As I write this piece there are more than 200 countries fighting with Coronavirus. Many of them completely locked down to contain the spread of the virus. A third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown. India took similar lockdown measures in phases with few cities from 14th March 2020 which was followed by a lockdown in the entire country starting 25th March 2020 for the next 21 days. Since then, things have changed drastically – one of them being TV Viewership in India during Coronavirus lockdown.
Let’s look at TV Viewership in India during Coronavirus Lockdown so far in the lockdown period.
1. Overall Jump in TV Viewership during Coronavirus Lockdown
- Almost 622 million viewers watched TV daily for four hours and 39 minutes, a jump of 23 per cent over the weeks prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, with weekly viewing minutes touching 1.2 trillion, a jump of 37 per cent over the previous period.
- As per BARC, this is the highest in terms of TV viewing for any period, with average daily viewers growing by 62 million.
2. Genre-Wise Jump in TV Viewership during Coronavirus Lockdown
- News viewership was the biggest gainer during the first full week of lockdown, growing 298 per cent versus the pre-Covid period between January 11 and 31
- Movies grew by 56 per cent, viewership of kids’ entertainment increased 39 per cent, infotainment grew by 63 per cent, youth and lifestyle entertainment grew by 30 per cent and 20 per cent each, data from the body shows.
3. Increase in Non-Prime TV Viewership during Coronavirus Lockdown
- As per BARC Data Non-prime time TV Viewership in India during Coronavirus Lockdown witnessed growth, with a surge of 71 per cent seen in the period under review at an all-India level, while Hindi-speaking markets saw a bigger peak, growing 83 per cent at the same time.
- GEC viewership in non-prime time grew 32 per cent
- News viewership in non-prime time grew 200 per cent
- Kids’ entertainment grew 58 per cent, BARC data shows.
4. Premium TV Viewership during Coronavirus Lockdown
- Data from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) shows that premium TV viewers, who’ve access to multiple entertainment devices, in the top six cities of India, grew 22 per cent between March 14 and March 20, with tune-ins surging 11 per cent. March 14-20 is when the phased lockdown was announced.
- TV Viewership in India during Coronavirus Lockdown by children aged between two and 14 years grew 20 per cent between March 14 and 20, a significant chunk of which came from affluent households as per BARC Data.
- Viewership by those aged above 61 years grew 7 per cent in the period under review, while TV viewership by middle-aged people grew 4 per cent only.
- One obvious explanation for this is kids not being allowed to use mobile phones and family elders not being too savvy with gadgets, forcing them to depend on television for entertainment.
Read More on Factors Affecting TV Viewership in India