Tired of COVID-19 news, Indians turn to movies: BARC-Nielsen Report

Total TV further grew by four per cent over last week.

MUMBAI: Indians have become bored with excessive COVID-19 news. Which is why in week three of lockdown, people have switched over to movie channels, driving the genre viewership up, as per the latest BARC-Nielsen report.

In week 13, viewers spent more than one hour on movie channels and it has grown by 77 per cent week on week. Bangla, Gujarati and Punjabi movie channels recorded the highest viewership growth by 138 per cent, 117 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively. Hindi movie channels witnessed 82 per cent and Telugu movie channels' viewership grew by 51 per cent.

Other language movie channels’ growth rates:

In week 13, overall TV viewership grew by four per cent over week 12. The overall viewership of television is up by 43 per cent compared to the pre-COVID period (11 January 2020-31 January 2020) and COVID disruption week three (28 March 2020- 3 April 2020). This week, the viewership growth is driven largely by movies unlike week 11 and 12 where news was the major growth driver. The viewership in HSM has grown during early morning and late-night time slots during the COVID period.

The report says the top GEC channels’ growth is also driven by movies they aired. Telugu top four GECs witnessed 14 per cent growth in viewership and 20 per cent growth in duration. Tamil top four GECs grew by 128 per cent in viewership and 45 per cent in duration and Malayalam top five GEC witnessed 10 per cent viewership

The average time spent on TV is up by 28 per cent from the pre-COVID period to COVID disruption week three. Viewers watched television for more than three hours per day. The non-primetime slot continues to grow by 81 per cent. HSM witnessed the highest growth by 97 per cent in the non-primetime slot while the south grew by 60 per cent.

The early morning slot, i.e., 4 am to 6 am, is driven by news. People are watching news in the early morning time slot. While late-night viewership, i.e., 1 am to 2 am, is driven both by news and movies. The south market continues to follow its earlier norm of viewing time zone.

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