Factors Affecting TV Viewership in India

Cricket, Movies and Politics fuel India's TV Viewership

Factors Affecting TV Viewership in India

We have spoken about TV Viewership in India in an earlier article. In this article we will look at the factors which affect TV viewership in India as per BARC TV ratings reflected in the year 2017. Different events effect TV Viewership in India and being informed about them can help brand managers and media planners make the most out of their money while rolling out a campaign.

1TV Viewership in India Continues to Grow

We discussed about the emergence of OTT players in India in an article earlier – OTT Original Content Takes Center Stage. But contrary to the notion that TV Viewership is declining, content consumption actually increased on the small screen. Total TV viewership in 2017 saw a 23 per cent spike over 2016. Also, the time spent watching TV grew 6 per cent, and the number of people watching TV rose 17 per cent. Over the year, number of HD channels has grown 41 per cent while viewership has risen 169 per cent. The numbers indicate that though consumption of content on handheld devices is growing exponentially but not all comes at the cost of TV viewership.

2Viewers are flooded with options

As per BARC TV Viewership data, there are around 780 mn users connected to the small screen. These 780 mn TV Viewers have an access to around 850 plus TV channels to choose from across various genres. This is excluding the OTT players who have added plethora of options and content to be consumed on the go. Digitization Drive reached its final stage (DAS – IV) and made more channels accessible to households across the country.

3The Top Three Factors

  1. Cricket
  2. Movies
  3. Politics

The above three factors almost define the behaviour of TV content consumption. Talking cricket, Virat Kohli single-handedly effected TV viewership. Viewership shot up by 30% when Virat Kohli was batting and dropped by 50% as soon as he got out, a phenomenon which was seen with Sachin Tendulkar on the crease. Other sports like olympics, football, badminton, kabbadi saw spikes but contributed only 20% of total viewership in the sports genre.

Movies immediate shoot up viewership and this is established by the fact that in both 2016 and 2017. In 2016 movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo pumped up viewership. Similarly in 2017, the Bahubali series shot up viewership by around 20%.

In Politics, PM Narendra Modi’s presence on the screen stays to be the biggest draw. On Independence Day, 26 million people tuned in to watch the PM’s address from Red Fort. Viewership of Hindi News channels doubled, while that of English News channels went up 7 times.


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