If you thought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is losing his lustre among TV viewers, think again. Data culled out by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), which measures TV viewership, showed whenever the PM made an appearance on television, viewership shot up substantially.
The telecast of events, such as the Smart India Hackathon and PM Modi Krishi Unnati Mela, between April and May 2018 on DD News, saw a spike in viewership by 1.4 times and 2.3 times respectively, compared to the previous four weeks in the same time slot. Viewership of the regional news channels rose when the PM went to attend events there. The telecast of Parivartan Rally in Bengaluru on February 4 boosted viewership of Kannada news channels by 418 per cent.
The goods and services tax (GST) launch event, which was held in July 2017 inside the Parliament’s central hall, reached around 15 million people. It helped Hindi news viewership register a growth of 240 per cent, while the English news viewership grew 2 times as compared to the previous four weeks. Modi’s address to the nation on GST, which was aired on both Hindi and English news channels from 7pm to 8pm, was 20 million people. It helped Hindi news channels garner around 4 million impressions, with a growth of 47 per cent. For English news channels, viewership rose 2.7 times.
Breaking the myth that political and business issues interest male audiences more, BARC’s data showed that for the GST launch event, female viewership grew by 123 per cent in English news and 239 per cent in Hindi. For male audiences, the growth was 101 per cent and 240 per cent for English and Hindi news, respectively. For Modi’s address to the nation, female viewership grew by 22 per cent in English and 53 per cent in Hindi, and for male audiences it went up by 17 per cent in English and 44 per cent for English and Hindi respectively.