Modi’s address on ‘complete lockdown’ drew nearly 200 million viewers on TV — making it the biggest news in India so far

Modi’s address on ‘complete lockdown’ drew nearly 200 million viewers on TV — making it the biggest news in India so far
  • PM Modi’s address on ‘complete lockdown’ became the biggest news event in India so far.
  • The viewers are more than the finale of Indian Premier League 2019, which stood at 133 million.
  • Modi’s first address to the nation about Coronavirus on March 19 — where he announced Janta curfew — saw 83 million viewers across 19 channels.
When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the world's largest lockdown to contain Coronavirus on March 24, as many as 197 million people were glued to TV across 201 news channels, said Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

The lockdown became the biggest news event in India so far. It received more viewers than the finale of Indian Premier League 2019, which had 133 million viewers. Modi’s first address to the nation about Coronavirus on March 19 — where he announced Janta curfew — had 83 million viewers across 19 channels. The announcement about abrogation of Article 370 in August last year had 57 million viewership across 114 channels.

Date PM Address to the nationChannelsViewership in millions
8 November 2016Demonetisation 11457
8 August 2019Article 37016365
19 March 2020Janata Curfew due to COVID-19 19183
24 March 2020Complete Lockdown in India due to COVID-19201197

Most people watch TV through the day
As thousands of people stay indoors and work from home, total TV consumption throughout India in Week 1 (starting March 14) has gone up by 8%. The growth is derived from the increase in viewership during non-prime time slots (8 am-5 pm). According to the report, most people watch TV throughout the day. Moreover, the curiosity about coronavirus had led to an 8% increase in the news user base in the first week of coronavirus disruption. An average user in India spends 32 minutes per week to watch news.
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“We are living through unprecedented times. Physical social distancing seems to have a phenomenal growth in virtual social togetherness with an almost 20% increase in time spent per user on chats, social media and news in the last one week,” Dolly Jha Country Leader, Nielsen Global Media, South Asia said.

Nielsen report anticipates the viewership of TV, smartphones and social media to grow further.

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