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9% growth in ad volumes: ‘No rating Thursdays’ working fine for news?

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News genre on TV saw 400-plus more advertisers during blackout compared to the period before that

‘No rating Thursdays’ seems to be working just fine for the news broadcasting fraternity. And why wouldn’t it? As per TAM AdEx numbers, advertisement volume on TV in news genre actually ended up growing by 9% during the period of October 16 to December 19 when compared to the previous two months of August 15 to October 15.

When the broadcast audience research Council (BARC) decided to suspend the measurement of television viewership ratings of all news channels for 12 weeks on October 15, there were mixed reactions from news broadcasters. While some networks were of the opinion that the blackout period would actually end up eliminating anomalies in the BARC system another school of broadcasters called the decision unfair as it came just before the festive season and right after an extremely slow period induced by the ongoing pandemic.

Advertisers don’t just go by BARC ratings after all. As it turns out, the news genre on TV saw 400-plus more advertisers in the blackout period against the last two months before that. While the genre saw around 2700+ advertisers between August 15 and October 15, post the commencement of the blackout period to December 19, the genre saw 3100+ advertisers getting on board.

As per TAM data, the top five advertisers in the genre were common between both the periods. The news genre was dominated by HUL and Reckitt during both the periods. The top five advertisers in blackout period were Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser India, Godrej Consumer Products, Amul and Colgate Palmolive India. The top five advertisers in the previous two months were in the order: Reckitt Benckiser India, Hindustan Unilever, Godrej Consumer Products, Amul and Colgate Palmolive India.

Interestingly, there was an addition of 30+ new categories of advertisers in the blackout period. In a little over the two month blackout period, now the top five categories were retail outlet jewellers, cars, toothpaste, pan masala and cement.

There were two common categories between the blackout period and the preceding two months, which were car and toothpaste. Between August 15 and October 15, the top five categories were car, toilet soap, toothpaste, e-commerce, and education and multiple courses.

“Most of the festive ad slots were booked by August – September based on the past viewership numbers. These numbers were sky high during the lockdown days and the industry continues to reap on those figures. The blackout didn’t create any disruption in the news genre like some had expected,” said another expert.

The advertising share on TV news genre during primetime vs non-primetime in the blackout period and the two month period preceding that also remained same at 32 and 68 respectively.

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Tasmayee Laha Roy

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