Post terror attack, Hindi news channels’ viewership soars

November 27th, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) While terrorists struck at India’s financial capital Mumbai Wednesday night, horror-struck people remained glued to their TV sets, resulting in a spurt in viewership of Hindi channels 10:30 p.m. onwards.According to data provided by television viwership tracker Audience Measurement and Analytics (aMap), media group India Today’s Hindi news channel Aaj Tak recorded a gross rating point (GRP) of 0.9 percent at 10:30 p.m., as compared to 0.3 percent during that time on an average Wednesday.

However, the same group’s English news channel Headlines Today recorded only a 0.1 percent increase in viewership ratings, indicating a preference among the audience for coverage by Hindi channels.

The first attack among the many that rocked Mumbai took place around 10:15 p.m. after which the terrorists killed at least 101 people and left over 250 injured since Wednesday night.

News channels began splashing headlines about the terror strikes, at the blast sites as well as at high profile landmarks like the Taj and the Oberoi Trident hotels soon after, leading to peak ratings for Hindi news channels between 11-11:30 p.m.

Apart from Indian channels like Times Now, NDTV India, STAR News, Zee News, Aaj Tak and India TV, among others, international business channel CNBC was also updating viewers with the latest happenings even at 2 a.m. Thursday.

Grim, sensational images of the targeted areas - the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) railway station - were beamed continuously.

The news coverage shown late at night included images of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare and Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Ashok Kamte, who were shot dead in the encounter with terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings.

There were also visuals showing two of the terrorists who were heavily armed apart from blood-soaked sites and injured victims.

As per the latest ratings till 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Hindi news channels recorded an average increase of about 0.3 percent. However, there was an insignificant change in the viewership trend among English channels.

The aMap data received has been compiled by considering cable and satellite viewers above 15 years of age, though states such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa were not included in the survey.

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