Home / Industry / Media /  TV records 762 million viewers per week in 2019 despite NTO: BARC study

NEW DELHI : Despite disruptive developments like the new tariff order (NTO) introduced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), TV viewership grew in India over 2019, with about 762 million viewers recorded per week.

According to the latest report released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) titled What India Watched 2019, each household watched 5 hours, 11 minutes of TV everyday and as many as 222 million individuals tuned in to primetime TV at any given time. On an average, a viewer spent 3 hours 42 minutes watching TV daily. However, it’s not like the NTO did not leave an impact, there was a dip in time spent watching TV especially during the transition period which stabilized later.

BARC India samples from a panel of 185,000 individuals across 44,000 homes. In fact, 80% of TV content is consumed through co-viewing, the report says.

“Television is the screen that Indian households engage with daily. And with over a 100 million homes in India yet to get a TV set, growth continues to be ahead of us," Sunil Lulla, chief executive officer, BARC India, said in the report.

Overall, about 836 million individuals have access to TV while the medium recorded 914 billion viewing minutes per week. General entertainment channels and movies account for three-fourths of the viewership with ensemble comedy Housefull 4 emerging as the most watched film premiere on TV in 2019, registering 4.1 billion viewing minutes.

Increase in TV viewership over the past four years may be attributed to strong growth in regional language markets, backed by an affinity for local language content. For example, viewership in the north east/Assam/Sikkim has grown by 119% over this period and contributed 3% of overal TV viewership in 2019. Share of viewership of channels other than Hindi and the four south Indian languages has risen from 15% in 2016 to 23% in 2019. English language channels have seen a decline, primarily because of the growth of sports coverage in regional languages, besides Hindi, which earlier happened only in English.

In itself, the sports channel category saw a 17% increase in viewing minutes over 2018. The genre contributed 3.2% of total TV viewership in 2019, which was the highest over the last four years.

Advertising volumes have grown by 21% on TV in the past four years with Hindi leading the pie at 33%. News, GECs and movie channels still command three-fourths of all advertising.

Kids make up a substantial section of the co-viewing audience, in fact of 20% of the total TV base though viewership of the kids genre only accounts for 6% of total TV viewership. Interestingly, kids are 47% of the audience for GECs and 24% of movie channels.

Over the last four years, the volume of advertising on TV has grown by 21%. In 2019, 11,525 advertisers ran 76.8 million ads across 634 measured channels that reached out to 197 million homes across India. Among products and services, FMCG groups accounted for 54% of ad duration in 2019.


Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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