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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

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