The popular mythological series, Ramayan, which is being rebroadcasted on Doordarshan during the Coronavirus lockdown days to great appeal has smashed viewership records worldwide. Ramayan, the Ramanand Sagar-directed TV serial became the world's most-watched show on April 16 with 7.7 crore viewers, DD India posted on its official Twitter handle on Thursday. However, after this was challenged by certain reports, top I&B ministry sources have told Republic that they stand by the record claim.
Elaborating about the same, a I&B Ministry sources said that Doordarshan stands by its assessment that the viewership of Ramayan was a global record of sorts with over 200 million unique viewers tuning in to the series, adding that, more than 102 million people tuned into the highest viewed episode of Ramayan from within the TV ratings universe. Additionally, they disclosed that several million more tuned in from outside the TV ratings universe through Mobile TV services that stream DD Channels, such as JioTV, MXplayer, etc"
Reports citing US TV data records had put forth that the final episode of TV show M*A*S*H on CBS-TV which aired over three decades ago was the most-watched single program in television history. The two-and-a-half-hour program drew an estimated total audience of 106 million people. The final episode of the miniseries Roots on ABC-TV in 1977 had 99 million viewers.
However, as per the methodology, the total audience for a show represents the total number of viewers who watched all or any part of it. Thus, the total audience tends to increase with the length of the show, possibly not making it an apples-to-apples comparison, in Ramayan's favour.
WORLD RECORD!!— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) April 30, 2020
Rebroadcast of #Ramayana on #Doordarshan smashes viewership records worldwide, the show becomes most watched entertainment show in the world with 7.7 crore viewers on 16th of April pic.twitter.com/hCVSggyqIE
For the unversed, Ramayan has become a part of Indian households again after it was re-telecast from March 28 to keep audiences entertained during the COVID-19 lockdown. The show is currently the most-watched serial on Indian TV after achieving the highest-rated premiere in five years. Recently, the show completed its run on DD National. But on high public demand, a leading channel, Star Plus, has started to re-telecast the series.