Digital cable TV to reach 38 million subscribers in India by 2015

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Television industry to gather revenue of Rs 32,000 crore in 2011: ASSOCHAM

Riding on a transformational path, the Indian television industry with 600 channels is estimated to clock revenue of Rs 32,000 crore* [$7B US] by the year-end with 14 per cent growth over 2010, industry body ASSOCHAM said today.

India has the third largest market in terms of viewers after China and the United States with TV dominating the media and entertainment landscape as the preferred choice followed by print media and films.

Television plays a major role in the flow of information and is equipped with the power to influence popular beliefs and opinions, said The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in a recent study adding the country has 150 news channels with the English ones commanding the highest advertising rates due to their connect with male urban audience.

Interestingly, the number of regional entertainment channels is four times the national ones with Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati as the prominent ones. National broadcasters are increasing their presence in regional markets while regional players are increasing their penetration through niche channels.

Multiple channels in each genre competing with each other for rating points, increasing pay TV penetration, expanding yet fragmented local as well as overseas viewership of Indian channels, and demand for more specific content clearly set the stage for next level of growth and transition for players across the value chain.

In calendar 2010, subscription revenues contributed 63 per cent of total television revenues and stood at Rs 17,550 crore while advertising constituted 33 per cent at Rs 9,450 crore. The TV content constituted about four per cent to total market at Rs 1,170 crore.

Regional channels are considered attractive for advertisers due to lower cost of connect with non-Hindi speaking market audience. For broadcasters the attraction is due to lower cost of content and distribution costs.

“Content creators and broadcasters need to be cognizant of the ever-increasing demand for differentiated content,” said the chamber study. New digital content distribution platforms are emerging along with news formats of entertainment as computers, mobile phones and hand-held devices gain importance.

Monetisation of content through these new opportunities in existing platforms and new media platforms are going to be key focus areas for content owners.

On the distribution front too, new digital mediums are emerging – direct to home (DTH), digital cable and internet protocol television (IPTV). There are 37 million digital homes and 28 million of these are on DTH platform. DTH players have been rapidly expanding in rural areas with addition in more subscribers than in urban areas.

The study suggested that DTH will constitute 48 million homes by 2015 and cable will be 38 million homes as against nine million in 2010.

“From the black and white television broadcasting on a single national channel (Doordarshan) in 1980s to almost 600 channels beaming with almost one-third operating in the general entertainment space, the Indian TV industry has truly come a long way,” said ASSOCHAM.

* 1 crore = 10 million