Before Abhinav Bindra struck gold, a clear lack of viewer interest in Beijing Olympics on public broadcaster Doordarshan was visible, according to the latest viewership numbers released by overnight ratings agency aMap today.
The viewership ratings are for the first three days (August 8, 9 and 10) of the Olympic Games and do not include the analysis of Monday when Bindra won an individual gold medal in shooting and Badminton player Saina Nehwal stormed into the women’s quarter finals.
Despite having the maximum reach among all television channels, Doordarshan’s coverage of the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics on August 8 on DD National channel managed to reach just about 6 million viewers, comprising only 7.5 per cent of the 82 million cable and satellite homes in the country.
The average ratings for DD National during live telecast of the opening ceremony (5 pm-9 pm) stood at 0.4 per cent, which is half the ratings of any of the cricket Test matches involving India, experts say. Thereafter, Doordarshan’s live coverage of Olympics diminished to about 4 per cent (320,000 homes) of the cable viewers, says the latest aMap data.
DD Sports, the 24-hour cable channel of Doordarshan, has managed average daily ratings of 0.03 and 0.05 on August 9 and 10 respectively, the aMap data added.
“Taking a cue from the achievement of Abhinav Bindra in shooting, if the Indian contingent performs well, as is expected in badminton now from Saina Nehwal, the viewers are bound to tune in to our coverage on a consistent basis,” a senior Doordarshan official said.
The public broadcaster is hoping to recover its telecast cost of the Beijing Olympics through advertising and footage sales. It has got over seven advertisers so far on its capsule coverage on DD National and DD News channels.
Before the Olympics, a senior Prasar Bharati official had said that they would be able to raise Rs 10-12 crore in advertising revenue from Olympics coverage.