IPL, World Cup and General Elections: TV industry to see lot of activity in 2019

Industry leaders share big predictions for the year ahead

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 8:55 AM
TV news

The year 2018 was quite eventful for the television industry but 2019 also started with a big development—the new TRAI tariff order. This signals that the year ahead is going to be an interesting ride for the broadcasters. 

Industry experts believe that this year is going to be noisy, starting with the General Elections followed by IPL and the Cricket World Cup. We at exchange4media asked industry leaders for their predictions for the year 2019. 

Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India

In 2018, sports and news got a lot of TV viewership. One of the catalysts for the increasing preference of sports viewership in India was its availability in regional languages. This showed a growing preference for content in regional languages. 

In 2019, along with the upcoming general elections, two major sports events - IPL and the Cricket World Cup - will see a lot of activity in the TV industry.

This year, we can also expect more innovations in news and sports in terms of distribution technology and systems. Broadcasters will communicate more directly with consumers. I would call 2019 as the year of a lot of changes in the TV land.

M K Anand, MD & CEO, Times Network

This will be a year with some major events - Elections and Sports. This and a favourable macreconomic environment will be overall good for Ad Sales.

There will be an increase in viewer orientation due to the new tariff order, which will see more consumer marketing of channels and properties. That and more events will lead to a spurt in TV’s overall reach.

2019 will also see the beginning of a rise in ARPUs. Though this may be slow initially, the industry will see a much needed revaluation of subscription rates.

Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP News Network

First, there will be very heavy consumption of news, driven by the general elections and the Cricket World Cup. Hence, news and sports will be the dominant players in the television space in the coming three quarters. Second, the way we consume television at home will change as all leading broadcasters will be going for digital experiments. And with data cost going down, a lot of VOD players will grow, even in the news category. Third, there will be some mergers and acquisitions in the country as a change in environment, brought about by the new tariff and regulatory order, will not allow a lot of inefficient players to continue in the business. 

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head Hindi and Kids TV Network, Viacom 18 

It's going to be a lot more transparent because of the new tariff order. I think the viewers will enjoy more content than ever before because there are a lot of people who want to tell stories and the viewers are ready to binge watch today. I also see the Internet and Digital space creating a whole new landscape.

Pawan Jailkhani, Chief Revenue Officer, 9X Media

Overall, the space in terms of growth looks interesting because of multiple changes in the ecosystem. Also, advertising will grow because we have the General Elections coming up. Traditionally, elections were only meant for news channels but now that is going to change. With Digital getting bigger, this time there will be a change. The strategy will change for elections this year as there will be more mass channels than news channels. Also, IPL will boost the overall advertising scenario of the television industry followed by World Cup. Hence, this will propel the overall growth of the TV industry. 

In terms of dynamics, the first thing that will change is the way digital streams are coming up. The buying pattern will change and that's the big shift I think we will see.  Also, the consumption pattern followed by the buying pattern will change post the TRAI order. I feel that digital advertising too will be serious competition to TV. 

Megha Tata, COO, BTVI 

As cross-device viewership of content is on the rise, measuring only television viewership will be insufficient going forward. I believe, in 2019, television brands will focus on overall brand reach across linear and non-linear platforms. This will also help TV brands offer their Direct to Consumer (DTC) reach to advertisers and monetise their content better.

Also, with the new tariff order, my prediction is that the age-old question of ‘whether content is the king or distribution’ will get answered and content will come out as the winner. Just like the way the consumer choose a soap or a biscuit from a bouquet of offerings from a FMCG company, and pay only for the chosen product, consumers will now have a choice to select and pay for what they want to watch too. 

So, the prediction is that the quality of content will improve drastically, the product offering will improve and the few traditional leaders will get a reality check.  

From a BTVI perspective, while other English business news channels choose to put a price tag on news, we choose to put our viewers first by offering our priceless insights and opinions free to air. 

With the OTTs flexing their muscle and the new tariff order coming into force, all content providers will now be fighting for the consumer’s share of mind and pocket. 

Consumers are now quickly shifting their loyalty from channel/platform to shows/individual content pieces. In order to win big, the programme offering will have to be top-notch and the best show (content and quality wise) will bag the consumer’s time and money. 

And since quality comes at a cost, there is a high likeliness that content costs will increase for TV. If consumers have to eventually pay for what they watch, would they pay for ‘Sacred Games’ or ‘Mirzapur’ or ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and ‘Superdancer’?  Either way, it’s the time for consumers. They will continue to be spoilt for choice. 

And while the debate on whether Content or Distribution is King continues, one thing is for sure - Consumer is God!

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