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urfing through India's 300-plus-


channel universe is like visiting a
vibrant Indian bazaar: There's the
omnipresent music, the colorful comedy-
based talent shows, the perennial family-
oriented soap operas playing out and, of
course, plenty of cricket. Add to that the
mushrooming number of news programs
and the 100-odd channels waiting to
launch, and it's obvious that the Indian
TV industry is on a roll.

India has 112 million TV households, of


which 68 million have cable, according to the 2006 National Readership Survey conducted by
ACNielsen ORG-MARG. In terms of revenue, the $4.2 billion the industry generates annually is
projected to grow to $13.1 billion by 2011, according to a recent report by
PricewaterhouseCoopers.

New formats, new genres, hundreds of new channels clutter the television industry right now. In
the face of stiff and sure competition from other forms of media, television has reacted and
taken notice.

Constituents of the Industry Vertical

The television industry involves a complex process of various people, companies and agencies
coming together. It consists of production house, advertisers, financers, viewers, team (cast,
director etc), regulatory, TV rating companies, studio/ equipment, broadcasting and syndication.
Broadcasting: There are three different methods of broadcasting.

 
  
 
  

 
  

 
  
 
  

Pay-per-view
view delivery formats are a relatively new phenomenon in India. They will be dealt with
in detail further on.

Syndication

Syndication in simple terms means the sale of right to broadcast a television show to a station. It
means buying someone else’s television show and broadcasting it on your station. There are
three different types of syndication viz. first-run syndication, off network syndication and public
broadcasting syndication.

Who syndicates?

Syndication can be done by individual production houses. They will create their own television
show and sell it to networks. Syndication can also be done by networks. A network can
syndicate its shows to a foreign network in a foreign market.

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Revenue Streams

There are three ways syndicators make money.

• Cash
• Access to airtime
• Barter

Production Houses

There are four main stages that encompass the production process.

Advertisers

The advertisers are primarily companies and organizations. Details and statistics will be
discussed in further detail in a later section under ‘Customers’.

Financers

Television shows are most often financed by production houses themselves. There are rare
occasions when they are financed by individuals. Part of the financing comes from advertisers
as well.

Viewers

According to the Lintas Media Guide, 428 million Indians are television viewers. Though
maximum viewership comes from the South (31%), the North (26%) and West (24%) are pretty
close, and the East (19%) lags far behind.

Team

The team comprises a large number of people, headed by Producer and the Director. Then
there are the assistant Directors, the script writers, the cast, the lead actors, character artistes
etc. The technical crew comprises the cinematographer, the camera men, the assistants, the
Senior Editor, the Assistant editors, sound and video technicians etc. Everyone involved from
the stage of pre production right up to post production is part of the massive crew.
Regulatory Bodies

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation is the principal regulatory body for the Indian television
industry. It consists of 24 major broadcasters and more than 100 television channels and enjoys
the unique position of the accredited spokesperson of the broadcasting industry.

TV Rating Companies

Television, being the most preferred and dominant means of advertising has led to an ever-
increasing demand and need for accurate and detailed information about television viewership,
and audiences. To serve this need, there are a few specialized research organizations that
specifically study viewership patterns and habits over time. It is done by monitoring the viewing
habits of a small but carefully chosen sample, and then extrapolating those results into nation-
wide statistics.

Studio/ Equipment/ Location

The major production houses have their own technical studios, locations to construct sets, and
equipment. However most times the other smaller production houses use studios and locations
that are rented out on a per day basis for shooting. Equipment too can be hired.

Areas of operation

The television industry broadly operates as a

• Platform for viewing content i.e. for broadcasters

• A form of media for reaching audiences i.e. for advertisers

Customers

There are two basic customers in the television industry.

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Establishing Business Activities

Setting up a television channel all by one’s self is next to impossible. With more than 300
channels on television, while there is increasing scope for niche and focused viewership
channels to grow, it is not possible to compete with the already established big players in the
industry.
It is much more feasible to set up independent production houses, studios etc. Hence people
start out with individual scripts, or get employed with bigger studios like Balaji Telefilms etc.

There is also an increasing trend of foreign television houses coming to India. For example, Fox
now operates as the sole production house of Star Network. Viacom 18 has taken over MTV
and Nickelodeon and has infused massive amounts of money into India with aims of becoming
one of the biggest broadcasters in the country.

Market Potential

Largest sector of entertainment industry, share expected to increase to more than 50% of
the entertainment industry by end of 2010.

Business Profile of Television Industry

Prepared by Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA)

For Department of Science & Technology (DST), Technology Bhawan, New Mehrauli
Road, New Delhi – 16

Note: Various references have been used in the preparation of this profile. For further details please contact the Institute.

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