New Delhi: On 26 January, state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan saw a 15 times increase in its average viewership when India celebrated 68th Republic Day in the capital, according to data from television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India.
Between 9:00 am and 11:30am on 26 January, Doordarshan network that aired the Republic Day parade across seven channels including DD National, DD India, DD Bharati, DD News, DD Urdu, DD Kisan and DD Sports , recorded a viewership of 7.55 million impressions, as against 4.9 lakh impressions (average) during the same time period in the previous four weeks.
Doordarshan operates a total of 21 regional and national channels. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.
In the Hindi-speaking markets, the viewership for DD network shot up 14 times to 6.34 million impressions, up from 4.4 lakh impressions. “A lot of effort went into the preparation of Republic Day celebrations. We had deployed a heavy number of cameras, manpower and other equipments. The reason behind high viewership is the high-definition feed which we had introduced for the first time,” said Supriya Sahu, director general at Doordarshan.
News channels across the country, which received the Republic Day feed from Doordarshan, also saw three-fold rise in viewership. According to Barc, 58 English and Hindi language news channels across the country (excluding Doordarshan) recorded 9.8 million impressions (on an average), up from usual 3.2 million impressions.
The main highlight of this year’s Republic Day parade was a 149-member United Arab Emirates (UAE) Presidential Guard with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan as the chief guest at the event. This year, tableaux from 17 states and six ministries of the Central government were presented at Rajpath.
Currently, Doordarshan is undergoing a revamp to increase its viewership and compete with private channels across the country. The broadcaster recently auctioned its prime time programming slots to private production houses including Saai Baba Telefilms and Ekta Kapoor-promoted Balaji Telefims. It plans to roll out fresh programming by the end of this month.