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Hindi news channels and the elections: Who led and who lagged?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 20, 2004
A look at how news channels in the competitive Hindi-language segment performed during the first and second phases of the general elections 2004


The big difference between the general elections of 1999 and this year's elections is that this time round, a large number of news channels - especially Hindi news channels - covered the elections fairly exhaustively. While allied media such as radio, the Internet and newspapers played a part in giving a blow-by-blow account of developments at the hustings, given the fact that political drama lends itself well to the audio-visual medium, it was television that attracted much of audience attention. News channels - again, particularly those catering to Hindi-speaking audiences - had a field day, but the point is, how did they actually perform in terms of viewership during the elections?

Polling in the country was divided into three phases - the first phase occurring on April 20, the second on April 26, and the third on May 10. For the week ending May 1, the channel shares of Hindi-language news channels were as follows: Aaj Tak - 24.7 per cent, NDTV India - 21.6 per cent, STAR News - 19.8 per cent, ZEE News - 12.5 per cent, DD News - 13.2 per cent and Sahara Samay - 8.1 per cent (base population: C&S 4+, All India; Source: TAM Media Research). The following week (ending May 8), the channel shares at an all-India level were: Aaj Tak - 26.1 per cent, NDTV India - 24 per cent, STAR News - 19.3 per cent, ZEE News - 11.3 per cent, DD News - 11.6 per cent and Sahara Samay - 7.7 per cent.

In Hindi-speaking markets, the performance of these players was slightly better, with Aaj Tak leading with a channel share of 25.4 per cent, followed by NDTV India with 22.3 per cent, STAR News with 20.8 per cent, ZEE News with 12.5 per cent, DD News with 10.2 per cent and Sahara Samay with 8.8 per cent (base population: C&S 4+, week ending May 1). In the ensuing week (the week ending May 8, that is), the scorecard was as follows: Aaj Tak - 27 per cent, NDTV India - 24.9 per cent, STAR News - 19.9 per cent, ZEE News - 11.3 per cent, DD News - 8.4 per cent and Sahara Samay - 8.6 per cent.

Reach-wise - that is, in terms of the number of people who tuned into a particular news channel - competition was intense, especially between Aaj Tak and NDTV India. On an all-India basis, for the week ending May 1, the reach was as follows: Aaj Tak - 29.21 per cent, NDTV India - 26.43 per cent, STAR News - 23.2 per cent, ZEE News - 21.61 per cent, DD News - 21.36 per cent and Sahara Samay - 17.89 per cent (base population: C&S 4+). In the following week, the reach figures were: Aaj Tak - 28.63 per cent, NDTV India - 28.13 per cent, STAR News - 22.09, ZEE News - 20.54 per cent, DD News - 21.62 per cent and Sahara Samay - 16.72 per cent.

In Hindi-speaking markets, in the week ending May 1, Aaj Tak led with a reach of 40.05 per cent, followed by NDTV India at 36.66 per cent, STAR News at 32.06 per cent, ZEE News at 29.55 per cent, DD News at 24.73 per cent and Sahara Samay at 26.91 per cent. In the following week (ending May 8), Aaj Tak's reach was down to 39.27 per cent, while NDTV India raised its reach to 38.52 per cent. STAR News stood at 30.48 per cent, ZEE News at 28.02 per cent, DD News at 24.56 per cent and Sahara Samay at 24.95. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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