The confusion surrounding conditional access system refuses to die down. A natural corollary is the increasing number of studies to understand the system, consumer awareness and channel preferencesÖ
According to a recent market survey conducted in Delhi by Cybermedia Research, while 60 per cent of the chief wage earners and housewives are aware of the new system (which means they would be able to select channels of their choice and also pay accordingly), only 22 per cent are aware of terms like the CAS and set-top-boxes.
The Cybermedia Research dipstick survey was conducted in April-May 2003 targeting randomly selected 406 SEC A and B households; the chief wage earners or the housewives bring the main respondents.
As expected, the awareness levels varied in different strata of society and also by the type of respondents. Analysed by SEC, awareness was found to be higher in SEC A followed by SEC B. If analysed by respondent type, it was found to be higher among the chief wage earners compared to housewives. The fact that on an overall level (that is, among the entire universe of people surveyed), 40 per cent of the respondents are still not aware and 78 per cent are not sure about set-top boxes indicates that much needs to be done to demystify CAS and sell the concept of set-top-boxes among different categories of respondents.
With regard to preferred channels, respondents were provided with a card that listed 54 channels and were asked to recall (unaided) their preferred channels. STAR Plus was found to have the highest top-of-mind as well as total preference, followed by Sony. Interestingly, the third most preferred channel is Aaj Tak. This indicates that the demand for news channels is increasing. Another noteworthy point is that the top three channels in the preference list of consumers belong to three different media houses. The Government's decision of not allowing any media house to bundle channels would mean that revenue gains would be distributed among various media companies.
The number of channels likely to be subscribed to by a household in the CAS regime was found to be a function of the number of members in a family. Since a majority of the families in metros are nuclear with over 50 per cent in the sample having five or less family members, an equal percentage of respondents stated they would subscribe to just five to seven pay channels while another 27 per cent said they would subscribe to eight-10 channels.
The survey also indicated what should be the ceiling for the monthly cable and satellite bill for a consumer post CAS. A large chunk of the respondents perceive the current rent to be expensive (the current average monthly rent was found to be Rs 233), giving an indication of how broadcasters should try and price their channels post July 14. ¬© 2003 agencyfaqs!