Despite the 2008 Beijing Olympics becoming the most watched sporting event in India in the last few years, the event’s exclusive broadcaster, Doordarshan, has lost money.
Over 30 million Indians watched the closing ceremony at Beijing. This was far more than the 24 million who saw the IPL finals in Mumbai this year, said aMAP, the company that measures television viewership.
“The closing ceremony had the highest viewership. A large number of people also watched the boxing matches of Vijender Kumar and Akhil Kumar,” a company official said.
However, only 18 million people watched the opening ceremony.
“There was a sudden jump after Bindra’s medal with people keenly following events in which Indians were involved,” said an analysis by TAM, another audience measurement company.
Only 8.6 million had tuned in to watch the opening ceremony of the Athens games and 5.2 million saw the closing ceremony.
Interestingly, Doordarshan sent a 74- member contingent to cover the event while there were only 57 Indian participants at the games. The channel spent 17 crore, but expects to earn around Rs 8 crore.
“We may not get the expected money because of some problems in planning,” said a senior DD official.
DD had to face a lot of flak for not airing Bindra’s interview after he won his gold. There was a question mark over the quality of commentary and match analysis.
Information and Broadcasting minister P.R. Dasmunsi was, however, satisfied. “To me, the coverage was good,” he told HT.