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From Prince to prime position, human interest peg delivers for Zee News

08-August-2006
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From Prince to prime position, human interest peg delivers for Zee News

Human interest stories can play an important role in changing competitive dynamics – even if it’s just for a week. A case in point is the rescue of Prince, a small boy who had fallen into a hole. Though every channel telecast the rescue process throughout the weekend, it was Zee News that benefited the most. The incident has allowed Zee News to claim the top spot for the first time. The week of July 23, 2006 has seen Zee News claim a share of 27.7 per cent, while Aaj Tak scored 23 per cent.

These numbers are based on TAM Media Research’s data for the C&S 15+ in the Hindi speaking markets. In the preceding week, the channel tied with STAR News, both claiming 19 per cent each. If the numbers are skewed to the CS 25+ Male TG, Zee News has been on the No. 2 slot for two weeks before reaching the No. 1 position.

While this is good news for Zee News, media experts point that one week isn’t enough to consolidate a channel’s position. Nandini Dias, Vice-President, Lodestar Universal, said, “It sure is a beginning, but today the position of a news channel really depends on stories and their coverage alone – there really is no channel loyalty.”

Explaining further, she said, “At one time, Aaj Tak was a distinct No. 1 and there were many number twos, depending on which week you saw. Today, the distance between Aaj Tak and the other channels has reduced and we have seen STAR News claim the No. 1 position too – it looks like the shift is to who is the number one!”

Dias doesn’t dispute the fact that numbers like this are important for a channel as they can be a base for seeing how the channel can attract more numbers. However, she is also clear that one week isn’t an indicator for the next week.

Meanwhile, Zee News is thrilled with the numbers. An official communiqué said, “The new look of Zee News, which was unveiled recently, involved the use of latest graphics, new sets and styling for the anchors. This has gone a long way to establish the channel’s premium imagery and sophistication. The surge in the ratings of Zee News can be attributed to the viewer-focused content and delivering news that has kept the viewers engrossed. This, backed with distribution and marketing initiatives all over India, has helped bring Zee News closer to the viewers.”

The communiqué further said, “It has been the promise of ‘Haqeeqat jaisi khabar waisi’ or ‘Truth in context to reality’ that has been the cornerstone in Zee News’ quest to bring out the truth, a belief that has been the guiding force in the dedication and integrity of Zee News in reporting unbiased news.”

WK of 2/7/06
WK of 9/7/06
WK of 16/7/06
WK of 23/7/06
Channel
Share %
Share %
Share %
Share %
Zee News
16.13
14.73
18.99
27.71
Star News
19.06
20.33
18.99
19.03
Aaj Tak
26.98
26.97
24.30
23.21
India TV
7.04
8.51
8.10
5.34
NDTV India
13.78
12.86
13.41
8.68
Sahara Samay National
5.87
5.60
5.87
7.35
Channel 7
11.14
11.00
10.34
8.68
Source: TAM Peoplemeter System
TG: CS 15 years +
Markets: Hindi Speaking Markets

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