CAS may bring inventory pressure on FTA channels - TAM

MUMBAI: Conditional access could bring in inventory pressures for free to air channels if demand for their air-time explodes. This is the conclusion drawn by TAM in one of its recent surveys on the post CAS scenario.

Post CAS, says the study, viewership patterns are expected to start changing. Consequently, some of the 3000-odd brands currently advertising on television, and depending heavily on the four metros CAS will roll out in, will start changing their media plans.

Since some FTA channels are already running chockablock inventory levels, with a few having six to eight hours per day dedicated to breaks, a few shake ups are likely to ensue, says TAM. If in a post CAS scenario, advertisers try to buy more, these are a few expected results -

1. Some FTA channels might start bumping off spots. Hence schedule control will become key.

2. Another hypothesis is that they just might start increasing prices to control rising demands. 

3. Another speculation is that demand may outstrip supply forcing the FTAs to turn down advertising.

All these results, says the TAM study, will depend on whether viewership patterns change after CAS, on whether the progression of CAS gets all the pay channels back in the reckoning (which depends on the price of the Set-Top Box) and on the significance of the four metros to the 3000-odd brands advertising on TV.

Analysing viewership trends between current FTA and pay channels, the study found that 

Assuming that viewership occurs in a particular pattern, the study points out that viewership patterns govern advertisers in their media plan creation as they are chasing viewers. Consequently, the visibility (or GRPs) is really the demand which translates into a supply of inventory for the 3000 odd brands which TAM found had advertised on television in the month of May 2003.

This demand every month has been found to be between 60,000 to 70,000 Normalised GRPs, says TAM.

On an average, 200 minutes of Break Inventory, (the sum total of all time consumed between ad breaks - could have advertising besides the channel's own promos, film trailers, social messages) got consumed per day during the last quarter of 2002, says TAM.

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