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TV industry immune to 2012 slowdown

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In 2012, the television industry was immune to the slowdown effect. The advertising revenue for the sector has seen double-digit growth and will be even better in 2013.

FMCG advertising on television continued to be strong. The auto industry advertised more on television. Though the sector didn‘t do well in sales in 2012, several car launches happened and many are due in 2013 as well. The telecom sector has also been hot on television.

Television continues to be the cheapest medium to advertise in. It also has the advantage of being an accountable medium as it has a regular audience measurement system to reflect viewership for shows and channels. In print you do not know how many people have seen your ads. In a tough situation, the client demands accountability which only television offers. That is why auto shifted budgets from other mediums and moved more towards television.

Another factor in television‘s favour is that each year millions of new TV sets are added, which is not the case with any other medium.

All the four major networks - Sony, Star, Zee and Network18 - have done well. The trading levels across genres rose and big properties fared well.

The key is to be in the top three to four channels in each genre. Then there is nothing to worry about. If you are languishing in the lower rung, then you will not do well.

Having said that, there is oversupply in some genres. News, for example, is a different ballgame and trading levels are not going up in this genre. The same challenge exists in the kids genre which has an oversupply of GRPs (gross rating points). In regional-languages, the Marathi genre interestingly operates at 40 per cent higher trading levels than Bengali.

Digitisation will help grow the business. Niche channels have actually grown with digitisation. Pix, for instance, has grown GRPs by 20-30 per cent. Networks, though, will continue to rely heavily on advertising for the next two to three years before the real impact of digitisation is felt.

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