Why May 22, not May 16 is the Results Day for news channels

Guess which result is going to be the most awaited by news channels across India? The elections results on May 16, of course

Guess which result is going to be the most awaited by news channels across India? The elections results on May 16, of course. Right? Well, yes, but the asli results for the channels will come on Thursday, May 22 when television research agency TAM will unveil the viewership numbers of Results Day.

One could then review how each channel has fared in the entire run-up to the government formation. But I think I know what the results will be.

While Prannoy Roy and Dorab Sopariwalla are great with opinion polls, in this period of electioneering, slogan-shouting, allegations and counters, the NDTV 24x7 brand of news presentation doesn’t work as well as what you see on the others. I know I had complimented the channel for these very traits a few weeks back, but for a ringside view of the Modi-Gandhi family slugfest, needed to be elsewhere.

NewsX is not in the reckoning as it still suffers from the likes of Jujhar Singh and Rahul Shivshankar is by far the biggest disappointment across channels.

Headlines Today would’ve also been out of my top slot, but the masterstroke of bringing on Karan Thapar has been a game-changer. On a personal front, I feel sad for Rahul Kanwal who, for me, has finally got into his own, these elections. Thanks to Thapar’s entry, Rahul’s on-air presence is now pushed to 9.30pm, but in the final analysis I think it will do a world of good for the channel as well as the Headlines Today editor-at-large.

So which channel according to me is the numero uno? Await the answer tomorrow in Noose Night. (sorry, folks, after years of watching GECs, couldn’t avoid this one cliffhanger column).

PS: Caught some snatches of the TV9 interview with Narendra Modi. Now you don’t expect the BJP’s PM-in-waiting to agree to be subjected to an Arnab Goswami-like interview, but the bits I saw were far better than what some others have been airing in the past. Must catch a re-run.

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh
E: noose@pman.in

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