This year’s Republic Day, by many counts was considered a “bearer of many firsts”, thanks to various positive developments which surrounded this year’s celebrations.
These included making heads of all the 10 ASEAN nations as Chief Guests for the parade on Rajpath, Maharashtra making tableaux themed around Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and awarding Padma awards to the nation’s unsung heroes.
Now it seems another positive which came out of 26th January was Doordarshan’s viewership during the Republic Day parade, which this year touched a record 38 million:
Week 4: 38 million Viewers watch #Republicday2018 Parade on @DDNational@PMOIndia @narendramodi @rashtrapatibhvn @DDNewsLive @DDNewsHindi @prasarbharati @rsprasad @SushmaSwaraj @smritiirani @rajnathsingh pic.twitter.com/jRGizXK4Kp
— BARCIndia (@BARCIndia) February 2, 2018
As per the figures recorded by TRP measuring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), on 26th January 38 million people viewed Doordarshan channels as opposed to 22.2 million in 2017. The total impressions from 9 AM to 12 PM also rose from 5.6 million to 7.4 million.
Besides television, people also tuned in to watch the parade online, and as per Shashi Shekhar Vempati, Prasar Bharti’s chief executive, the online viewers numbered to a total of 2.5 million.
The increase was also noted by the news channels which show the DD feed. The impressions for Hindi news channels rose from 7.9 million to 9.2 million, and for the English ones, it increased from 3.1 lakh to 6.2 lakh.
As per Supriya Sahu, Doordarshan’s Director General, the channel had upped its coverage efforts from past years which included deploying 38 cameras for the live telecast from Rashtrapati Bhavan to Red Fort. Besides this, a production control room was set up at Rajpath.
She as a result tweeted her thanks to all the viewers of the parade:
Million thanks dear viewers for watching & appreciating DD coverage of the Republic Day Parade. Its your love and affection which drives our team to do their best. We are nothing without you. pic.twitter.com/ZTsPBHlqfb
— Supriya Sahu IAS (@DG_Doordarshan) February 1, 2018
This spike in viewership might also be partly attributed to the way BARC measures its viewership, where it revised the number of “households with television sets” from 154 million to 183 million in March 2017.