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No decline in Doordarshan’s viewership despite increase of private TV channels: I&B ministry

There has been no decline in Doordarshan’s viewership in the recent years in spite of the increase of private television channels in the broadcasting space, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said on Thursday.

Responding to a query raised in the Rajya Sabha, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said Prasar Bharati has taken a number of steps to increase the viewership of Doordarshan.

“There is no decline in viewership (of Doordarshan) in the recent years in spite of an increase of private TV channels in the broadcasting space during past years and fragmentation of audience due to many private TV channels relaying Doordarshan’s live content.

“Prasar Bharati currently has 36 Doordarshan (DD) 24X7 channels that are operating in standard definition (SD) mode, and three of these channels are also made available in high definition (HD) mode to the viewers for enriched viewing experience. In addition, there are 51 co-branded educational channels,” the minister said in his written response.

Stating that Prasar Bharati has taken a number of steps to further increase DD’s viewership, he noted, “During the lockdown period in 2020, Doordarshan aired iconic serials such as Ramayan and Mahabharat which resulted in record highest television viewership.” He further said DD RETRO, a dedicated entertainment channel, has been created to expand the viewership base and all live sporting events of national importance are now being aired on a dedicated sports channel ‘DD Sports’ to ensure a sustained audience.

“DD India has been dedicated to English news and DD News to Hindi news to cater to diverse audiences across India. Live streaming is also being done of major events broadcast by Doordarshan to engage the youth.

“In a sign of changing viewership pattern, it was witnessed during the coverage of Republic Day celebrations this year that the viewership on YouTube network of DD garnered more views than its TV network, at 2.6 crore and 2.3 crore, respectively,” the minister informed.

He said it is evident that Doordarshan’s viewership on YouTube platform alone was greater than its TV viewership as reported by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

“This was further exponentially amplified to a total of more than 3.2 billion television viewing minutes by more than 180 channels across the country which aired these Doordarshan visuals from 9:30 am in the morning till noon,” he said.

Sharing the commercial revenue data of Doordarshan, the minister said in the last three years, Doordarshan earned a total of Rs 1,245.28 crore from government and non-government advertisements. PTI

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