New Delhi: In an era of increased competition from video streaming platforms, total television viewership in the country has gone up by 12% from 2016. The number of TV homes has also grown by 7.5% from 2016, outpacing the growth of total homes, which rose at 4.5%. These are the findings of the Broadcast India 2018 Survey conducted by Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India.

There are currently 298 million homes in India, out of which 197 million have TV sets, providing an opportunity for penetration in an additional 100 million homes.

Barc India is the TV viewership monitoring agency. The Broadcast India 2018 Survey offers data and insights on TV ownership, viewing habits, consumer profiles and behaviour. It is based on a sample study of 300,000 homes.

“...TV remains the most effective platform for both content creators and advertisers to reach their audiences," said Partho Dasgupta, chief executive officer, Barc India, in a statement.

According to the findings, the average time spent by an individual in watching TV per day has gone up by 3% to touch 3 hours 44 minutes.

The Hindi-speaking and southern markets witnessed spikes of 12% and 10% in viewership respectively. Gujarati channels witnessed the highest growth in viewership at 66%. Hindi news channels came in at a distant second with 24% growth while English news and business news channels witnessed 22% growth.

According to the survey, NCCS B & C, which is the middle class, accounts for 63% of TV homes in India. There are 123 million TV homes in this category. NCCS, or New Consumer Classification System, is a system of categorizing households according to socio-economic status based on criteria such as education and goods owned.

The affluent form 84% of TV homes in the country. Interestingly, now there are fewer homes in the low-socio economic class as they have seen a 13% drop. This points to the improving disposable income of Indian homes and is reflective of rising economic growth and prosperity. Viewership contribution of the affluent class has grown by 15%.

“Online platforms may be a threat to television in the future but there is still some time to go," said Abneesh Roy, senior vice-president at Edelweiss Securities. “As of now, migration to urban areas results in greater TV penetration, and the numbers also come from nuclearization of families and multiple TV homes. Plus, there is always the introduction of new HD (high-definition features)."

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