New Delhi: Despite its large population and rising affluence, India continues to be a nation dominated by single-television households. According to data from television monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), 98% of the 197 million TV homes in the country still have access to a single TV, which means most people still watch television together.

BARC’s Broadcast India 2018 Survey shows that the phenomenon is equally strong in all parts of the country with 97% of urban homes remaining single TV households, while the figure stands at 99% in rural India.

Entertainment for the average Indian still means spending time with family and friends: 82% of TV-owning individuals in the country spend 57% of their time watching TV together. This may be reflected in viewership trends for kids - instead of watching only kids’ channels as one would expect, the 2-14 year old category of viewers contributes 23% of the viewership on Hindi GECs (general entertainment channels), 18% of the viewership on Hindi movie channels and only 11% of the viewership on kids channels.

Most of the co-viewing, according to BARC, happens between couples or adults of opposite gender. About 40% of the co-viewing takes place between males in the 51-60 age group and females in the 41-50 category.

Among television genres, GECs benefit the most from co-viewing, grabbing 52% of the viewership, followed by movies and news with 22% and 8%, respectively.

The solo TV viewer is not entirely insignificant though. Of the 197 million TV homes in the country, about 2% of the homes have more than one television sets. The figure stands at 3% in urban India. This translates into 18% of the TV-owning population watching television alone. However, in terms of the total time spent on watching TV, the contribution of solo viewing is about 43%, allowing for specific and targeted content creation and advertising.