Medical programs were not unusual for Georgian TV space before Covid-19 and in the conditions of the pandemic, their popularity has increased even more. Due to high public interest, TV stations have created new programs in accordance with the current events and offered an updated format, thus trying to meet the needs of the audience and provide the necessary information.
Rustavi 2 has launched a new program "Pandemia" in connection with COVID-19, which was first aired on March 27. It is a medical-themed talk show that informs viewers of the latest discoveries about the virus. As of April 28, in total, the show has aired 5 times and on average, was watched by 48 thousand viewers per minute from the 4-year-old and older TV audiences of 7 big cities of Georgia.
The new medical talk show was also launched by Formula TV.The program called "Janmrtelobis Formula" was first aired on April 25 and its audience, in 7 big cities, is on average 8 thousand viewers per minute.
The new program "Anatomia" was aired on Imedi TV on February 8, the rates of which have increased significantly in the later stages of the virus. If the first show had an average of 63 thousand viewers per minute, on March 28, this figure reached 92 thousand in 7 big cities of Georgia. From April 4, the program is presented under a new name (“stay at home”) and has a new format.
Generally, after the first case of COVID-19 infection in Georgia has been detected on February 26, the audience of medical-themed talk shows has increased sharply compared to the previous period. In particular, according to data from January 1-February 25, medical programs (without repetition) were recorded on 8 Georgian TV channels and according to the data of the TV audience of 7 big cities, had an average of 4.5 thousand viewers per minute. From February 26 to April 27, the number of televisions airing medical shows increased to 10 and the number of viewers reached on average 7.6 thousand per minute in 7 big cities of Georgia. This number exceeds the data from the same period February 26 to April 27, 2019 when the figure of medical shows of 15 TV channels in total had an average of 6.6 thousand viewers per minute.
During a pandemic (February 26-April 27) among 10 Georgian medical talk shows, the program "Anatomia" (Imedi TV) in total, is most highly rated (without repetition)- on average 72 thousand viewers per minute. "Pandemia" (Rustavi 2) takes the second place with 48 thousand viewers, followed by “Piradi Ekimi” (Channel 1) - with on average 9 thousand viewers per minute.
According to the data of 2020 (Based on 4-year-old and older TV audiences of 7 big cities, where the population exceeds 40 thousand and the household has at least one working TV), pensioners are the most active (52%) viewers of Georgian medical talk shows, prior to the outbreak of the epidemic, but after the epidemic the employed audience occupied the largest share (41%).