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PMMAO 2011 TV OUTLOOK : More clarity

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The year 2011 is expected to bring more good news for the television space. The biggest driver for this growth will be increasing penetration of the medium, larger reach, proliferation of new channels, and heavy cricket calendar.

In the next twelve months, television’s ad revenue is slated to grow by 20 per cent to add Rs 2,106 crore. As per the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2011, the TV ad revenues will touch a total of Rs 12,636 crore in 2011.

The report also projects that TV will remain the highest grosser of revenues in 2011 too. It is expected to corner 45.7 per cent of the total ad pie this year, a further rise from 44.5 per cent in 2010.

Most of the growth that has come in 2010 has come from very stable categories like FMCG, telecom, auto, and white goods. Kevin Vaz, President – Sales, Star India feels these categories are  backed with very strong credentials and hence will propel the growth of TV in 2011 too. He says,  “These categories are expected to show equally good growth in 2011 and hence expect the TV ad expenditure to grow by strong double digits next year too.” Also, with the expansion of digitisation, as well as 3G services, there are more opportunities for the players to add to the viewing experience of the audience and engage them in a lot more ways than was previously possible.

Anil Uniyal, Chief Executive Officer, CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz, says “I feel that TV channels will see more revenues on the basis of the innovations and value added services one offers to the audience.”

Nikhil Madhok, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, Imagine TV, says, “The year 2011 is an exciting year for Imagine. We have ambitious programming plans. We start the year with Zor Ka Jhatka and we will have a steady stream of big format shows including Swayamwar – Season 3. Couple with a growing fiction line up, we expect our revenues to grow robustly. We expect 2011 to be a very good year for TV as an aggregate.”

Experts feel that India is still a highly under advertised market as compared to the world average. So, huge spurt in advertising is expected over the next decade and TV is predicted to get the biggest chunk of this. In this scheme of things, TV is expected to grow faster than other mediums as it offers the highest reach at the most competitive cost per contact as compared to any other medium. Imagine TV’s Madhok adds, “TV continues to be the most cost effective and highest reach medium. Some advertisers complain the TV has wastage because it cannot be customised. But with a plethora of channels available, advertisers can easily sharpen their focus and reach out to their specific target group. Even within mass channels depending on the show and slot, one can reach out to the core target group effectively. Advertisers need to be well informed about all this.”

Also, the heavy cricket calendar with big ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, will add heavily to overall spends on TV. Another big ticket event Formula One too is expected to bring in some additional advertising moolah to television. Rathindra Basu, Senior Director, Business Development & Corporate Communications, ESPN Software India, says, “The calendar year 2011 is poised to be the biggest in the history of ESPN STAR Sports in India. We have four major Cricket tourneys spread evenly across the year.  To top it up, the first ever Indian Grand Prix would generate huge interest in Formula One action later this year. We are looking forward to some good action over the next 12 months.”

Apart from that, the emergence of regional channels, increase in the number of specialised content channels, programme format innovations will all help television to capitalise on the growing opportunity in the market.

Talking about categories that will drive advertising growth on television, once again FMCG, Telecom and Auto are expected to be the major drivers. Sample this: over 50 new car models and variants are expected to be launched in 2011, one can expect auto to be active at a higher level on television. “When we have new launches scheduled the spending on television naturally goes up,” says Sumit Sahni, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & After-Sales, General Motors India.

Apart from the existing heavy advertisers on TV, bringing new categories to advertise and increased spends from existing small spenders on the medium will further push the ad revenues. New categories will be attracted to television by having a broader spectrum of networks.  The brands and product categories which were shy of going to mass channels because of spill-over would be attracted to specialised channels.  It is also expected that some of the traditional print heavy advertisers like educational institutes, financial services, retail, travel and tour operators will increase their spend on television. Vaz says, “The growth of regional channels will propel the growth of these new categories on TV in a big way.”

“With the launch of special content channels like Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo, new product categories which had been mainly advertising on other platforms would be transpired to switch to television,” feels Rahul Johri, Senior Vice President & General Manager, India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.

The year 2011 is expected to see a huge demand for advertising time. However, the biggest focus of players will be to grow the yields. In a cluttered television environment, fragmentation of viewers is apparent.  In such a scenario, specialised content channels would gain advantage by offering targeted audiences to its advertisers.

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Abhinav Mohapatra

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