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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009

    Default TV this year just got bigger and we hope also better

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    Itís that time of the year when businessmen take stock of the year gone by and file their returns. For the television industry too, itís stock-taking timeÖnot a year ender but the beginning of the year to come with regards to the business of television. As compared to 2009 the small screen did see a growth rate in 2010 and trade pundits predict interesting developments in the years to come. The KPMG report states that the overall Media and Entertainment market in India is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 14 per cent per annum through 2015 to reach INR 1.3 trillion.

    This includes the medium of our interest - television. India is the worldís third largest TV market with almost 138 million TV households next to China and USA. The average time spent on TV is still low in India with two hours in a non metro and three hours in a big metro market because in smaller towns capability and willingness to watch TV exists but the supply of power is an issue.

    Though of course the news that ad spend will get bigger on TV brings cheer but one hopes that content gets better too. In fact, ad revenues worldwide in terms of spent on TV indicate they surpassed print in the last few years. And this is expected to continue.

    With consumers having a much wider choice of channels, ownership of quality content is increasingly being seen as a key differentiator for broadcasters. Globally broadcasters are developing a majority of their programming in-house. So itís not surprising a channel like SAB TV whose strength is innovative light-hearted content is emerging a leader in the GEC space. GECs which cater to mass population have traditionally been driven by soaps and movies. Serials still remain the main attraction across channels and there is no sign of tiredness in the primetime serial space. However there is an emerging appetite for different story lines other than the traditional family dramas. Over the past few years one of the trends that has emerged is the focus on regional flavours. In fact the more detailed the research and its subsequent fit into the story line the more accepted it is. Shows based in the Hindi-speaking heartland (Sasural Genda Phool) or from Gujarat (Saath Nibhana Saathiya) and even Maharashtra (Pavitra Rishta) have made it to the top of the charts. The more authentic they are, the chances of success are high.

    Now that it has been understood that good content is the need of the hour we can elaborate a bit more. Content is reality and non reality. Since people have embraced reality shows in a big way itís important that not any and every reality show that one can lay their finger on be adapted. In fact, it has been proved time and again that homegrown reality shows like Sa re ga ma, Antakshari, Roadies, Dance India Dance did very good numbers. So why not develop some more instead of hiring DVDs to pick out what is selling in Philippines or the USA or Korea or wherever!

    As for non reality shows which tell a good tale will always be appreciated. Why is it that people who watched shows like Buniyaad, Hum log, Nukkad, Ramayan, Udaan still remember them? Obviously, for its outstanding content.

    All in all it appears that year 2011 may bring in some quality content as the makers and the broadcasters have understood that viewer fatigue for mediocre shows has set in and if they need to stay in business they need to get their act together
    ...being a human...



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