The channels dropped volumes but still rode high on the back of premium rates. Aaj Tak achieved record single-day revenue but had to compromise on TRPs.
Hindi News channels raked in the moolah on the day of counting during the recent Assembly elections in five states. And they did so despite dropping volumes, by hiking rates to achieve record revenues.
Aaj Tak, which has always attracted maximum eyeballs during major developments of national interest, decided to encash its positioning on counting day. The mandate was clear: to earn record ad revenue on a single day. It continued with ad breaks even during the peak hours of counting. It claims that it had dropped inventory volumes by 30-35 per cent inventories compared with its regular inventories, but had done all bookings at premium rates. The channel has claimed to have raked in revenues of Rs 2.5 crores which included fresh ad bookings for counting day worth Rs 2 crore.
But this record-breaking single-day revenue was achieved at a price. For the first time since its launch, Aaj Tak had compromised with its TRPs on a big day which is being termed as a short-term gain by independent media observers. However, it is to be seen if advertisers will stick to the channel in case it continues with the current trend in future too.
BestMediaInfo had reported the viewership trends of Hindi News channels during the Assembly polls wherein Aaj Tak stood at No. 3 in several markets and TGs despite its leadership during the five weeks of the electoral process. (Assembly elections: Star News leads on counting day; Aaj Tak rules across 5 weeks)
The second highest earning on counting day has been claimed by Star News which emerged as the No. 1 channel in most of the markets and TGs in terms of TRPs. Although the channel had sold 50 per cent lower inventory for counting day, it claimed revenues of Rs 1.5 crore for the day on the back of high premium on rates. Star News had break-free live programming during the peak hours of vote counting from 8 AM to 12.30 PM and also during primetime.
In normal situations, ad revenues of Star News remain around 10 per cent less than that of Aaj Tak despite having 20-30 per cent lower market share. However, with the No. 1 position on counting day, the channel is optimistic about increasing its pie in future.
Similarly, India TV, which remained the second most watched channel along with Zee News in several markets and TGs on counting day, despite lagging during the run-up to counting day starting final phase of voting from March 3 to 5, has claimed ad revenues of Rs 1.5 crore for counting day. According to senior officials at the channel, India TV has proved that it leads the genre in serious programming also. The channel had established flagship properties like ‘Aapka Mukhyamantri Kaun’ during the Assembly polls which will continue during future elections.