Drastic fall in TV viewership during ‘9pm 9min’ call given by PM Modi: Report

PM Modi had asked people to switch off lights and light up torches, candles, lamps and cellphone torches at 9 pm for 9 minutes on April 5.
People light lamps in a show of solidarity during the fight against Covid-19, in New Delhi on April 5.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
People light lamps in a show of solidarity during the fight against Covid-19, in New Delhi on April 5.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 10, 2020 10:42 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

When India united to light lamps and candles on appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “challenge the darkness of coronavirus”, it led to a steep fall in television viewership.

PM Modi had asked people to switch off lights and light up torches, candles, lamps and cellphone torches at 9 pm for 9 minutes on April 5 as a mark of solidarity in fight against coronavirus disease Covid-19.

According to a report by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Prime Minister’s appeal led to the lowest ever viewing in that time segment since 2015, showing how the initiative brought the nation together.

The TV viewership dropped by 60 per cent during these nine minutes as compared to previous weeks. The decline started by 08:53 pm and came back to current trends only after 09:30 pm, the BARC report said.

The report was released on Thursday jointly by BARC and Nielsen Media. It showed how India follows the global trend in showing continued increase in TV (43 per cent) and smartphone consumption (13 per cent) this week vis-a-vis the period before Covid-19.

The growth in TV consumption this week was driven by the movie genre (77 per cent growth).

Interestingly, despite the absence of any new sporting event, the viewership for sports channels grew 21 per cent as they beamed India’s cricket wins from the past and also old wrestling matches, it said.

PM Modi had earlier called on people to go on a self-imposed Janta Curfew and stay inside their homes and avoid going outside between 7 am to 9 pm on March 22. He had also asked people to come to their doorways, balconies and windows to clap or ring bells at 5 pm to thank those working toward essential services.

Hundreds of thousands across the country had responded to the Prime Minister’s appeal to cheer doctors, nurses, police officials and others who are working to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Friday, January 28, 2022