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Special Feature: Four Asian TV channels taking a hit during UK lockdown

Commercial TV channels globally are facing questions of survival after a slump in advertising revenue since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lack of original content and the rise of digital platforms, combined with the economic uncertainty are now posing a real threat to Asian TV broadcasters. With UK Asian TV channels already seeing their numbers dwindle over the past couple of years, it now seems the pandemic will be the final nail in the coffin for some! looks at four UK Asian TV broadcasters that have failed to create any impact during the coronavirus lockdown.

PTC Punjabi
Prior to the lockdown, PTC Punjabi was in a stronger position regularly beating rivals in daily data, with a share hovering between 0.05% and 0.10%. However, over the past five weeks (22nd March – 28th April 2020), PTC Punjabi has failed to make much of a mark, with a relatively zero share.

In terms of its weekly reach, the channel’s reach has halved, with its weekly reach barely touching 100,000. During the first week of April, the channel dropped drastically to just a reach of 86,000. During the lockdown, PTC Punjabi has overhauled its schedule due to the lack of original shows – surprisingly, reality shows, shabad gurbani and films that are known to connect well with its viewers, have failed this time around.

BritAsia TV
Music channel, BritAsia TV has like PTC Punjabi had its fair share of good days prior to the lockdown. However, whether its a fatigue of repeated shows or Punjabi content proving a turn-off during the lockdown, BritAsia TV like PTC Punjabi has delivered its worst figures in history, in terms of weekly reach numbers. Even the channel’s daily share figures have barely crossed 0.01% over the past five weeks.

Looking at the graph below, BritAsia TV in the first week of the UK’s lockdown performed well with bigger numbers than rival, B4U Music. However, subsequent weeks saw BritAsia TV’s reach slump to just 49,000. It made some recovery over the following three weeks, however, it has so far failed to touch the heights of what it was achieving prior to the lockdown.

92 News
Pakistani news broadcaster, 92 News has always delivered fluctuating numbers in terms of daily share and weekly reach. While the channel has closely sat comfortably around the 200,000 weekly reach mark, 92 News has seen a dramatic shift in its numbers also. After its weekly reach dropped to 76,000 in 12th April data, its reach sits at 141,000 – far from the numbers it had registered prior to the lockdown. It is also worth adding that news broadcasters that in normal circumstances sit below 92 News, including Republic Bharat, News18 and Hum News, have performed better than 92 News in some recent weeks.
Hum Masala

Geo Kahani
The soon-to-close Pakistani entertainment channel, Geo Kahani has been rather consistent during the UK lockdown, with a slight lift in reach figures in data for 12th April 2020, however, since then, the channel has dropped down to its lowest reach figures during the lockdown with 106,000. The channel’s daily share figures have also been unimpressive, with ‘Nadaaniyan’ regularly proving the channel’s most watched show.

Based on weekly reach figures published & daily share by BARB