- Returning classic programs like Ramayana & Mahabharata to keep people amused during the coronavirus lockdown has catapulted Doordarshan (DD) to be the top watched channel in India.
Returning classic programs like Ramayana & Mahabharata to keep people amused during the coronavirus lockdown has catapulted Doordarshan (DD) to be the top watched channel in India for the week ended April 3, BARC said on Thursday.
In spite of a surge announced by private broadcasters who are also experiencing higher viewership, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) said the national broadcaster could achieve the feat which involves a nearly 40,000 percent jump in viewership in the evening and morning bands.
Beginning with the Ramayan sequence of Hindu mythology, DD has brought back other classics such as Mahabharat, Shaktiman, and Buniyaad to serve the audience during the three-week lockdown. Most of those were created when DD monopolized national television broadcasting.
BARC credited the Ramayan and Mahabharat telecast to the top for DD’s success, while the other programs also helped to boost its position in select time slots.
Appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut off lights at 9 p.m. Last Sunday contributed to the lowest time-segment that has ever seen since 2015. His speech that declared lamp lighting had fewer viewers.
Modi’s speech encouraging people to light lamps after turning off the lights had fewer viewers compared with his speech announcing the lockout, it said, stating the numbers at 119 million versus 197 million.
The broadcasting classics strategy of South-based Sun TV has also paid off and helped it hop on the viewership, while a few paying Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) that introduced classics also saw a rise in viewership.
Compared to the previous week, the total TV viewership increased by 4 percent, and was 43 $higher than the pre-COVID-19 outbreak time, the council said.
Channels in the genre of news and movies reported an all-time high growth in viewership over the week, with Hindi movies outperforming the GEC category, it said.
Interestingly, given the absence of any new sporting event, sports channels viewership grew 21 percent as they beamed past Indian cricket wins and past WWE matches as well, it said.
Ramayana, the three-decade-old television series based on Hindu mythology, received 170 million viewers in its latest avatar in four shows last weekend, the BARC said on Thursday.
That catapulted the output of Ramanand Sagar as the highest serial ever watched in the general entertainment space in Hindi, the Research Council of the Broadcast Audience said.
The series ‘debut broadcast last week saw 34 million viewers glued to their TV sets watching and enjoying a rating of 3.4 percent while 45 million viewers and a rating of 5.2 percent were on telecast the same evening.