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Shri Krishna, Mahabharat most-watched TV shows; mythological genre sees strong traction in COVID-19 times

With the increase in viewership, channels are also increasing their programming for the genre.

May 29, 2020 / 10:53 PM IST

Among the most-watched shows on TV during prime time or specifically between 6 pm and 11 pm include Shri Krishna on DD National, and  Mahabharat on Star Plus.

This shows that Indians continue to spend more time on mythological shows in the current times.

If we compare the viewership of this genre with the pre-COVID period, we find that there has been a significant growth in traction for such shows.

Let’s take a look at the latest BARC data, according to which, mythological shows have seen over 100 percent increase in viewership from pre-COVID period to the current times.

During the pre-COVID period, which is week two to four or the period between January 11 to 31, mythological shows registered viewing minutes in the range of 31.2 billion and 32.6 billion. This increased to 119 billion viewing minutes in week-15 (the week starting April 11) which is the highest so far; 75.7 billion viewing minutes were recorded in week-20 (the week starting May 16).


Since the nationwide lockdown was announced, viewership for mythological shows has only increased across all languages.

“Mythological shows have made a big come back and they are holding the audience's attention,” said Sunil Lulla, BARC CEO, during the webinar on ‘How are media habits changing as India enters week-9 of the lockdown’.

With the increase in viewership, channels are also increasing their programming for the genre.

Programming was the highest in week 20 across all languages with 1,671 hours for mythological shows.

During the pre-COVID period, programming for mythological shows was in the range of 810 to 858 hours.

According to BARC data for week-20, Shri Krishna on DD National has recorded 21,453 impressions while Mahabharat on Star Plus registered 12,115 impressions in the Urban+Rural segment. Star Plus is also airing Devon Ka Dev Mahadev, which has recorded 6,850 impressions in the Urban+Rural pay category.

‘Impressions’ are the number of individuals in thousands, of a target audience, who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

Other mythological shows like Mahima Shani Dev Ki and Ramayan on Dangal have seen impressions to the tune of 14,821 and 10,880 respectively in the Urban+Rural segment.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: May 29, 2020 10:53 pm
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