Arnab Goswami may have courted a series of controversy in the launch week of Republic TV, but the controversy appears to have helped his start-up as his his channel took the number 1 spot by dislodging Times Now.
Times Now has been an undisputed market leader in the English news genre for several years with rival channels always finding it difficult to provide any significant competition.
Goswami’s departure last December had prompted many to predict a slump in Times Now’s TRP, but the channel maintained its position as the market leader even without its former editor-in-chief.
But the data released by Broadcast Audience Research Council- BARC- on Thursday showed that Republic TV had clocked nearly twice the number of viewers than its nearest rival, Times Now.
While Republic’s viewership was 21,17,000, Times Now was placed at second with 11,48,000.
Goswami launched Republic TV on 6 May amidst much fanfare. On the day of its broadcast, the channel ran what it called an expose on a nexus between the RJD chief, Lalu Yadav and the former RJD MP, Shahbuddin.
The channel then courted controversy after Goswami called a Congress spokesperson a ‘worm’ and the ‘lapdog’ of the Gandhi family.
It then emerged that Republic had allegedly resorted to ‘malpractices’ to boost its viewership. The News Broadcasters Association took notice of these malpractices and wrote to the TRAI asking the watchdog to take stringent action.
This was followed by Times Now filing a criminal case against Goswami and another Republic journalist for theft. Goswami responded by saying that ‘Goliath is down to knees, crying..They have lost the battle.’