Our national television, Doordarshan like everything government owned has always lagged behind the other popular private channels such as Star, Zee, Sony etc. Even though in terms of reach it has and will always be the best, the quality of its programs especially in recent times hasn’t provided reason enough for people to watch it. Today the people, especially in cities have access to a wide variety of cable TV channels. The only reason for them to watch Doordarshan is to watch something like the Republic Day, Independence Day, cricket matches etc. live.
But then we are prone to getting surprises of all kinds all the time – Aren’t we? The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony as all of us by now have seen, has turned out to be a slap in the face of the critics. And interestingly with its live telecast, Doordarshan has gone ahead of the big private TV players in the race for TVR ratings.
Let’s first look at some of the interesting statistics: –
- A TVR of 4.8% is Doordarshan’s highest in over a decade for an event telecasted live and more than even Big Boss 4 (3.6%) which started on the same day on Colours
- A record number of 30 million tuned into DD National to watch the event live. The scale of these numbers can be understood from the fact that this is over three times the average number of viewers who tuned in to watch DD National over the previous four Sundays during the evening hours
- The total number of viewers tuned into Doordarshan included about 100 million in India and more than 20 million overseas in countries such as UAE, Oman, Canada, Australia etc.
With its market share for Sunday jumping to 14.2%, you could easily say that the first gold medal of the games went to Doordarshan. However, the huge set of eyeballs could not be turned into money. I am sure you must have seen 3-4 ads repeated over and over again through-out the ceremony
The reasons could range from the lack of interest of advertisers in Doordarshan per say. Or the other legitimate reason could be that a corporate didn’t presume that DD would be able to manage such high ratings. Knowing Doordarshan’s popularity or lack of it, who would?
But whatever their earnings, the fact that they did manage to get such high ratings, is an achievement in itself. Though audience had issues with the commentary and advertisements, overall it was a mega success.
Just as a side-note – If you thought that the CWG Ceremony was telecasted live – It was NOT. It was differed live with about 5 to 10 minutes delay in beaming the pictures.