Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC
More people watched more TV as the coronavirus
crisis hit India full-blast. The average daily reach of TV rose from 560 million Indians pre-COVID-19 (January 11-31) to 592 million post-COVID-19 (March 14-20). And, these people watched 3 hours and 51 minutes of television everyday, up from 3 hours and 46 minutes before the crisis, an 8 per cent growth all India says a special BARC
India report on the impact of the crisis on TV viewership. Vanita Kohli-Khandekar spoke to BARC
CEO Sunil Lulla. Edited excerpts:
The BARC data shows a jump in TV viewing but that is only for March 14-20. Will the trend hold once fresh programming is over and repeats take over on TV? DD has already announced a rerun of Ramayana.
The Ramayana move is a masterstroke. I won’t be surprised if it is a big hit. People like us under-estimate the power of TV. The largest viewing swing has come from NCCS A and B. The C, D & E audiences were anyway watching TV. English has grown phenomenally, if you remove sports from the equation.
Is it people who had gone away from TV coming back or existing viewers watching more?
Both reach and time spent is increasing.
What are the key insights from the data?
One, kids’ viewership has jumped 33 per cent in the post-COVID-19 phase. They are watching news, general entertainment channels, and movies. They used to watch general entertainment and movies, but not news. Two, there is a huge surge in non-prime time viewing, as people stay at home. Three, news viewership has grown by 57 per cent.
What does it mean for marketers and broadcasters?
For marketers – all those with reasonable supply chain should keep it going because consumption of essentials is happening. Advertisers of essentials, say food, groceries, handwash should continue to advertise because people are watching those ads. For broadcasters, they should seriously consider what is non-prime time. Those not producing fresh content and now using reruns can get their actors and talent to create clips. Do a TikTok
on TV. The artists and stars are free to do it, write a 10-15 minute format and put it on TV. There is no sports, so there is an