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News channels gear up to reap another bonanza - Elections and Budget promise more viewers

13-February-2002
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News channels gear up to reap another bonanza - Elections and Budget promise more viewers

It seems that news channels just can''t get enough of it. After the spectacular events of last year, news channels are now eyeing the upcoming assembly elections and the Union Budget. If the viewership trends of the past events are anything to go by advertisers better book their spots early.

Channels themselves are leaving no stone unturned in covering these events. If Star News has India''s master poll forecaster, Dr Pronnoy Roy; Aaj Tak has Prbhu Chawla leading the debates. Forecast polls, Exit polls, actual results, they will cover everything and more to bring it live to your drawing rooms.

For starters Star News has begun a cross media campaign using major dailies to promote the channel. According to a senior official at Star, "This series of ads is intended as a "viewer reminder" especially with 2 major national events lined up i.e. Assembly Elections and Budget."

Aaj Tak on the other hand is banking upon heavy use of graphics for announcing the trends, results, key winners, losers, party-wise strength and swing of votes.

The D-day of course would be when the results start pouring in. Due to the use of electronic voting machines this time the results are expected to come earlier than normal.

Counting day happens to be 24th February, which is a Sunday. With results of elections in the largest and most crucial state to be announced, Sunday advertising surely seems set to shift from entertainment to news channels.

Given the political importance of UP and Punjab, there is no denying that viewer interest in news channels is surely set to rise in the coming days again. With UP being an extremely crucial market for advertiser, politicians and channels alike, none would leave any stone unturned to woo them. Our readers would remember when assembly elections took place last year in TN and West Bengal, regional channels had a field day as ratings soured. Jaya TV and ETV Bangla, both reaped a windfall as their viewership climbed to unprecedented levels. To read the Jaya TV story click on TV Analysis

With the competition for eye balls hotting up in the genre, creativity too is rising to new highs, especially when is comes to programme names. A list of programme names for election coverage reads like a guide book of Hindi language. Voton ka Bandar Bant, Chunav ke Rang, Maharathi, Chunav Ke Akhare Se, Nazar Chunav Par, Votenama, are all programmes, though they might sound like items on a menu card.

Whatever the results of the elections, one thing is for sure, Viewers this time around would have more options than ever to catch the latest and advertisers too would have more audience than ever to target.

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