New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address announcing the 21-day lockdown got more viewership than his previous televised addresses, including the demonetisation speech in 2016, according to BARC India ratings. On Tuesday, Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days, asserting that social distancing was the only way out for India in its decisive battle against the coronavirus. Television rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council's (BARC) India's ratings indicate that the telecast was watched by more viewers, compared to Modi's previous speeches announcing demonetisation or the "janta curfew". "According to data shared by @BARCIndia the speech by PM @narendramodi on Total Lockdown on 24th March had highest TV viewership (unique viewers greater than IPL Finals) with more than 201 channels carrying it," Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar said in a tweet. The final match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) had a viewership of 13.3 crorepeople, while 19.7 crore people watched Modi's address on television. The prime minister's address to the nation on March 19, announcing a 14-hour "janata curfew", garnered a viewership of 8.30 crore people across 191 television channels, according to the BARC ratings. Modi's address on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 8 last year had a viewership of 6.5 crore people across 163 channels, while his address on November 8, 2016 announcing demonetisation was viewed by 5.7 crore people on 114 channels.
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