2010 has certainly brought the smiles back to the television networks as it has been the best year the industry has seen in the last decade.
The continuous growth in C&S households and the positive trends in the DTH business will continue to fuel aggressive growth in our business. What was heartening to see was that overall trading levels - barring news - across all genres went up substantially in 2010.
We are currently seeing an overall increase in the size of our market, with the Indian economy at its best and GDP growing close to 9 per cent. This has prompted large segments like FMCG to increase their marketing spends substantially. Increased competition in the telecom industry has spurred growth of overall spends and has also opened up a huge new category for us in the mobile handset business.
Other categories like consumer durables and automobiles no longer spend only at festival time, but advertise across the year.
One more interesting fact is that despite the large number of channels within each genre there is room for growth for everyone.
Next year, despite two large sports properties back-to-back - the World Cup and IPL - pulling away over `1,500 crore from the market, other genres will continue to grow at a healthy rate.
2010 has proved to be a great year, but the television industry continues to be undervalued even though approximately 10 million new households are added each year in India. That translates into 45 million new eyeballs. Yet, the cost per contact of television remains lower than other key media. Of the 134 million TV homes, 103 million are C&S homes. That means that TAM data represents only 39 million homes. Rural India is not accounted for at all.
This is representative of the huge opportunity cost that we bear and it needs to be addressed immediately so that television can get its fair due.