Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni was on Wednesday told that Doordarshan-I and DD News — from the stable of the public broadcaster — were the most watched television channels in the country.
Television Audience Measurement (TAM), a private sector company that measures television channels’ reach, revealed this in its presentation to the minister, “Clearing misconceptions about DD”.
Doordarshan, however, had admitted in response to a Right to Information application by Hindustan Times earlier this year that DD-I’s television rating points (TRPs) fell sharply from 1.64 in 2006 to 0.97 during the first nine weeks of 2009.
Despite the fall, DD is still the most watched in India because of its rural reach.
Meanwhile, on another occasion, the minister said — while celebrating the DD’s 50th anniversary — that the challenge before her was to bring the public broadcaster at par with the private channels.
The TAM presentation came at the time when the ministry was considering the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendation of setting up Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) as a self-regulatory body for measuring TRPs.
LK Krishnan, chief executive officer of TAM India, told Soni that movies on DD-I had better reach than premier movie channels like Zee Movies, UTV movies and MAX.
He also said sports on DD caught more eyeballs than other sports channels — when Abhinav Bindra won a gold in Beijing Olympics, among others.
While the DD reached all television homes in India through its terrestrial network, the private channels’ reach was limited to those which can access cables and satellites.