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TV viewership in India grew by 9% in 2020: BARC

Broadcast Audience Research Council, (BARC) India in the third edition of its yearbook titled The Year After Two Thousand & Nineteen revealed that the total TV viewership in India grew by 9% in 2020. It also revealed that ad volumes grew by 34% in the 2nd half of the year compared to the 1st half.

The Yearbook offers insights and data on ‘What India Watched’ in 2020 along with trends across the pandemic struck months with a special focus on four distinct phases, viz., Pre-COVID, COVID: During Lockdown, COVID: Unlock, and
Year Ender.

COVID-19 forced people to stay confined to their homes starting March 25, 2020. The lockdown made viewers turn to their favourite mode of entertainment and news – Television.

TV played a significant role in keeping people connected with the outside world during the lockdown. Consequently, TV Viewership witnessed a growth of 23% during Mid-March to June (Week 11-26) as compared to the January to early March period (Week 1-10).

Commenting on the launch of the YEARBOOK, Sunil Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, BARC India, says, “The year was a consolidation and reaffirmation year for television in India. It was marked by a substantial increase in TV viewership with total TV growing by 9% and Ad Volumes experiencing a staggering growth of 34% in the second half.
2020 reaffirmed the strength of television as a medium in India amongst both viewers and advertisers, proving TV is indeed the screen of choice for the household. TV continues to grow with regional markets gaining prominence. BARC India will continue to work towards our vision, to always be the trusted source of authentic measurement
and reporting of “What India Watches’”.

Highlights from What India Watched in ‘The Year After Two Thousand & Nineteen’

  • Non-Prime Time (NPT) Viewership for General Entertainment Channels (GEC), News and Kids, grew by 16%, 26% and 31% respectively in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Ad Volumes grew by 34% in 2nd half of 2020 compared to 1st half of 2020.
  • Top 10 Advertising sectors contributed 80% to Total Ad Volumes in 2020
  • Communication by the Government was on an upsurge during lockdown. Ad volumes for government messaging grew by 184% (2.7 times) during Apr-June 2020 compared to same period in 2019.
  • Mythological Classics like Ramayan & Mahabharat made a comeback on our TV screens, Week 13, 2020 onwards. Ramayana now holds the record of the most watched TV program in the world!
  • Driven by the classics, advertisers placed their bets on DD’s GECs during lockdown. Ad Volumes for DD’s GECs grew by 62% in Apr-June quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • IPL-13 viewership grew by 23% compared to IPL-12 with 400 billion Total Viewing Minutes.
  • The Opening match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi, was the most viewed with 11.2 billion viewing minutes.


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