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Lockdown helps Doordarshan grab more eyeballs

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.

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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’.

Sunil Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, BARC India, said, “With families together within their homes, television viewership was at its peak in March last year, breaking all TV viewership records, as Ramayan and Mahabharat, and other popular shows from yesteryears, made a comeback on our TV screens and in our lives.”

DD National’s viewership grew nearly 26 times in peak lockdown period of week 11-26, compared to the first 10 weeks of the year. At the same time DD Bharati’s viewership grew by nearly 87 times over the same period. DD Retro, which was launched during the lockdown, also saw strong traction among viewers.

Ad volumes
Ad volumes of DD network (across 25 channels) also grew by 31 per cent to 33.7 million seconds in 2020 compared to 2019. “Out of 33.7 million seconds of total ad volumes on DD channels, general entertainment channels held 88 per cent share,” the report added. DD’s GEC channels saw a growth of 33 per cent in ad volumes in 2020 compared to the previous year indicating consistent growth. Thehindubusinessline

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