In what can be called an attempt to ride on the prevailing sentiment among Indian audiences, at least two private television channels, namely, Star Plus and Colors have decided to telecast two super hit ancient-history shows – Ramayan and Mahabharat on their platforms.
The decision on the part of these two private broadcasters comes in the backdrop of DD National shattering all previously known, international viewership records. Ramayan became the most viewed entertainment programme globally on 16 April in the 9 PM slot with a whopping 77 million (7.7 crore) viewership, in what is known as the cutthroat primetime slot. In week-14 (April 4 to April 10), DD National broke its own record of the previous week (week-14)—achieving gargantuan viewership figures of 1.9 billion, in contrast to the 1.4 billion eyeballs it garnered the previous week.
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
— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) April 30, 2020
It is due to these tremendous viewership figures that private channels like Star Plus and Colors have now decided to air the Indian classics on their platforms as well, aiming to benefit from the prevailing sentiment in the market.
Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan began telecast on Star Plus from May 4. Announcing the same, the channel exuberantly tweeted:
Ayodhya ke vaasi, purusho mein sarvotam, sabke priy maryada purushottam Shri Ram ki kahaani #Ramayan..
4 May se, Somvaar se Ravivaar shaam 7:30 baje StarPlus par. #RamayanOnStarPlus@arungovil12 @LahriSunil @ChikhliaDipika pic.twitter.com/Hpg38bVxpw
— StarPlus (@StarPlus) May 3, 2020
Meanwhile, Colors began the telecast of BR Chopra’s ‘Mahabharat’ on weekdays, from 7 to 9 pm.
Bharat ke itihaas ki adhbhut gaatha dekhne ke liye ho jaaiye taiyaar.😍
Dekhiye #Mahabharat ki kahani Mon-Fri at 7 PM, only on #Colors.#MahabharatOnColors pic.twitter.com/WxPYfW1Nn5
— COLORS (@ColorsTV) May 2, 2020
Both these shows, as is common knowledge by now, received unprecedented support from Indians not only back here, but around the world. Ramayan went on to effectively dethrone goliaths like ‘Friends’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ from the seat of being the most-watched shows around the world.
It must be mentioned that Star Plus has its own production of Mahabharat, which was telecast from 2013 on the channel, and which too, was appreciated by many back then. They have been telecasting the same one again, as the nation faces a lockdown, however, it has received a lukewarm response from viewers thus far. Similarly, Colors too has a production of “Dwarkadheesh – Bhagwan Shree Krishna”. Yet, instead of going for a re-run of their own productions, Colors also has gauged the mood of the people and started the telecast of BR Chopra’s Mahabharat.
The show Ramayan is a pinnacle in TV show history of our country. Made on a shoestring budget with an unconventional airing time slot, the show rose above it all and captured the imagination of the whole of India. Similarly, Mahabharat too went on to familiarize the Indian audience of various aspects of our ancient-history, bringing about a sense of cultural revival in India in the nineties.
The decision on the part of private channels to broadcast these classics is a testimony to the same, and also, of course, an opportunity to reap monetary benefits by riding on a prevalent wave of unyielding fanfare which Indians across the world have for the two classics.
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