Recently, Doordarshan had taken to Twitter to claim that the re-telecast of the popular TV show Ramayan has set the world record for the highest viewership worldwide.
"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," DD National posted on official Twitter handle.
It said in another tweet, “Thanks to all our viewers! #RAMAYAN - WORLD RECORD! Highest Viewed Entertainment Program Globally."
Fans of the show were quick to compare the numbers with popular western shows like Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory. While the finale of Game of Thrones reportedly had 19.3 million views, the heart warming final episode of Sheldon Cooper and his gang of lovable geeks reportedly had 23.44 million views.
The re-telecast of the TV show started on Doordarshan National in March soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
While the number of viewership may not be an indicator of the quality of the show, actor Dipika Chikhalia, who played Sita in the show, told news agency IANS, "I am really overjoyed that it has overtaken Game Of Thrones. I thought it was one show that everyone has viewed and when I looked into it that Ramayan has overtaken Game Of Thrones, I was really very happy. I am really very happy about it. It is great news."
The same sentiments were reflected by many fans of the show on Twitter.
However, it is now revealed that the most watched entertainment show in the world was a beloved sitcom, M*A*S*H*, hailed by many as the best sitcom ever.
According to a report on livemint, the finale of the sitcom, aired in 1983 had as many as 106 million viewers.
According to the livemint report, Doordarshan based its claim on a report on Glance—a platform providing content and audience insights for global media professionals in the television and media industries—titled 'One TV Year in the World'. Looking at this report, it was deduced that Ramayan has done better than any other entertainment shows in the world.
The 'About Us' section of Glance says: "Glance is the specialist of international TV markets and leading provider of official TV ratings for over 7000 channels in more than 120 territories and insight analyses based on a global expertise. Glance tracks the latest TV and online contents and trends in more than 50 territories. With more than 230 flagship clients, Glance is market leader in TV and video market intelligence."
What Doordarshan hadn't taken into consideration was the fact that the report was only for the year 2018 and did not include the shows that were before this period of after it.
The finale of M*A*S*H* was aired in 1983 while Ramayan was first aired on Doordarshan in 1987 and acquired a cult status over the years. The epic show featured Arun Govil as Rama, Dipika Chikhlia Topiwala as Sita and Sunil Lahri as Lakshman. It also starred veteran actors Lalita Pawar as Manthara, Arvind Trivedi as Ravana and Dara Singh as Hanuman.
(With PTI inputs)