Republic TV, India Today Television spar on Twitter over top spot claims

According to BARC data for Week 12 and Week 13, Republic TV has garnered highest viewership and reach in the English news genre. BARC data for Week 13 shows that Republic TV leads overall English news viewership with 2,082(000) impressions [BARC, NCCS 15+ | India].

Additionally, Republic TV garnered an average weekly viewership of 19.9 million in Week 13 [Average Weekly Impressions | NCCS 2+ | India], making it the English Channel with the highest reach in the BARC universe.

Meanwhile, India Today TV had garnered the highest impressions of 658(000) in the megacities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai) compared to other English news channels [NCCS AB: Males 22+ Individuals], which was mentioned in various news reports.

Republic TV countered this by asserting that it was the No.1 “across the entire English language universe in India”.

The channel further asked “smaller channels not to fudge numbers when BARC official data is available publicly”.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, news channels are registering all-time high viewership, however, industry bodies such as News Broadcasters Association and Indian Broadcasting Foundation claim that advertising revenues have taken a ~50 per cent hit. This has put further pressure on TV channels.

India Today Television’s comeback on Twitter was equally fierce. A brief ‘promo’ film showed an old gramophone record playing a high-pitched voice that says, “You are on national television, you have to answer my question” which sounded very similar to Republic’s Arnab Goswami! “Broken Record”, reads the text, even as the channel claims to have “Gold standard of journalism”.

A second ‘promo’ ad makes a direct mention of Republic TV with the image of a broken LP record. “A news channel that doesn’t sound like a broken record,” reads the body copy. India Today Television claims to be the No.1 English News Channel as per BARC, 15+ Males, Megacities, The 3 Lockdown Weeks data.

Will we see this spat snowball into something major? Time will tell. With various channels making claims of leadership in particular markets or time bands or weekdays/ weekends, it remains to be seen how the advertisers are reading into these claims and are also slicing and dicing the data to get the maximum bang for their advertising bucks, even as the COVID-19 crisis rages on.


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