Ramayan may effectively have overwhelmed Sport of Thrones within the battle for eyeballs. However it’s hardly a world file.

It’s not even shut

The ultimate episode of the basic American collection M*A*S*H (“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”), on 28 February 1983, notched up almost 106 million viewers. That is significantly greater than the 16 April episode of Ramayan.

Ramayan is a rerun: a 1987-88 collection by Ramanand Sagar, made at a time when Doordarshan was the one choice for Indian TV viewers. It’s potential that someplace in its preliminary run – when the telecasts would carry the nation to a standstill and round 100 million viewers have been stated to observe every episode – it got here near, or possibly even crossed, M*A*S*H’s file.

Web streaming and OTT platforms have been nonetheless many years away then. It was a a lot totally different world on 28 March 2020, when Ramayan began airing on DD Nationwide once more.

How Ramayan achieved the numbers

A few elements performed into Ramayan’s large success again then.

It was a beloved collection, albeit one that will look dated to fashionable eyes. The timing was proper, with the lockdown lowering folks’s leisure choices. DD Nationwide is free to air and vast in attain. And the announcement acquired a powerful push from the federal government, with Data and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javdekar saying the telecast and later tweeting {a photograph} of himself watching the present (he deleted it quickly after).

As quickly as Ramayan re-run started, Doordarshan’s viewership rose exponentially. From 9 million within the second half of January, it went to 545 million within the final week of March.

“These have been the very best numbers we’d seen up to now 5 years,” stated Romil Ramgarhia, chief working officer of Broadcast Viewers Analysis Centre (BARC), the official TRP measuring company in India. “Not even a sporting occasion [like IPL] comes shut.”

Behind the Numbers

Whereas making the declare of the “world file”, Doordarshan drew upon the 2018 report by Look. The LinkedIn web page of Look describes it as “the main supplier of official TV scores for over 7000 channels in additional than 120 territories.”

The Look report, known as ‘One TV Yr within the World’, presents an outline of tv reveals and their viewership internationally. “Taking a look at it, Ramayan has finished higher than any leisure present internationally,” says Ramgarhia.

Nevertheless, the report is just of the calendar yr 2018. It doesn’t embrace the viewership or data of TV reveals aired earlier than or after.

BARC claims it has no concept what foundation Doordarshan made its world file declare on.

“We hadn’t even talked about Sport of Thrones,” says Ramgarhia. “They could have gotten that information from elsewhere.”

Why is Ramayan being in comparison with Sport of Thrones?

Though Doordarshan’s tweets counsel in any other case, the Sport of Thrones finale didn’t maintain the file for second-highest-viewed TV episode of all time.

At 19.three million viewers (which incorporates linear viewing, HBO Go and HBO Now), the 19 Could 2019 finale of Sport of Thrones was, fairly seemingly, the biggest single episode viewership of a US present within the streaming period. But it surely was miles away from M*A*S*H and several other different reveals of that period – a time when there have been solely a handful of channels competing for viewer consideration.

Evaluating a premium cable channel like HBO with a free-to-air one like DD Nationwide doesn’t completely make sense. “Sport of Thrones might need been introduced as much as get your consideration,” Ramgarhia reckons. In spite of everything, few in India might need heard of M*A*S*H.

Doordarshan’s response

Shashi Shekhar Vempatti, CEO of Prasar Bharti, which incorporates Doordarshan and All India Radio, stood by the ‘world file’. “We all know for a indisputable fact that a number of extra have watched exterior the TV scores universe by cell TV companies that stream DD Channels equivalent to JioTV, Mxplayer, and so on,” he stated in a textual content message.

“Once we take a look at the collection as an entire, greater than 200 million folks tuned into Ramayan through the course of lockdown,” he added.

That, nevertheless, wasn’t what the world-record declare is predicated on. Additionally, how does it examine to the file made by M*A*S*H?

Mentioned Vempatti, “I’d not learn a lot into the file side past underscoring how households got here collectively through the lockdown to re-experience the epic in an unprecedented method and that the general public broadcaster was efficient in its function in retaining Indians ‘Keep Dwelling Keep Protected.’”

The lockdown has eased up in locations, however Doordarshan isn’t finished with mythological reruns. After Ramayan and Mahabharat, now you can watch reruns of Shri Krishna.

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