TV Channels take viewers for a ride with their viewership numbers!


Today’s Hindustan Times (Delhi) paper has a couple of interesting advertisements. Both the advertisements are by leading TV news channels – CNN-IBN and Times Now.

Both the TV channels have declared that they received highest viewership on the Elections’ results day. Interestingly, both have also provided graphical data representing the same.

Some observations about these ads:

  • The graphs in both the advertisements have data for three TV channels – CNN-IBN, Times Now and NDTV 24X7.
  • Both the advertisements mention the source as TAM

Screenshot of these advertisements:

clip_image003 clip_image005

The only possible explanation which comes to my naive mind is that both the advertisements are just showing a subset of the complete picture, i.e both showing only that data which is favorable to them. Even worst, they may actually showing wrong numbers (But, I doubt TV channels will do that).

But from viewers perspective, they are taken for a ride with these numbers as the complete picture is not given!

With whom lies the responsibility?

A thought which comes up is, with whom does the responsibility lie to ensure that correct and complete picture is presented to users in such cases. Should it be TAM which should not authorize the use of a subset of its report or should Hindustan Times (or any other paper) validate each and every piece of data given out to users through advertisements in its papers.

I think none of the above options are really practical enough to be implemented. So, in the end real responsibility lies with the companies themselves (in this case CNN-IBN and Times Now) to present the right picture.

What do you think? Any other solutions that come to your mind?

[This guest post is written by Achalla Venugopal, a software developer by profession, an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. He blogs at Chase Thought and you can find him on twitter @VenuAchalla]

  1. rabi gupta says

    Its about the monopoly, TAM enjoys it!! TV Channels have no option but to worship TAM. This is what would have happened-
    Either of CNN or Times thought of publishing this first, and via some internal sources the other party might have understood what others are gonna advertise. So to dilute their advertising efforts the other company might have come up with this strategy.
    So suppose it was Times’ idea to publish the ad on HT, now HT being a partner of CNN must have thought of ruining TImes ad, and since HT and CNN are partners that wouldnt have costed CNN a penny to do so ;)

    1. Achalla Venugopal says

      The fact that HT and CNN are partners is an interesting angle in this story.

      What I still dont understand is how did both the TV channels manage to report such different numbers and that too when they are from the same source?

  2. Bharathi says

    there should be some kind of regulation for the TV channels.

  3. accommodation in goa says

    Achalla, in the US what people see is what the media wants them to see. The editors and news anchors simply cough up what their bosses tell them to. I hope that this is not the case here in India.

    1. Achalla Venugopal says

      Unfortunately a very similar scenario exists in India too. People see what the media wants them to see and media turns the public opinion towards their desired opinion.

  4. dreamz2achieve says

    This is interesting..Guess none of the TV channels realized that they would be posting their ADs on the same day.

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