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In India media has been initiated since the late 18th century. This initiation started
with the print media in 1780 went on to play an important role in India’s struggle for freedom
and the reformation of India society. Later in the year 1895, the first screening of movies
commenced in Mumbai while in the year 1927 radio broadcasting was initiated. In the year
1937 the radio was formally christened and named All India Radio which since 1857 is called
Akashwani. In the year 1959 limited television programming started while in the year 1965
the complete broadcasting commenced. The Indian government over the years used media
very significantly for increasing mass education in India's rural swathes. Projected television
screens provided engaging education in India's villages by the 1990s. The Indian government
and constitution has given rights to the media which enable them to function independently
without any interference from the three wings of the Indian system. It was only in the rule of
Indira Gandhi when the country faced emergency that media faced stiff opposition and
regulations from the government.


The Indian television which at times is also called as the small screen flourished in the
decade of 80. Though with the only government owned channel Doordarshan the Indian
television industry was about to flourish. Ramayan and Mahabharat are the two Indian epics
which find a special position in the heart and mind of majority of the country. Ramanand
Sagar’s Ramayana and B R Chopra’s Mahabharata were the first big television programs
aired in India. It was the time when there were not many television sets around and people
used to gather at the houses of the rich and the wealthy who could afford television. Roads
were empty as if it was curfew. These serials notched up record viewership and in fact since
then there have been very few television programs which have had the same effect on the
masses. Towards the end of the decade the number of television sets in India was increasing
and so were the television programs. As there was just one channel which was flooded with
new serials and programs one at times felt saturated. This was the main reason why DD
Metro was launched. Initially it had transmission only in the metros and the nearby areas. In
the early 1990s with the central government liberating the Indian economy foreign channels
for the first time found foothold in India. Foreign players like Star TV and CNN started

broadcasting and soon there were other local channels like Zee TV and Sun TV. This resulted

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in a rapid rise of television viewership in India. An industry which started with a total of just
41 sets in 1962 and one channel, it had access to close to 70 million homes catering with
close to 400 million individuals through more than 100 channels by the year 1991.


2000 to 2010

It would not be wrong if we say that this decade belonged to the Indian Television
Industry. Though India saw liberalisation in the 90s but the real liberalisation for the Indian
Television Industry came in this decade. The first half of the decade belonged to channels
like Star Plus which had an array of television programs for the viewers. The daily soaps and
Kaun Banega Crorepati were the talk of the town. The second decade belonged to IPL and
cricket and Reality Shows with new movies being screened in television channels. Gone were
the days when one had to wait for their favourite movies on TV. The Indian Television
Industry coupled with new age technology like DTH services was becoming more and more
sophisticated. This was also the part of the decade which saw an end of the reign of Star TV
and introduction of new and trendy Hindi GEC Colors. The new entrants resulted in great
deal of shuffling of the popularity ranking of the TV channels and the number one spot was
shared by many channels over the year. None could maintain its position for a long time.

Fig 1: Graph of increase in viewership of Indian Television audience

(Source: Media Partners Asia, estimates)

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Fig 2: The Growth of Advertisements volumes across TV. This is majorly due to the increase in the
viewership base of Indian Television.

Fig 3: The revenue generated in the television industry. There has been a rapid increase in the
amount of revenue generated. (Source KPMG Report)

Fig 4: The viewership share of the Indian Television Industry in 2005 (Source PWHC Report)

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Recent trends in Indian Television

Digitalized Future: The Indian television market is on the threshold of a major technological
change, states a recently-released FICCI-PWC 'Indian Entertainment and Media industry -
Unravelling the potential' report. An IBM research on this subject goes a step further. Over
the next five to seven years, we can expect profound changes evolving in the television
industry. The pace of change is ever accelerating and only the companies that ready
themselves today will be competitive enough in the future. "Today is the beginning of the end
of TV as we know it, and the future will only favour those who prepare now," it states.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said that digitalization of the
Cable TV Services is one of the key thrust areas identified by the Ministry because of
the “advantages digital mode offers in terms of efficient utilization of available
spectrum, better quality of picture and services, various interactive and
niche services and transparency above all.”

To offer better audio quality and sharper picture to millions of its viewers, Indian
broadcasting sector plans to go completely digital. These technological advancements, apart
from being helpful in improving the audio and video technology it has been instrumental in
decreasing the cost of production.

Fig 5: The Average cost of production of a half an hour episode

This coupled with the DTH services and almost all the major players jumping into this
venture it is going to be an interesting future. Though initially there were speculations about

the technology but today all the sceptics and critics are shut and are ready to accept that this

is the advent of the technology of Indian Television.

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Growth in Hindi GEC: Even through the recession fever, and the debacle of three channels,
the Hindi GEC (General Entertainment Channel) genre has roared to an 11 % growth over the
previous year. According to TAM data for Hindi speaking market (HSM), the share of Hindi
GEC, which stood at 34.59 per cent in 2008, has moved up to 38.39 per cent in 2009. Despite
a strong cricket calendar, audiences batted for entertainment content on the GECs. While
daily soaps generated interest with their varied range of focus, reality content brought in male
and younger viewers. As the GEC space opened up and audiences got more choices in terms
of fresh programming and more channel options, the game was set to change in the GEC
room with viewers asking for more. Competition increased as contenders for the top spots
transformed as well.

Fig 6: The Hindi GEC (General Entertainment Channel) Distribution 2009 (Source KPMG)

Reality Quotient: Reality TV shows are nothing new in the context of Indian Television
Industry but definitely it has seen a rapid rise in the near years. It is like a fever due to which
everyone is hooked on to the television be it someone young or old. People are not only ready
to watch it but at the same time participate actively in it. These shows have traditionally used

to be dancing and singing competitions but later on it diversified in more categories like

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laughter shows (comedy circus), talent show (India’ got talent), stunt shows (Roadies),
beauty show (Get gorgeous) and some 24X7 live shows (Big boss). The main TG is 18 -25
yrs old which is a total 65% of the total India population. The newly launched youth channel
UTVi Bindass, is hub for reality shows. With shows like Beg, Steal or Borrow which is about
free adventurous travel and Dadagiri, which focus on college ragging or the newly launched
Emotional Atyachar which is based on the concept of loyalty test have helped the channel to
connect with their TG.

Fig 7: Share of the kind of TV shows

Fig 8: Viewership Share


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Women and Indian Middle Class in Indian Television: When it comes to television
women are one of the most important TG for any channel. Over the years channels have
launched and aired women oriented television programs which today have gained cult status.
Be it Shanti which was aired on DD 1 or be it Tara aired on Zee TV. This trend was
somewhere lost but soon gained prominence. Recently Star launched Pratigya which centres
around the life of an ordinary girl who marries into a rich family and how she stands up to
them and not compromise her values. The other one is Sasural Genda Phool, which is about a
girl from rich family marrying in a middle class family and still maintaining a modern life.
These programs might vary in the sense that they can be either comedy or serious but the
central theme is women. Today, the Western society in the story of past, this is the time of
modern day Indian women who is no longer dependent on others, the one who can stand up
to anyone who is fierce in voicing her opinions. Almost same is the case with programs
centred on the Indian middle class. They give the reality of the Indian families how they are
together and how they influence each other’s life.

Regional Channels: The regional market continues to show growth in the year 2009 also and
it is expected that the regionalisation is going to be the most important factors in effecting the
changes in the Indian Television Industry. This is majorly due to the growing increase in
literacy, consumption and disposable incomes in Tier 2 & 3 cities. As there are more regional
channels which cater directly to the TG, advertisers are simultaneously increasing focus on
rural markets due to the saturation of urban markets. At the same time the demand for the
regional content is also growing significantly. Today corporate are not shy to add regional
channels to the huge channel list of theirs. And these channels boast some of the best TRPs
for them.

Fig 9: Total Active channels on TV

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Channelized Viewership: Today the corporate are too particular about the channelized
viewership. They plan their shows according to the viewer’s choice. Gone are the days when
what we watch in television was not in our hands. Today the broadcasting is as per the
demand and viewership. If the viewers are more from one region of India then the related
programs or the ones favourite in that area are broadcasted



30 Mumbai Gains


Calcutta Gains



Delhi Gains

Source: TAM peoplemeter System
TG: CS 4+
Time period: 29/02/2004 to 28/08/2004

Fig 10: Viewership pattern across metros

Participation Television: Participative television has seen an upward growth in the last few
years. This is majorly due to innovative technologies deployed by broadcasters coupled with
the growth in the mobile technology and its acceptance in India. The increase in the TRPs of
the reality shows that viewers are more attracted towards television content that allows them
to change or contribute in decided the climax of the show. Apart from the extraordinary
viewer experience it provides, there are plenty of reasons why Viewers Participation is
incorporated from the show's concept stage itself. First off, it yields a higher recall and
retention rates which is good from the point of view of the producers and advertisers.
Secondly it is good for the networks as it means people will have to tune in at the same time
hence the probability that the advertisements would be skipped is quite low. At the same time

one would definitely get good revenue from these mobiles networks.

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• Development of content as per the user likes and dislikes

• New entrants in both the regional and english news channels front
• Consolidation is the key to successful future
• Increased visibility of the foreign names
• Increase in the Ad rates fueling further growth
• Increase in the distribution of the DTH service
• Emergence of new corporate
• Pricing remains a key driver, whether it is for cable subscription, film tickets or newspaper
• Improve the quality by the means of animation and special effects
• Enabling regulations related to broadcasting, print and radio by the Government

Fig 11: Projected growth of Indian Television Industry 2009-2013


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1. Back in the Spotlight-FICCI-KPMG Indian Media & Entertainment Industry

2. Indian entertainment and media outlook 2009,PWC
3. Future Savvy: Quality in Foresight: Big trends vs. little trends – as Indian television
catches up with Indian women
4. Voice TV: Participation TV Revolutionizing TV Viewing in India
5. Young India defining viewership trends
6. South Asia Blog: Growing Popularity, Expanding
7. TAM: Viewership Comparison of Mumbai Delhi Calcutta Final


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