Television

CAS and what it offers: The TAM View

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MUMBAI: AC Nielsen's TAM Media offers its viewpoint on the government's plans to introduce conditional access systems (CAS).

What CAS is expected to deliver:

Security, reliability, accountability.

Nielsen Media Research (NMR) and CAS PeopleMeter and CAS peacefully co-exist in multiple NMR markets.

One of the most complex markets, USA, also has CAS set-top boxes with NMR tracking the viewership on a daily basis

The PeopleMeter is attached to the tuner of the set top box (instead of the TV tuner) to trace the frequency of the channel being viewed

NMR has technology experts to help Indian market (and TAM) during the growth phase of CAS

How will life change for TAM, after CAS?

TAM will have to undertake some changes such as

-Frequent base-lines to estimate penetration of CAS in the universe

-Resampling, if necessary (we expect proportionate TAM sample also to move to CAS as per change in universe)

-Monitoring changes in viewing behavior across the CAS homes closely (eg: Change of status from non-remote owning home to remote ownership)

After assessing market changes & learning from other CAS markets within the Nielsen network, we see changes in the following areas:

We have been accustomed to having two discrete universes within TV homes:

1. C&S

2. Terrestrial

After CAS, we will move from two universes to three

1. Terrestrial

2. C&S : in 4 metros

*FTACS (Free To Air C&S)

*CAS C&S

3. C&S : Other (Rest of the country)

Internationally, NMR has seen some amount of consistent changes in household statuses during the early days of CAS:

This instability exists because of

-The Flirtatious: Certain homes being very upbeat initially and flirting with a lot of channels. Then changing tack and going back to a tighter list of channels

-The Unsure: Homes which take longer to take a decision

-The Drop-outs: Homes that prefer to be happy with only the FTA channels and convert only if there is a big event or a scheme to convert to CAS

The CAS propagation is not likely to be uniform - across markets

*Mumbai, Delhi - Penetration of C&S was very fast in these markets. Also, their staple diet on TV is all pay. We see highest growth for CAS in these two markets.

*Kolkata - Was one of the slowest to catch the C&S train. We see this market very slow in responding to CAS.

*Chennai - Their main channels like Sun TV, Raj TV and Jaya TV are all only about to go pay (Star's Vijay TV is the only pay driven channel at this point). Hence, most of the potential CAS users will be fence sitters - Across the population strata.

*CAS homes may move primarily to an analog set top box (cost reasons) rather than a digital set top box enabling only a one way communication between the cable room and the CAS home.

*This information from the cable operators' end will indicate:

-Penetration for each of the pay channel (presently available in NRS)

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