Tamil Nadu TV channels account for a massive revenue of about Rs. 1,400–1,800* crore while the states of Kerala and Karnataka account for a revenue of Rs. 450–650* crore individually, marking a clear difference to the tune of Rs. 950–1,350 crore between the two ends. The topmost position is occupied by Tamil Nadu here and is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after which Karnataka and Kerala interchange their positions.
Sharing possible reasons for the same, Reghu Ramachandran, Sr. Vice President, Asianet Communications, said, “With a population of about 80 million (8 crore), Tamil Nadu has a large TV viewing population. Kerala is populated with about 40 million (4 crore) people and most of them prefer print to television. Print is any day stronger in Kerala. So that might be a reason why Tamil Nadu is leading the way when it comes to revenues of television channels.”
Another source from a leading television channel in Tamil Nadu said, “GDP is high in Tamil Nadu, which helps in increasing sales. That grabs the eyeballs of more advertisers and in turn results in more revenue.” GDP or Gross Domestic Product relates to the overall productivity and acts as an indicator of the economy’s health. In general, if the economy is healthy, people tend to earn more, which helps them spend more. This results in increased sales numbers for a variety of industries. When sales are high, brands advertise more.
Shankar B, CEO of Fourth Dimension Media Solutions, has worked with many Tamil media houses. He said, “Tamil Nadu has a very strong distribution channel and network. Sun TV hasn’t changed much in 20 years but people still watch it. The daily soaps on this channel are enjoyed by many. Content makes a great difference in driving TRP and it helps in driving revenue to the channel. Star Vijay is no less when it comes to content. The placement of the channels on distribution platforms also help in revenue generation and these channels have good placements.”
The love of cinema in TN needs no introduction. The state generates around 120–130 films every year. The trailer ads of these films on channels are also driven by revenue.
“Retail companies and brands spend a lot here. A retail brand employs celebrated actors such as Kamal Hassan, Suhasini, Prabhu Deva as their brand ambassadors. They invest heavily into advertising and marketing. Bigger brands spend higher. This could also be a reason why Tamil Nadu tops the chart,” Shankar added.
Many media conglomerates and groups are foraying into the southern market by launching new channels and acquiring newspapers and magazines. The importance of national players focusing on regional content and regional reach has increased tremendously during the last few years. The regional markets are at par (even above par in some areas) with the national ones. The recent blockbuster movie Baahubali 2 garnered almost Rs. 800 crore within one month of its release while the Hindi blockbuster movie PK made revenues of about Rs. 792 crore. These were big highlights for people who wished to explore the southern market.
Among the listed south Indian states, the smaller markets consist of Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.