Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    Shashi Shekhar Vempati Says People Disagreed With Him To Re-Run Ramayan


    Nearly two months on, as India’s lockdown eases, Doordarshan viewership numbers are already reflecting the shift away from binge-watching spikes. After the Ramayan re-run, Doordarshan’s TRP rates have reach passed the top seven Hindi general entertainment channels. Time spent on Doordarshan moved from 15 minutes per week to more than 70 minutes. The re-run on April 16, 2020 alone logged 77 million viewers. In a recent interview, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati recalled how his colleagues thought re telecasting Ramayan was a bad idea, he said, “They were 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,” Shashi is now thinking about reinventing the brand for India’s youth while staying away from what he describes as ‘the pitfalls of audience segmentation and OTT content that is inconsistent with family values and culture.’ The combination of lockdown and Ramayan showed us that families can still come together around television if the content is wholesome and appeals to every segment.

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