New Delhi: Even as digital platforms fast make inroads into the country, the south of India seems to continue to love its television sets. According to the findings of the Broadcast India 2018 Survey carried out by television measurement agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), 95% of homes in the south Indian states own a television set.

“While total TV penetration in India currently stands at 66%, in south India, it is as high as 95%. This can also be attributed to the fact that electrification in the south is around 99.9% and one of the first durables which people buy after getting a electricity is a TV," said Partho Dasgupta, chief executive officer, BARC India.

The number of TV owning individuals in the five south states, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala is 259 million, the survey said, an increase of 8% from 2016. This may be compared to 209 million in the north, 221 million in the West and 146 million in the East. Further, 31% of the total TV owning individuals in the country are present in these five states.

BARC India’s BI 2018 Survey was conducted across 3,00,000 households, approximately 4,300 towns and villages and 68% of the urban market.

Out of every 10 people sampled by BARC in the south, around eight watched TV daily with a viewership time of 4 hours 10 minutes. As a whole, the south Indian region generates viewership of around 12 billion impressions weekly with 31% of the TV individuals in the south contributing to 40% of the total TV viewership. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

The survey also points to some factors that could contribute to high TV viewing in the south. These range from family size and migration to electrification and affluence. BI 2018 Survey highlights that growing affluence in south India has played an important role in family structure and durable ownership.

As per the findings of the survey, at an all India level, the average family size for TV homes is 4.25 individuals. In south India, this is much lower at 3.8 individuals per household showing that there are more nuclear families in the region.

The socio-economic profiles of homes in south India have also improved as compared to 2016, according to the survey. NCCS, or National Consumer Classification System, is a system of categorizing households according to socio-economic status based on criteria like education and goods owned. The categories ranging from A to E, go from the most elite to the extremely deprived, and have been developed by the government. While the affluent (NCCS A) have seen a growth of 9%, the upper middle class (NCCS B) TV homes have grown by 15%.

TV homes falling under low socio-economic profiles (NCCS D/E) have dropped by 7%. Rise in the number of nuclear families, an expanding middle class section and higher disposable incomes are helping households move up the affluence chain. The survey points out that while 85% of NCCS D/E homes have a TV, only 66% of these homes have a gas stove proving that families are accustomed to sitting together to watch their favourite shows.

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