Aaj Tak, operated by the TV Today Network Ltd, is a 24 hour Hindi news channel. Aaj Tak, which literally means `Until today`, was launched as a free channel in India, till 2006. The channel reaches around 30 million residences in India and occupies a share of 55% amongst Indian news channels. Launched on December 2000, it is also the leading news channel that is privately owned. The tag line of the channel Sabse Tez, has spurred them to be the fastest and sharpest news channel in the nation. Aaj Tak is also available abroad, but is offered in the pay channel bracket. Despite being criticised for exaggerating and sensationalising news, Aaj Tak has been awarded Indian Television Academy`s `Best News Channel` award for eight successive years. Moreover, In the BBC/Reuters/Media Centre Poll, 2006, Aaj Tak was selected as the most trusted news source in India, voted by 11 percent, exceeding the national channel, Doordarshan
which was voted by 10 percent. Aaj Tak has its offices both in New Delhi and Mumbai. It is mostly popular for the show named, Seedhi Baat, which was previously hosted by Prabhu Chawla.
Aaj Tak is a part of India Today Group, established in 1975. Presently it comprises 4 television channels, 13 magazines, a book club, 1 newspaper, 3 radio stations and is also involved in publishing books. India Today Group`s foray into the audiovisual media began in 1988 with Newstrack, a video news magazine that gained much popularity. By 1995, TV Today Network had evolved to produce one of the most influential current affairs programmes, Aaj Tak. This show had started out as a short, 20-minute news capsule segment on Doordarshan. The show enjoyed a strong nationwide popularity and viewership. It was only in the year 2000 that Aaj Tak was converted into a full-fledged 24 hour Hindi news channel, as it covered news with audacity, insight and ample regional essence. In a period of 6 months, Aaj Tak materialised as India`s leading news channel, because of its reach and popularity.
Aaj Tak is spearheaded by Mr. Prabhu Chawla, the owner of the Today Group. Mr. Arun Puri is the CMD of the India Today group. In the diligent supervision of such personalities Aaj Tak has been successful in satisfying its viewers and winning the Best News Channel award for the past 8 years. Aaj Tak is proclaimed as the number one Hindi news channel in India because of its aggressive journalism and cutting edge reporting. It has wide reach in the remote rural areas of the country as well, where this channel is hugely popular because of various region centric programmes that are broadcasted. Programmes in this news channel vary from daily news, to crime news, entertainment as well as sports and politics. Programmes like Seedhi Baat, Vishesh, Mumbai
Metro, Saas, Bahu Aur Betiyaan, Movie Masala, Aaja Hansle, Vardaat, Special Report, Tez Khabarein, and others are quite popular. News pertaining to national, international issues, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, etc is aired from time to time.
Whilst Seedhi Baat is a chat show that is conducted by Prabhu Chawla himself; Movie Masala deals completely with the news and gossips of the Indian film industry. Saas, Bahu Aur Betiyaan, on the other hand, report about the happenings in the television world. Seedhi Baat remains the most popular even today. Beside Prabhu Chawla, other news anchors at Aaj Tak are Avishar Sharma, Ritul Joshi, Shweta, Sameep Rajguru, Sonia Singh, Ajay Kumar and others. The website of Aaj Tak has also gained immense popularity as it provides various online news, including facts related to share market and streams live videos of current top incidents and breaking news.
Aaj Tak has also been recognised by the Limca Book of Records, the Indian equivalent of Guinness Book of World records. The news channel has been acknowledged for receiving the highest number of text message responses to contests, poll, etc. with its sharp news packaging and stunning presentation, Aaj Tak tops the popularity list of Hindi news channel till day.