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ricket, Rahul Mahajan get more TV coverage than Hu Jintao:survey

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Cricket may no longer seem to be "in vogue" specially after the Indian team's recent drubbing by South Africa in the one dayers but it still manages to garner a higher viewership during prime time than the recent visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The Chinese President's visit to India a fortnight ago did not evoke much interest in Indian TV news bulletins, losing out in terms of viewership to the Cricket one dayers and Rahul Mahajan's alleged beating of his wife, according to a centre for media studies lab analysis.

During President Jintao's four-day visit to India from November 20 to 23, news channels continued their preference towards cricket, the CMS study of coverage by six news channels revealed.

While the new channels, which included DD News, NDTV India, Zee News, Sahara Samay, Star News and Aaj Tak, devoted 301 minutes of coverage time during prime time to the Indian Cricket team's tour to South Africa, the Chinese President's visit got just 215 minutes coverage in comparison. Close on the heels was Rahul Mahajan's alleged beating of his wife that got a coverage of 214 minutes.

However, on the day of President Jintao's arrival in India, the Rahul Mahajan episode got ten times more coverage time that the visit. On that day, the four news channels of NDTV India, Zee News, Star News and Aaj Tak together gave 175 minutes of news coverage to Rahul Mahajan and only 18 minutes to Mr Jintao's visit, the CMS study said.

Infact, except for DD News and Sahara Samay, the other four news channels covered in the survey devoted more time on Rahul Mahajan's episode than for President Jintao's visit, the study revealed. DD News and Sahara Samay devoted 73 minutes and 83 minutes respectively on the coverage of the visit.

Zee News gave only five minutes of coverage to President Jintao's entire visit but devoted 57 minutes on Rahul Mahajan's episode and gave 53 minutes to Amitabh Bachchan's possible return to politics.

The CMS study said President Jintao's visit got lesser coverage time than last year's five-day visit by the Chinese PM, which got 315 minutes of coverage time. This despite the controversy over Arunachal resurfacing just a week before the visit and increased commerce and political relationship since, it said.

However, President Jintao got more coverage than the Japanese PM Koizumi's visit three-day visit last year and French President Chirac's visit early this year. While Japanese PM Koizumi's visit got only 79 minutes coverage, President Chirac's visit got only 95 minutes coverage.

The coverage was, however, far less than visit of US President Bush early this year, which got a whopping 1392 minutes coverage time in the new bulletins, much higher than the total coverage of visits by all the four heads of State, the CMS study said.

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