The Broadcast Audience Research Council ( BARC) launched the third edition of its Yearbook today. 2020 was a year that marked a substantial increase in television viewership. The total Television viewership grew by 9%, driven by Average Time Spent (ATS), clocking 4 hours 2 minutes daily in 2020 compared to 3 hours 42 minutes in 2019.
Due to the global pandemic and the lockdown which followed, the Non-Prime Time Viewership for General Entertainment Channels ( GEC), News, and Kids grew by 16%, 26% and 31%, respectively.
The lockdown made viewers turn to their favourite mode of entertainment and news – Television. TV played a significant role in keeping people connected with the outside world during the lockdown. Consequently, TV Viewership witnessed a growth of 23% during Mid-March to June (Week 11-26) compared to the January to early March period (Week 1-10).
The weekly viewing minutes of GEC contributed to 50% of the total genre share in 2020. The GEc genre witnessed a growth of 9% compared to 2019. The movie genre grew by 10%, contributing 24% of the total genre share. The News genre witnessed a massive growth of 27%, thereby contributing 10% of the total genre share. Kids genre also grew by 27%.
With pandemic putting brakes on live sports events, sports viewership witnessed a decline of 35%, although IPL -13 did inject some cheer back on the sports genre towards the end of the year. Few Music and youth channels going off-air led to the viewership decline of the music genre to 12% compared to 16% in 2019.
The report states that viewership rose across all geographies and markets, with a slightly higher growth observed in Urban over Rural India and in Hindi speaking market over South India.
The Ad Volumes grew by 34% in the 2nd half of 2020 compared to the 1st half of 2020. The Top 10 Advertising sectors contributed 80% to Total Ad Volumes in 2020.
The Communication by the Government was on an upsurge during the lockdown. Ad Volumes for Government messaging grew by 184% (2.7 times) during Apr-June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
During Week 13 of 2020, Mythological Classics like Ramayan & Mahabharat made a comeback on TV screens. Ramayana now holds the record of the most-watched TV program in the world!
Driven by the classics, the advertisers placed their bets on DD’s GECs during the lockdown, and Ad Volumes for DD’s GECs grew by 62% in the April-June quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
The IPL-13 viewership grew by 23% compared to IPL-12 with 400 Bn Total Viewing Minutes. The Opening match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi was the most viewed with 11.2 Billion Viewing Minutes.
All genres experienced a decline in Ad Volumes with the exception of movies which grew by 9%. The healthy growth of TV viewership in 2020 was built around non-Prime-time (NPT) viewing which grew sharply during the lockdown period. The share of the total non-prime time viewership rose to 53% in 2020 compared to 51% in 2019.
Commenting on the YEARBOOK launch, Sunil Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, BARC India, says, “The year was a consolidation and reaffirmation year for television in India. It was marked by a substantial increase in TV viewership, with total TV growing by 9% and Ad Volumes experiencing a staggering growth of 34% in the second half. 2020 reaffirmed television’s strength as a medium in India amongst both viewers and advertisers, proving TV is indeed the screen of choice for the household. TV continues to grow, with regional markets gaining prominence. BARC India will continue to work towards our vision, to always be the trusted source of authentic measurement and reporting of “What India Watches’”.