Ever since Ramayan has started it's re-run on the Television, people all over the country along with their family watch the show together in this lockdown period. The re-run of Ramayan has not only done wonders for the show but has also helped the channel with great TRP's.
Prasar Bharati's CEO, Shashi Shekhar Vempati however, recalls his Whatsapp group ringing with laughter post the news. He told IANS, "They're all, like, laughing. Who's going to watch it? I had to tell them that, you know, India is very different. It's not just the English speaking elite, it's much bigger, much more diverse. So there was that worry."
Ever since the rerun of Ramayan on Doordarshan, time spent on the channel moved from 15 minutes per week to 70 minutes. The re-run on April 16, 2020 alone logged 77 million viewers. Vempati recalled it saying, "It was crazy".
He added, "The tapes were in the deep archive of the (Ramanand) Sagar family, and in Mumbai it was like operating in curfew. Someone had to physically retrieve these things. The formats had changed. People had to work through the night to figure out how to get it into a compatible format, and then push it from Bombay. Because the file sizes are so large, you can''t do it over the internet, it would have taken forever. So we had a satellite-based mechanism by which the content was beamed from Bombay and downloaded into servers here, so that the next day's episodes could be aired."
He mentioned that the combination of Ramayan and lockdown showed us that families can still come together around Television if the content is wholesome and it appeals to every segment. "So while the rest of the industry is struggling, we have a large library that has not been seen by audiences across India which we'll roll out in the next few weeks," he said.