Over 160 million (16 crore) people watched the live telecast of the Ayodhya Ram Temple Bhumi Pujan ceremony on August 5 on Doordarshan, suggest pre-preliminary estimates.
The live event generated 700 crore viewing minutes across the television universe in India.
“The viewership is of Doordarshan’s live coverage which was carried by nearly 200 TV channels during the main events between 10:45 am and 2pm on Wednesday, the 5th of August 2020,” Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharti tweeted.
Television monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) did not respond to Mint’s queries on whether the figures were accurate.
The foundation stone-laying ceremony in Ayodhya was attended by 175 dignitaries including 135 religious leaders. Last November, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the construction of the temple with its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
On the day of the ceremony, Vempati had told Mint that DD National’s YouTube channel garnered more than 10 million watch minutes.
“While we have to wait for detailed TV viewership data, we have seen tremendous digital traffic for today’s live coverage comparable to DD’s typical digital performance during other coverages of national significance such as Independence Day and Republic Day,” he had added.