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How Modi changed the fortunes of TV news channels

May 16, 2014 10:28 IST

How Modi changed the fortunes of TV news channels

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Narendra Modi has promised to make a difference to the country.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for prime minister has already made a difference to the fortunes of TV news channels that have interviewed him.

TV Today group’s Aaj Tak has the largest share of the Hindi news segment at 18-19 per cent, followed by Rajat Sharma’s India TV and MCCS’ ABP News, which have 15 per cent each.

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Image: Modi key chain.
Photographs: Courtesy, ebay

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When India TV featured Modi on its show, Aap Ki Adalat, the channel’s share shot up to 66 per cent of Hindi news.

ABP’s share rose to 38 per cent when Modi appeared on its show, Ghoshna Patra, and Narendra Modi exclusive on Aaj Tak earned the channel a share of 23.4 per cent.

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Photographs: Courtesy, bluegape.com

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India TV’s repeat telecast also got a lot of views and its share averaged 30 per cent over nine airings.

Data for other channels were unavailable but sources said ABP News and Aaj Tak, too, drew viewers with repeat telecasts of their Modi shows.

“Modi is the talk of the town and it is no surprise the numbers are good. This election has given news a ratings boost,” said Karthik Lakshminarayan, chief operating officer of Madison Media Ultra.

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Photographs: Courtesy, bluegape.com

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The channels have tapped the interviews to earn more. Sources said advertising rates for interviews with Modi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi were two to three times higher than prime-time rates.

“The election advertising package rates are on average three to five times higher than the usual rates, especially in case of high-profile interviews, exit polls and analysis. Perhaps the highest spot rates are for Friday, when the results will be declared,” said a planner from a leading media agency who did not wish to be named.

The planner said rates for results day were up to 15 times higher than usual. Election advertising  packages will be in effect till the formation of the government.  

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“Part of the reason why news channels have been able to demand a premium for Friday is the surge in spot advertisers and the fact that editorial content has also increased. The number of sponsors,  however, are more or less the same,” said an executive with a leading national Hindi news channel who did not want to be named. 

Modi’s news, news is Modi

  • TV Today group’s Aaj Tak has the largest share of the Hindi news segment at 18-19%, followed by Rajat Sharma’s India TV and MCCS’ ABP News, which have around 15% each
  • The advertising rates for interviews with Modi and Rahul Gandhi were two to three times higher than prime-time rates

Photographs: Reuters

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