Cable TV industry is working 24 x 7 to ensure that during this lock down period of uncertainty & inactivity, all of India remains connected, entertained and informed.
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The Cable TV industry was established in 1990, when there were only two DD channels. Slowly but surely, this industry has now grown to over 1000 MSOs and more than 50,000 Local Cable Operators, supporting over 500 satellite channels, and around 5000 regionally relevant and locally curated Cable TV channels, reaching 12 Crore households covering the length, breadth and depth of India. It is also a fact that while Metros have alternatives in terms of OTT, it is only Cable TV that has more than 60% penetration in Rural India.
As per the data, during this lock down time, TV viewership is up by 11%, TSV (time spent per viewer) is up 23%, and while news is up by 298%, Movies are up by 56%. Household reach has gone up, as more households are tuning in. Non-prime time viewership is up by 71%, as more household members are home with no outdoor activity.
Apart from satellite channels, there are approx 2500 movie channels & 500 local news channels, with locally curated and fresh content and information. Deep into regional India, audiences look to their local news channels for latest updates on Covid-19 in their district and township, and local news is a critical source of truth.
Since there is no fresh content available and no Live TV, TV audiences at home are searching for fresh content. Regional and locally curated cable movie channels have always shown fresh content, with 56% of movies being 2018 release or later. During this difficult lock down period, and immediately after, the demand decline and business impact of the current inactivity will impact all industries. Companies and Brands will focus on survival, improving immediate term cash flows, and ensuring employees are safe and secure.
Cable Television has always been an extremely effective medium to communicate with all audiences at a national, regional and local level, This is a time where people are consuming a lot of content that is local, regional, non-primetime, and there is inventory available on more reasonable TV and Cable TV channels and genres. This reflects in the regional viewership numbers as well, which are high. In this period of uncertainty, the industry would do well to utilize the reach and availability of Cable Television to communicate with their audiences, and stay engaged, while we all do the best we can to remain socially responsible, as we claw our way out of this immediate crisis.