There is an increase in TV households of nearly 3.2 million in Urban India and 10.3 million in Rural India; TV sets in rural India took over urban India, while Hindi-speaking markets grew the highest in the country, says Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC’s) TV Universe Estimates (UEs) 2020 study
Growth in TV viewership corresponds to the pattern of regional growth of the population, says a new study conducted by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India suggesting higher growth in TV viewership in the Hindi-speaking markets when compared to southern states.
BARC is 60% owned by Indian Broadcasting Foundation, 20% by The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and 20% by The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA). Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) is a unified representative body of the television broadcasters in India. BARC is the only rating currency in India that enables advertisers to decide on buying ads and broadcasters to design and curate programmes.
According to the TV Universe Estimates (UEs) 2020, TV Homes in India increased by 6.9% to 210 million from previous 197 million in 2018. TV viewing Individuals grew by 6.7%, effectively an increase of 56 million since the last study was conducted two years back.
The report adds that the growth of ownership of TV sets in rural India took over urban India, with rural TV markets growing at 9% compared to 4% in the urban markets.
“In absolute terms, there is an increase in TV households of nearly 3.2 Mn in Urban India and 10.3 Mn in Rural India. TV households grew in all town classes of Urban markets with megacities growing by 6%,” the study points out.
In terms of regional growth, the study finds out that TV households have increased in all reporting states/ state groups in 2020. “The growth in overall HSM states is relatively higher than the South states due to an already high TV penetration. Bihar/ Jharkhand, Assam/NE and Odisha have seen double digit growth in TV households,” it adds.
Among individual markets, the report indicates that the Hindi-speaking markets grew by 8%, the highest in the country. TV viewership in southern states, in comparison, grew by 5%.
This growth pattern has been found to be in line with the pattern of regional growth of the population. “Similarly, TV viewership of upper NCCS (A and B) has increased due to increase in population while lower NCCS profile (NCCS CDE) has seen a drop of around 12% at all India level.”
In terms of genres, few genres such as Hindi News, Sports, English Movies and Devotional/Spiritual show a doubledigit growth. “Viewership of Bhojpuri, Assamese and Oriya channels have grown significantly higher than other genres,” says the study.
Since the TV population increase is lower in the South market compared to HSM, viewership increase of Southern genres is also comparatively lower. Kannada Movies has dropped marginally, it adds.
The number of female TV owners increased by 7%, beating the male population by one percent. This trend was mainly driven by Rural India. On the other hand, the highest growth in numbers was seen in the population of kids (i.e., 2 to 14 years), where TV viewership grew at 9%, while 22 to 40-year-old TV viewers in rural India were found to be higher than other age groups.
The study also finds that HD viewership has grown by 15% at all India level with relatively higher growth observed in Bihar/ Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Also, TV viewership has grown on free and pay platforms with higher growth observed on pay platforms. “The share of DD Free Dish has increased to 19% from 13% in 2018, and the share of Cable TV has decreased to 48%,” says the study.
The report also suggests that the socio-economic profile of the TV viewers has improved over the years with households in the highest socio-economic strata — A and B — increasing to 27% and 31% respectively, while those in the lower strata contracting to 9% of TV households in India.
“In the recent years, a limited number of media studies have been conducted (e.g., Indian Readership Survey – IRS). These studies have indicated that the NCCS profile of the Indian population is changing as people have been moving up on the socioeconomic pyramid. BARC India has also observed this change in the NCCS profile of TV panel households,” said BARC in a press statement.
“TV Universe Estimates (UEs) play an important role in the structuring of BARC India’s sample design, ensuring the panel reflects a true microcosm of India. Updated TV UEs ensure that the weighting and calibration systems properly, and accurately, project audience estimates to the population and are free of any bias,” BARC added.