Cricket beats politics hollow. News channels may have raked in the moolah this elections but the colour television manufacturing industry did not witness sharp spikes in sales.
Unlike the one-dayers that saw a spurt in sales, the five-day test matches and the general and assembly elections did not do much good for CTV sales, which stood at just 6.20 lakh units for the month of April.
This is 24 per cent less than the sales registered during the previous month. However, it is substantially higher that the 5-lakh unit sales recorded in April 2003.
According to industry pundits, individual players have registered growth, but the industry overall did not see the boom it was expecting.
Considering that several news channels are beaming into homes, the CTV sales should have gone up, they argue.
"The elections have not attracted the same kind of consumer interest for CTVs as sporting events do," said Mr R. Zutshi, Director, Sales, Samsung India Electronics. Said a senior official of Haier Appliances (India), "The boom did not happen."
Commenting on why despite the news channels sprucing up their act to in cash on the elections, sales have not taken place, a senior Consumer Electronics and TV Manufacturer Association (CETMA) official told Business Line, "News channels do not attract new consumers, but target the existing TV owners only."
According to Alka Saxena, head of programming Zee News, "News is about habitual viewing. People buy new TVs for entertainment or major sporting event. We are targeting the existing households to watch our election coverage." The advertisers have poured in additional Rs 30 crore to 35 crore into news channels during this election season.
For the first quarter of 2004, the CTV industry has clocked sales of 2.8 million units marginally higher than the corresponding period last year (2.6 million units.) Samsung has registered a growth of 52 per cent compared with April last year by selling 1.10 lakh units, while LG Electronics has sold 2.3 lakh units during the month. The relatively new entrant -- the Chinese major Haier -- has registered a growth of 60 per cent. The industry proposes to close the calendar year 2004 with sales of 9 million plus.