The Summit indeed was addictive. Audience waited. Glued to their TV sets, waiting for the ‘breakthrough’. Our analysis of Cumulative Reach across three Indian news channels shows over 50% increase (in top 3 metros) and almost negligible (3%) drop in Cumulative Reach when reach definition was increased from 1+ minute to 3+ minute. A strong pointer at the addictive nature of current affairs viewership.
Zee News is the most watched news channel for both All-India and North-West- East state-level data. Its viewership jumped a whopping 500% over the previous week. Aaj Tak was a close second. Interestingly Aaj Tak is ahead of others when analysed on Metro data (Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta). Is Aaj Tak losing viewership at grass-root level because of its lower penetration?
Inspite of its language barrier, Star News managed a creditable fight on a broad audience definition. Its viewership improved significantly on a higher SEC definition.
Our analysis is based on INTAM viewership data for male/ 15+/SEC ABC audience for individual and consolidated markets.
Let’s look at the trends by market.
Aaj Tak is the leader all the way. 432 spots paced at 15 minute intervals across 36 hours of programming over two days (14th and 15th of July) would generate 160 GRPs for Aaj Tak. The corresponding numbers are 78 and 45 for Zee News and Star News highlighting the complete dominance of Aaj Tak. To give the due credit to Zee News, it grew its viewership from almost non (8 GRPs) to 78 GRPs and thereby growing at a stupendous 800%.
The summit indeed was of very high interest. General Musharraf’s landing and welcome ceremony on Saturday morning saw a consistent 3.0 TVRs on Aaj Tak. Very high considering that many primetime program on mass entertainment channels manage only this much. Thereafter audience switched between channels catching the best on each one. After a strong opening on Aaj Tak, audiences moved to Star News around noon and then to Zee News. Prime Time was completely dominated by Aaj Tak. Ratings reached 4% in the peak 9-10 p.m band. The biggest surprise was that General’s ‘Breakfast Meeting’ with the editors telecast ‘Live’ on Star News failed to generate any viewership. This is a consistent trend across markets where this exclusive telecast failed to make an impact.
Compared to the ‘political capital’ Delhi, Mumbai was far less interested in the Summit. Cum. Reach for three channels was only 30% compared to 46% in Delhi.
Zee News was leading the pack (46 GRPs). Star News was at a close second. Aaj Tak ended up with a very weak showing by managing only about 25% of Zee News numbers. Since advertisers typically evaluate Hindi channels for North, West and East total, and Mumbai has a huge ‘audience-weight’, Aaj Tak must improve its performance in Mumbai. Only then can it ensure the presence of national brands on the channel.
On the back of strong viewership of Breakfast meeting, Star News dominated the scene. Star News had twice the gross viewership of Aaj Tak by managing to grow by over 350%.
Top 3 Metros (Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta)
Viewership of each of the three channels grew by over 300%. Aaj Tak grossed the highest viewership with Zee News and Star News close behind.
North West and East
Riding on the huge lead in Mumbai, Zee News managed to be ahead of Aaj Tak though only with a slender margin. Star News managed to be in the race with high viewership in Calcutta.
Zee News resurgence is underlined by a massive increase -500%, in viewership over the previous week. It topped the charts with 57 GRPs while Aaj Tak could manage only 44 GRPs. Star News was close at 38 GRPs.
Inspite of no good news from the Summit, General Musharraf’s Agra visit was great news for News Channels and some savvy advertisers.