Demystifying TRP: Is TV9 viewership dipping down?


There is ongoing war between Pawan Kalyan and a few media channels. As everyone knows it all started with Pawan Kalyan accusing a few channels colluding with ruling TDP party after Sri Reddy using cuss word against his mother. There has been curiousity among political and media circles to see whether Pawan Kalyan call to boycott these media channels has really any impact. Since Pawan Kalyan gave call on 20th April, it is almost 3 weeks now and we have already seen that as per last week ratings still TV9 rules the roost. ( . Now latest data has been released and even though still TV9 is occupying the top slot, there has been considerable drop in the overall viewership of TV9. Before getting into the details of this let us first demystify what this TRP is all about.

An impression is when an ad is fetched from its source, and is countable. In other words, an impression is the display of an ad to a user. Usually these impressions are counted in 1000s. Advertisement cost is usually charged as cost per thousand impressions. For e.g. TV9 in week 18 (Apr 28 to May 04) has 32885 thousand impressions (i.e. 3.288 crore impressions) while it has 42690 thousand impressions in week 16 (Apr 14 t Apr 20). That means, there is 22% drop in the impressions of TV9 from Week 16 to week 18. That means if 100 people watched an ad in TV9 in week 16, in week 18 it reached only 78 people. But this doesn’t mean 22% drop in ad revenue because there will be several adjustments, modifications and negotiations between marketing teams of these channels and the agencies that bring ads .

TRPs are calculated using the denominator as the total target audience, and the numerator as the total impressions delivered to this audience x 100.

TRP = ( impressions / total target audience) *100
For e.g. If total target audience for these channels is taken as 7 crores,
TV9 TRP in Week 16 = (4,29,60,000) / 7,00,00,000 ) *100 = 60
TV9 TRP in Week 17 = (3,66,02,000) / 7,00,00,000 ) *100 = 51
TV9 TRP in Week 18 = (3,28,85,000/ 7,00,00,000) * 100 = 45

Are these TRPs published and available for common people?

No. Calculated TRPs are distributed to seeking agencies (like advertising agencies) and TV channels. What is available in public domain is just the number of impressions of only top 5 channels across the genres. But it is to be noted that these number of impressions are directly proportional to TRP ratings of the channels. Common people can calculate themselves to get approximate TRP ratings based on the impressions.

Weekly data of news channels in last 3 weeks:

  Week 16 [Apr 14-20]

Impressions (‘000)
Week17[Apr 21-27] Impressions (‘000)Week 18[Apr28-May04] Impressions (‘000)
1TV9 telugu42690 (TRP 60)36602 (TRP 51)

32885 (apprx TRP 45)

2NTV Telugu

27968 (TRP 40)

28359 (TRP 40)

26353 (apprx TRP 38 )

3V6 News

26122 (TRP 34)

25874 (TRP 34)


4TV5 News

22287 (TRP 31)

21826 (TRP 30)

5T News

21428 (TRP 29)

20889 (TRP 29)


So what we can infer from above data? Obviously, TV9 viewership is in downward trend while remaining channels maintained approximately steady trend

Percentage change from Week 16th to week 18th

  Week 16 [Apr 14-20]
Impressions (‘000)
Week 18[Apr28-May04] Impressions (‘000)Percentage change from Week 16th to week 18th
1TV9 Telugu42690



2NTV Telugu




3V6 News




4TV5 News




5T News




It is clear that TV9’s viewership is down by 22.97% in last 3 weeks approximately. Also, other channels also seen dip in viewership in last 3 weeks but their dip in viewership is much less compared to TV9’s dip in viewership.

Comparison between Telugu Top entertainment channels and Top News channels


Top entertainment channels

Week 18 impressions '000

Top News channels

Week 18 impressions '000



TV9 Telugu32885

2Zee Telugu440901


3Gemini Tv394127

V6 News22797

4ETV telugu349222

TV5 News21759

5Star Maa Movies193731

T News20755

It is interesting to see the huge gap between entertainment channels and news channels. Top entertainment channel in Telugu is MAA with 4,49,474 thousand impressions where as top news channel TV9 has 32885 thousand impressions. That means top news channels impressions is not even 10 % of top entertainment channels impressions. This is the reason, ad cost in entertainment channel being much higher than that in news channel.

How much of this could be attributed to Pawan Kalyan effect

Obviously fans of Janasena want to believe that this dip in Tv9 is because of Pawan Kalyan as he made wildest allegations on this channel and asked his followers to boycott this channel. On the other hand, people who want to believe Pawan Kalyan’s call has no impact at all attribute this dip in viewership to the lack of any breaking news during this period. There is truth in both of these arguments and it is really difficult to conclude which argument is ‘more’ correct.

It is also to be noted that TV9 has Record TRP of 92 during the week of Sridevi death. compared to that 92, current rating of approximately 45 is much less. but you have to note that when there is a breaking news like Sridevi death mystery, Jayalalitha death mystery, beautician Sirisha mystery Tollywood drug case, there is the general upsurge in the viewership of news channels. Lack of such breaking news also might be reason for the drop in viewership, says some. But it is to be noted here that Channels other than TV9 have almost maintained a steady trend with no significant drop. So here comes the argument that this could be because of Pawan Kalyan effect. It is obvious that he has so many fans in Telugu States. If only certain percentage of his fans have completely blocked this TV9 channel, there must be drop in viewership at least to that extent.

Now if we combine both the facts that a section of people have completely stopped viewing TV9 and the lack of breaking news – we get the answer. Not one of these reasons but the combined effect of these 2 reasons might be the reason for the dip We will have to wait and see how long this trend will continue.


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