197 mn people in India watched PM Modi’s lockdown announcement to tackle coronavirus

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2020 Published on March 27, 2020

People watch the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on coronavirus pandemic.   -  PTI

BARC and Nielsen calls it ‘the biggest ever news event’

A whooping 197 million people across the country tuned in to watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the country announcing a complete lockdown in the country to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. This was revealed by a report released by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India and Nielsen on Friday, explaining the impact Of COVID -19 on television and digital media behaviour across India.


PM Modi’s address on March 24, 2020 about the complete nationwide lockdown was the biggest ever news event, superseding the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 133 million unique viewers’ count, found the report. The number of viewing minutes of the nationwide lockdown’s announcement ran to 3,891 million minutes, the report found. The number of channels reported is 201.

Other Modi’s addresses

To put it in context, the report also throws up viewership numbers of similar such announcements the PM had made in the past, which had also sent shock waves across the country.

For instance, Modi’s address to the nation on August 8, 2019 announcing the abrogation of Article 370, which revoked the special status, or limited autonomy, granted under the Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir had garnered a viewership of 65 million people, with the number of viewing minutes running to 934 million minutes.

The announcement by Modi on March 19, 2020 enforcing the Janta curfew had attracted a viewership of 83 million people, running to 1275 minutes.

On November 8, 2016, the day Modi announced demonetisation, banning high-currency notes, the number of people who tuned in were 57 million people, with the number of viewing minutes running to 842 million minutes.

These viewership figures are based on preliminary audience estimates and subject to change in the final data release, the report said.

Published on March 27, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.