Dip in AIR listenership

According to a survey, AIR listenership dropped from 58 per cent to 51 per cent and then 48 per cent during 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively. “The decline in listenership was due to mushrooming private FM channels,” Minister of State for Informational and Broadcasting C M Jatua told Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question on Tuesday.

The minister said  the aim of Prasar Bharati, being a public service broadcaster, was to cater to the needs of all sections of the people, “whereas private channels are largely driven by commercial interests”.

To another question on the steps taken by the government for increasing the popularity of  AIR, the minister said Prasar Bharati had been constantly striving for excellence both in terms of content and quality.

AIR has its own mechanism of monitoring the reactions of listeners and gathering the feedback of audience on programmes and broadcast from various channels, through regular studies. “Every effort is made to improve the quality of programmes on regular basis,” the Minister informed the Lower House.

Listeners’ reactions were also given “due importance” and social and cultural programmes organised at the stations to promote art and culture of the respective regions, he added.

Replying to a question on the performance of Doordarshan, Jatua said the viewership of DD’s national channel had been highest for the three consecutive calendar years since 2008. The target rating point (TRP) of DD was 1.27 in 2008, 0.88 in 2009 and 0.68 in 2010, as per data available with TAM media.

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