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Broadcasters see positive future for TV in India

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MUMBAI: The threat of OTT and integrated platform ecosystems like Android TV is at the peak. Its increasing penetration across all age groups may be a threat to the broadcasters in the coming time. But, it isn’t the case yet in India with 64 per cent TV home penetration and much room for growth. Data also shows that 86 per cent of Indian homes still watch TV on CRT sets and only 3 per cent are multi-TV homes. TV viewing in India has grown from 3 hr 14 min (2015) to 3 hr 36 min (2017) but it is still lower than US, which boasts of an ATS of 3 hr 54 min. This gives a clear indication that there is immense scope for TV and it will further rise.

The FICCI Frames 2018 saw a session on ‘The future of TV in India’ with panellists Novi Digital CEO Ajit Mohan, Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak, Times Network MD & CEO MK Anand, Indiacast CEO Anuj Gandhi, EY Partner Ashish Pherwani, BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and industry veteran Amit Khanna. The panel was moderated by Provocateur Advisory principal Paritosh Joshi.

Gandhi highlighted that we have the pulse of what audience wants which today is reality. Whether it’s a long form or short form content, people watch it, regardless of screen size or type. He said that people will consume TV content anywhere they can.

Nayak believes that the future of TV is bright. He said that if distribution is king, content is queen. “The myth has been broken that the youth don’t watch TV and people watch short formats. Even in the US, people above 90 years of age watch TV content,” he said. He further added that linear watching on Jio TV is exploding with 3 crore viewers per month.

According to Khanna, the average time spent on digital has grown with an hour and twenty minutes on phone especially in urban cities. When it comes to television, more that 70 per cent of viewership comes from movies and general entertainment. Pherwani said that 40 per cent of the time spent is on the mobile phone.

Anand said that better technology, bandwidth and campaigning had eased the worry of broadcasters. He added that it was much easier to start a video stream but monetisation had not been easy.

Broadcasters seem optimistic about the future of television, despite the onslaught posed by digital media. At least in India, the television will reign houses and minds of people for some time to come.

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