It’s a known fact that the Legislative Assembly Elections 2016 saw a massive turnout of voters. For starters, Kerala saw a turnout of 77.35 % during Legislative Assembly Election while in Tamil Nadu 73.76 % polling was recorded. Even high voter turnout of 82% and 84% was recorded during the Assembly polls in Assam and West Bengal respectively. This election also resulted in significant surge in viewership of regional TV news channels.
According to the data collected by Bangalore-based media tech startup Zapr, regional TV news consumption skyrocketed during the announcement of the election results on May 19. With Jayalalithaa winning a clear mandate in the Tamil Nadu elections, Tamil news channels attracted 71 million viewers on the day of election results. This includes channels like- Polimer News, Sun News, Jaya Plus, News 7 Tamil, Seithigal 24×7 and Puthiya Thalaimura, while the polling day on May 16 attracted 58 million TV viewers.
Puthiya Thalaimurai received the highest TV news viewership of 33.1 million on May 19 among Tamil news channels, while the Tamil news viewership in general experienced a 9.7% rise in comparison with the week prior to the elections.
Malayalam news channels including Manorama News, Asianet News and Mathrubhumi News attracted 36 million viewers on the day of election results and 24 million viewers on the polling day. Asianet News experienced the highest viewership of 19 million among Malayalam news channels on the day of election results. Looking at the weekly analysis, Malayalam news viewership experienced a 6.1% rise compared with the week prior to the elections.
Bengali News channels attracted 35.2 million viewers on the day of election results, with ABP Ananda recording the highest viewership of 19.3 million for the day. Channels taken into account are- Zee 24 Ghanta, ABP Ananda, ETV News Bangla and Kolkata TV. Conducted in five phases, the polling days saw the highest TV news consumption of 29 million during the 1st election phase on April 17.
With May 5 being the last phase of polls in West Bengal, Bengali news channels experienced the highest viewership during the first week of May. The Bengali TV news viewership witnessed a 5.3% rise compared with the week prior to the elections.
Assamese news channel News Live attracted 9 million TV viewers during the announcement of election results, and 6 million viewers on polling days.
With a tussle for maximum votes and viewership alike, the Assembly Elections 2016 have ushered in massive audiences for regional TV news channels.