In mid-late 90s when channels like Zee News and Star News (when NDTV used to produce content for them!) were threatening Doordarshan as prime and more dependable source of independent news and Aaj Tak was just a half hour news show, TV Today used to produce the election specials for DD. Since there was no separate DD channel for news, the election special was shown on DD National channel only and since we didn't have cable connection (we were 'santusht' without cable, you see!) we had no option but to watch this only for nearly 3 days or as long as counting went on.
I used to watch this, not because I was very much engrossed in politics, ofcourse I liked keeping up with that too, but because I liked watching the sets, the graphics, the interface of analysis and results being shown, the anchors talking live with the correspondents and the overall energy of the show which kept the show interesting despite too many talks and discussions. Sometimes there was a piece in newspaper which talked about election coverage by channels and secretly I felt good when DD was praised for its accurate exit polls or good interface for wins/leads tally.
Later when I could watch other channels as well, a favorite activity was comparing these things on all of those!
On 25th May, it was counting day in Karnataka and all the news channels were in election mode. And I got busy with my favorite activity!
NDTV 24x7's coverage was lively with Prannoy Roy, Barkha Dutt and Srinivasan Jain handling the affairs. Their graphics were perhaps the best but just why they didn't show other parties' figures in their seats tally?
On CNN-IBN Yogendra Yadav wore his usual Kurta Payjama and academic attitude and was generally likeable as always but Rajdeep Sardesai was shouting (as always!) so much that I had to switch channels! The channel tried to spice up its coverage but frankly I was not interested in watching mostly because their tally and leads/wins scroller was so small that I could hardly see anything.
On Times Now Arnab Goswami and his team (sorry I know no one else there!) seemed to be conducting a solemn ceremony even when they were accompanied by politicians who seemed to get in that solemn mood as well! Their interface was very neat, big and clear but they were slow with their updates.
On Aaj Tak Deepak Chaurasia, Ajay Kumar and Prabhu Chawla sat on a set with an animated background which made me think for a moment that it was a F1 show. NDTV India wore a deserted look with Vinod Dua and A.... talking to Abhishek Singhvi and a JDS leader on a very regular set. Star News had horribly opulent graphics and animated set resembled an amphitheater, add to this 'Azeem-o-shaan' tune in the background!
And last but not the least, telugu channels namely ETV2, NTV and TV5 seemed to be miles ahead in their seat updates (at one stage when NDTV, Aaj Tak and Now were on 161/224, these channels had figures of 191/224) but their figures were very unstable and changed every two seconds, so after a moment of awe I decided to ignore them.
But the disappointment of the day was DD News with its ghastly sets and terrible colors. What a heartbreak!