Television

Average time spent on TV skyrockets

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MUMBAI: The idiot box is still alive! Despite all the talk of television taking a back seat to online streaming platforms, the average time spent (ATS) per viewer was at an all-time high in the penultimate week of the year. According to week 51 of Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) viewership report, people are spending more time watching TV. This phenomenon is driven by the holiday season with schools and offices being closed on account of the Christmas vacation.

During the week, Hindi speaking markets (HSM) registered a record high ATS of 3 hours 38 minutes, four per cent more than the previous 13-week average ATS, which stood at 3 hours 29 minutes. The ATS in the urban HSM market stood at 3 hours 54 minutes, five per cent more than the 13-week average ATS of 3 hours 43 minutes.

Earlier this year, on its TV premiere, Baahubali 2 received a mind-numbing 26054 Impressions (000s) sum in week 41 of BARC data even though the movie was available on several digital platforms prior to the TV release.

The top-5 HSM markets that grew the most were:

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There were several reasons for growth in ATS in the HSM market. The jump in the viewership of sports, news and kids genre was the trigger for this exponential rise in TV watching.

The two T20 matches and the One-Day International (ODI) played between India and Sri Lanka during the week contributed to the spike in the viewership of sports. Both T20 matches started at 7:30pm whereas the ODI match was a day-night game that led to the prime time ATS growth. Furthermore, PV Sindhu's Dubai International Masters matches helped enhance the ATS.

Another factor that was responsible for the increase in TV time was news with the Gujarat and Himachal Election results boosting viewership in the Hindi news genre. Morning and mid-day coverage of the results did wonders to hold viewers’ interest. Moreover, thanks to the holiday season, kids’ channels grabbed a significant number of eyeballs.

Top-5 genres that registered maximum growth in ATS in HSM:

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In spite of the burgeoning content consumption on streaming services and OTT platforms, TV is far from dead. While Indian viewers are consuming more online content, the appeal of linear TV has not dulled for the average viewer. BARC’s numbers suggest that TV reigns supreme when it comes to sports, news and kids’ content.

Also Read:

Marathi GECs see a surge in viewership

BARC ratings: DD Sports in top 5 after 37 weeks

Guest Column: How 2018 could become a landmark year for OTT entertainment in India

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