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TV dominates media sector, but ad revenues to fall: report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 15, 2019 Published on March 15, 2019

Indian media and entertainment sector revenues reached $23.9 billion in 2018, and are expected to cross $33.6 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 11.6 per cent, according to a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and EY. Though television has retained its position as the largest segment, analysts say the new television tariff structure in place could hit broadcasters’ ad and subscription revenues.

The TV industry grew 12 per cent from ₹66,000 crore to ₹74,000 crore in 2018. TV advertising grew 14 per cent to ₹30,500 crore while subscription grew 11 per cent to ₹43,500 crore. Television viewing households increased by 7.5 per cent over 2016.

The EY-FICCI report notes that the TRAI tariff order can have implications on total viewership, free television uptake, channel MRP rates and advertising revenues. Analysts have also alluded to the fact that advertisers and media agencies are going to be conservative in their ad spends on TV.

“Given limited clarity on subscription and black-outs happening in certain pockets, there could be an impact on ad revenue for broadcasters this quarter,” said Abneesh Roy at Edelweiss Securities.

Maintaining that it presents an opportunity for advertisers to assert their bargaining power, Roy says this "would exert pressure on ad rates charged by broadcasters in the near term."

Meanwhile, the Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India has stopped publishing data for the general public, with data only available for BARC subscribers. This has created confusion and led to a slowdown on media buying on TV.

The withdrawal of popular Hindi channels from free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish is also expected to hit the revenue of major broadcasters. The DD Free Dish platform constitutes about 16 per cent of the TV universe in India, covering 30 million households.

Published on March 15, 2019
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