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Lockdown Helps Doordarshan Audience Levels

Re-runs of Mahabharat, Ramayan, Circus and Fauji get more viewership.

As Indian households turned to nostalgic entertainment offerings while being cooped up at home during the pandemic outbreak in 2020, Doordarshan’s network of channels gained strong traction.

According to data by the Broadcast Audience Research Council India, viewership of DD Network witnessed a surge of 68 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. This also aided the public broadcaster to increase its share in the all-India total television viewing pie to 1.8 per cent in 2020 compared to 1.2 per cent in 2019.

As the pandemic-induced lockdown started, Prasar Bharati decided to air re-runs of iconic and classic TV series such as Ramayan, Mahabharat, Circus and Fauji and gained salience, especially during the first half of the year.

According to BARC data, the weekly viewing minutes of the public broadcaster’s network of TV channels, stood at 18.1 billion up 68 per cent compared to 10.8 billion in 2019 (All India, 2+ weekly viewing minutes). The GEC channels contributed the highest to the DD network’s weekly viewing minutes with a growth of 115 per cent. DD National & DD Bharati “leapfrogged exponentially, by over 5x & 10x growth respectively”, according to BARC’s report titled ‘The Year after 2019’.