It's official. Indians watched much more of news than they do normally as Gandhian activist Anna Hazare's fast to pass a Lokpal Bill went through a 13-day drama this month, and within that both English and Hindi news channels saw significant spikes in their viewership.
Naturally, the channels also allotted more time to the fast and the events surrounding it, resulting in parliament holding a special session to favour the passage of the bill.
According to TAM Media Research data, in the week of August 15 to 20, all news channels as a category saw a television viewership rating (TVR) of 13.9% from 9.6% in the previous week.
TVR refers to the percentage of viewers who are switched on watching a specific show or a category in question in a nationwide sample of cable and satellite (C&S) TV viewers defined by the agency, which in this case is viewers above the age of 15.
While the viewership of Hindi news channels jumped from 5.9% in the previous week to 11.0% in the August 15-20 week, English news channels saw their viewership jump from 0.3% to 0.5%.
TAM News Content Track's tracking of the top news events covered during the week, based on time duration devoted by the major channels showed that the channels devoted 71.3% of their airtime to the Lokpal issue.