied with Sahara Samay at the fifth spot with 10 per cent share of the Hindi-speaking market. In the prime-time band of 8.00 pm to midnight, STAR News had a market share of 20 per cent, while NDTV India had 13 per cent. Aaj Tak had double the market share of STAR News, at 40 per cent.
During the exit poll telecast, ZEE News turned the tables on STAR News in the crucial 6.00 pm to midnight time-band to command the second position with 20 per cent market share after Aaj Tak's 29 per cent. STAR News was relegated to the third slot with a share of 16 per cent.
In the markets of Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, STAR News and NDTV India hogged the limelight. In the 8.00 am to midnight slot, NDTV India had a bigger share of the market than STAR News with 18 per cent, while STAR News had to contend with 14 per cent. The leader of course was Aaj Tak with a share of 35 per cent. However, in the prime-time band of 8.00 pm to midnight, STAR News inched close to Aaj Tak and stood at 27 per cent to Aaj Tak's 32 per cent market share. ZEE News had a meagre 3 per cent.
Aaj Tak proved its mettle once again during the exit poll telecasts in the twin markets of Madhya Pradesh and Delhi in the time band of 6.00 pm to midnight. While Aaj Tak was at the top of the heap with 45 per cent share, STAR News was at the second spot with a market share of 17 per cent.
The same story was repeated on the counting day in Delhi in the 8.00 am to midnight slot. Aaj Tak got a share of 36 per cent, STAR News occupied the second slot with 18 per cent, while NDTV India shared the third spot with ZEE News holding a market share of 12 per cent.
Interestingly, the exit polls in Delhi threw up an unexpected winner. DD News (27 per cent) deposed traditional leader Aaj Tak to the second spot (25 per cent). STAR News was not far behind with 20 per cent share of the Delhi market. © 2003 agencyfaqs!First Published : December 19, 2003