The mythological epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have overwhelmed masses and made the experience nostalgic, thus bringing them to turn on DD National on a daily basis.
Coronavirus lockdown: Wow, Doordarshan (DD) National becomes India’s most watched TV channel! DD National has roped in million views by simply bringing some of the old shows back. The mythological epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have overwhelmed masses and made the experience nostalgic, thus bringing them to turn on DD National on a daily basis. These shows earlier appeared in the 1980s and their re-run has led to a surge in viewership of the channel. According to data by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) in India, DD National has been the most viewed channel of the 13th week of 2020. The data suggested that DD National witnessed 1,596,923 viewers between March 28 and April 3 this year.
In fact, the viewership for Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan has grown over 60 times in the last two weeks, Live Mint reported citing a report by BARC and data measurement firm Nielsen on TV viewership. Mahabharata, on the other hand saw an increase of 208 times in viewership for the same period. Apart from this, shows like Chanakya, Upanishad Ganga, Shaktimaan, Shriman Shrimati and Krishna Kali are also being brought back, Apart from these, DD is also running Byomkesh Bakshi, Hum Hain Na, Tu Tota Main Maina and Circus.
The spike comes at a time when people are under home-quarantine and a 21-day lockdown has been imposed by the central government. As a source of entertainment during lockdown, the shows are a source of entertainment. The government has directed all the DTH/cable operators to broadcast all the DD channels along with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV. According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, “Non carriage of these channels is liable for action under Section 11, 12 and 18 of the Act.” However, it is yet to see how the viewership will pan once the lockdown is lifted or people start to go back to working from offices.