07/04/2013 09:36 EDT

TOIFA 2013 Viewer Numbers Under Scrutiny

B.C. Gov/Flickr

Christy Clark was hardly being conservative when she said that the Times Of India Film Awards would be seen by 400 million people around the world.

The projected viewing figures, used to support her widely criticized decision to pay out $11 million to host the Bollywood movie awards in Vancouver in April, were deemed "totally fictitious" this week by BC NDP leader Adrian Dix, reported BC Local News.

In fact, according to reports citing TAM Media Research, only 27.9 million people (around seven per cent of the original estimate) watched the Indian TV broadcast of the awards on June 16, Metro News reported.

Jobs and Tourism Minister Shirley Bond countered the criticism by noting the show will air 11 more times, and said that if South Asian viewers living outside India and online viewers were counted, that would put initial viewership closer to 60 million, reported CKNW.

"This event is just part of what's going to inject millions into our economy as a result of our relationship with the Times of India Media Group. They reach over 90 million people every single day, most of them in India," Clark told the media when announcing the event in January, The Canadian Press reported.

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