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With a 0.4 per cent viewership, do English News Channels even matter?

By Vicky

They shout, they scream and they try to set the agenda for the nation. A message that needs to be given to these television channels is that their viewers constitute just 0.4 per cent of the nation.

In a population of 1.2 billion people, the English news channels reach just a meagre 4 million people. The reach of the Hindi channels is however better as they have a reach of 117 million.

With a 0.4 per cent viewership, do English News Channels even matter?

When one switches on the television sets at night to watch a couple of news channels, it is clear that the anchors act as though they are setting the agenda for the nation. Some persons incapable of winning elections are on these shows as spokespersons, a ceremonial post given by political parties to keep smaller people happy.

The question is with 0.4 per cent as the viewership, do these television channels even matter. If one looks at the Kashmir issue being debated on television, it is clear that many television channels have made matters worse than what it is already. The narrative is just not right explained a senior security official who says that in the hunger for TRPs, these channels have only ended up inciting the youth against the security personnel.

The Indian Express had reported in 2010 that English News Channels boast of such a minuscule viewership that it probably does not even count.

In the Business Standard too there was an interesting article about the same issue. It read, "Republic TV joins over 390 odd news channels fighting for a measly Rs 3,500 crore ad pie in the world's most overserved news market. Of this, English news TV is a minuscule part. It reached an average of 4 million people every day compared to say 117 million people that Hindi news reached in 2016, going by Broadcast Audience Research Council data. Advertisers spent an estimated Rs 700 crore reaching those 4 million people. This tiny market has ten serious players with Times Now, CNBC-News18 and India Today TV in the lead."

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