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Variety is key for viewers with conditional access

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 02, 2002
A recent study on Conditional Access Systems conducted by Indica Research has some interesting indicators for broadcasters and cable operators alike



agencyfaqs!
MUMBAI

If given the option to select from a range of channels, viewers are most likely to go in for variety, claims a recent study on Conditional Access Systems (CAS) conducted by Indica Research, a Delhi-based consulting and research company. (Conditional Access is a technology that allows a cable operator to provide only the desired number of channels to a subscriber. This is also referred to as an addressable system.)

According to B Narayanaswamy, executive director, Indica Research, the study aimed to "address the consumer and present what he/she really wants". Among the key findings is that 40 per cent of the viewers are willing to buy a set-top box for Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000, if it means that without one they will miss their favourite channel.

Moreover, of the 392 interviews conducted among SEC A&B households across the metros of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore (period: 25th to 30th May 2002), almost all those surveyed choose at least one general entertainment channel followed by films, news and sports channels. Children's channels were selected by households with kids under 14 years of age.

To get down to specifics, of the Top 10 channels chosen, three were general entertainment (STAR Plus, Sony and Zee), two were movie channels (Zee Cinema and STAR Movies), two were sports channels (STAR Sports and ESPN), one is a news channel (Aaj Tak), one an informative channel (Discovery) and one is a children's channel (Cartoon Network). Interestingly, the marketwise breakup points to a different skew altogether. Delhiites were more inclined to news with a percentage figure of 84 for this genre (general entertainment and films are 100 and 89 per cent respectively).

In sharp contrast, Mumbaiites with cable and satellite (C&S) television are more oriented towards films with a percentage score of 83 for this genre. Figures for the other genres read as general entertainment 98 per cent, news 66 per cent and sports 67 per cent.

Residents of Bangalore were more into sports with the preference score in the region of 78 per cent (general entertainment is 100 per cent and films 77 per cent). Residents of Chennai show a similar slant towards news, films and general entertainment like their counterparts in New Delhi (respective percentage figures are 88, 89 and 100), but have a higher preference for sports than the people of New Delhi with a figure of 81 per cent.

STAR Plus expectedly leads the general entertainment segment in the metros of Delhi (92 per cent), Mumbai (93 per cent) and Bangalore (85 per cent). In Chennai, however, local seems more vocal with Sun TV heading the pack with a score of 93 per cent followed by Raj and Vijay TV at 85 per cent.

Among movie channels, predominantly English channels such as HBO and STAR Movies lead in the South in comparison to the choice of Hindi film channels such as Zee Cinema and SET Max in the north. Cartoon Network is the leader in the children's entertainment segment. MTV is preferred across the four metros with the exception of Hindi music channels, B4U and Music Asia (now Zee Music) doing better in New Delhi.

STAR Sports and ESPN dominate the sports segment with Ten Sports emerging in markets such as Mumbai and New Delhi in a big way. Despite the higher preference for National Geographic in the south, overall, viewers prefer Discovery.

Last but not the least, Aaj Tak is the leader among news channels in the north whereas STAR News does better in the south. Sun News is preferred over the rest in Chennai and BBC does better than CNN among international channels. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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