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The Indian TV programming market - a gold mine

25 April 2016 Vinita Jakhanwal

IHS estimates that Indian TV broadcasting revenue, including advertising, subscription and public funding, totaled
$4 billion in 2015. Revenue is forecast to grow 17% in the next five years, stimulated by increases in TV advertising and growth in pay TV. Of this revenue, TV networks spent an average 62% on TV programming, putting India in the league of countries like Australia and Italy. TV programing spend in India is expected to almost double in five years and reach $5 billion by 2020, driven by improved audience measurement, increased demand for TV content especially from rural areas, sports programming investments and the launch of over-the-top (OTT) platforms by all the major broadcasters.

A more reliable TV audience measurement by the newly appointed Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has revealed unprecedented potential in rural viewership and regional markets. This is coupled with the nationwide cable TV digitization program scheduled to complete in December 2016 which is likely to boost TV content consumption. TV programming will be created to tap into these opportunities.

Sports continue to be popular content for TV viewership. Despite the rising cost of broadcasting rights, ambitious foreign-owned broadcasters will continue to invest in sports programming. Star India (owned by 21st Century Fox) reportedly set aside $2 billion for sports programming from 2014-2019. Sony Pictures has teamed up with ESPN to offer sports content. All major broadcasters including Star India, Sony Pictures, Zee Entertainment and Viacom18 launched OTT platforms, making content investment more feasible than before. In the wake of Netflix's success, broadcasters are expected to allocate more budget to original programming, curating a library exclusive to their own TV and OTT platforms while countering ever-increasing licensing costs.

In view of these market developments, it's no wonder that 21st Century Fox is betting big on its Star India business, attributing it as a key growth driver moving forward. Also active in the market are US TV groups Walt Disney and Discovery Communications. China-based LeEco has also unveiled plans to build a substantial content library in India. Moving forward, IHS anticipates that investment in the Indian TV market will continue to thrive with interest from other foreign TV networks while local companies strengthen their content capabilities in order to stay competitive.

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Vinita Jakhanwal is a Senior Director for IHS
Posted on 25 April 2016


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