The return of historical epics Ramayan and Mahabharat has brought back Doordarshan’s former glory as the public broadcaster emerges as the most watched channel in India between March 28- April 3, as per the data provided by TV audience measurement body, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) (Across Genre : All India (Urban+Rural).
The re-telecast of Mahabharat and Ramayan resulted in nearly 40,000% jump in viewership in the evening and morning bands in the week ended April 3. The two epics have garnered maximum eyeballs with an average of 545.8 million and 145.8 million impressions in the previous week, respectively. Besides Ramayan and Mahabharat, other shows such as Shaktimaan, Buniyaad and Circus also helped in bringing up the viewership of DD.
According to BARC, overall TV viewership saw 4% growth in week 13 (over week 12), primarily because of a spike in viewership of movie channels across languages. Meanwhile, average daily reach grew to 627 million in week 13, while the total viewing minutes touched 1.26 trillion minutes.
With over 6,400 people infected by the Coronavirus and the central governments’ edict of 21 days lockdown till April 14, 2020, the consumption of television has increased over the past month. Addressing the people’s need to consume content, the public service broadcaster Doordarshan began the re-telecasting of Ramayan, Mahabharat, Byomkesh Bakshi, Hum Hain Na, Tu Tota Main Maina, Circus, Shaktimaan, Shriman Shrimati, among others. Following their lead, private broadcasters such as Star Network and Zee Entertainment have also started telecasting their old shows in order to retain their audience since the broadcasters have run out of fresh content to air. Currently, Star Plus is running repeats of Mahabharat and Siya Ke Ram and the time bands have seen an increase in viewership as compared to the preceding week. Zee’s entertainment channel &TV also saw a spike in viewership for the time band airing a rerun of its version of Ramayan.