So how do Indians catch the budget on television? While Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke for the “aam aadmi” — the common man —viewership showed they were the truly interested ones.
In an interesting trend, it turns out that while there is a surge in news channel viewership overall, general news channels did better than business channels, suggesting a day-long shift in viewership pattern among the general public.
According to aMap, the overnight television audience measurement service, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm on Monday, when the finance minister read out the budget proposals in the Lok Sabha, television viewers showed a marked preference for English news channels.
AMap’s CEO Amit Varma observed, “The dramatic swing in the ratings is evidence of the fact that the audience is tracking important events like the Budget with great interest.”
Overall viewership ( determined by TRPs or television rating points) for these jumped by 233 per cent over the previous four-Monday average in the same time slot, for the defined 15-plus age viewers.
Even full-day channel viewership (expressed in GRPs —gross rating points) for the English news channels jumped by 62 per cent over the previous four-Monday average.
Hindi news channels also gained some viewership, marking a TRP jump of 28 per cent and a GRP jump of 21 per cent.
However, overall, business news channels lost viewership during the 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. budget presentation time, with overall TRPs dipping by nine per cent compared to the previous four-Monday average. The GRP gain for them was a modest eight per cent.
The big gainers were the non-business news channels—CNN IBN with a 300 per cent TRP jump, Times Now with 229 per cent jump and NDTV 24x7 with a 200 per cent jump. Even Headlines Today gained a 50 per cent TRP jump. CNN IBN was the clear GRP winner with a 178 per cent jump.
Among the non-business Hindi news channels, Star News saw TRPs jumping by a generous 263 per cent.