Despite disruptive developments like the new tariff order (NTO) and the slowdown in the second half of 2019, Television viewership rose to 762 million last year, according to the latest report from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) titled What India Watched 2019. The report adds that every household watched 5 hours, 11 minutes of TV every day and that 222 million people tuned in to watch primetime TV. Average time spent by each viewer was 3 hours and 42 minutes daily. The NTO did however have some impact, since the report does mention a dip in time spent on Television during the NTO transition last year.
The report also adds that 80% of TV content is consumed through co-viewing. BARC India samples from a panel of 185,000 individuals across 44,000 homes. Speaking about the report’s findings, Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India said, “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."
The report added that regional TV content continued to grow with regions like Sikkim and Assam recording an increase of 119% in viewership over the past four years. Regional content also contributed to 3% of total viewership in 2019, and most regional language channels recorded a double digit growth in viewership. English channels on the other hand saw a 41% decline in viewership on account of tough competition from video streaming platforms. The sports channels saw a 17% increase in viewing minutes over 2018. The genre contributed 3.2% of total TV viewership in 2019, the highest in the last four years.
On the advertising front, ad volumes on TV grew by 21% over the past four years, with Hindi channels leading with a 33% share of the pie. News, GECs and movie channels still command three-fourths of all advertising. 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.