Recording New Highs: TV Viewership Of Republic Day Hit A Record 38 MillionBSF Motor Cycle team contingent at the 2018 Republic Day Parade (Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Numbers released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) have thrown up an interesting statistic this year. On 26 Janaury this year, the number of people watching the Republic Day Parade hit 38 million viewers, up from last year’s figure of 22.2 million viewers.

Aired on 20 channels of the state-owned Doordarshan Network, the overall viewership for the network jumped up from 5.6 million impressions in 2017 to 7.4 million – an increase of 33 per cent – between 9 AM and 12 PM. An impression refers to the number of individuals in a thousand within a target audience who viewed an event that is averaged across minutes.

A lot of effort went into the Republic Day coverage this time. We were prepared in advance especially on the digital front. The parade has so far been watched by more than 2.5 million people online.
Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati

News channels – sourcing the Republic Day feed from Doordarshan – too saw an increase in their viewership. Hindi channels saw their viewership go from 7.9 million impressions to 9.2 million while English channels registered 620,000 impressions over last year’s 310,000.

However, the spike in viewership can also be attributed to changes in how BARC measures audience viewership. In March 2017, it updated its viewership, adding more viewers taking the number from 154 million in 2013 to 183 million.

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