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Fall in TV audience for Hindi entertainment as English channels thrive

The share of the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) genre has suffered a 6.5% decline in the past year, while the popularity of English channels has soared in India – according to a new TAM report.

Traditionally, the top performing markets for the Hindi GEC genre were Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, though the metro areas have seen a slight fall in audience share due to an increasing fragmentation of TV audiences.

Gross rating points in English entertainment, however, witnessed almost 50% growth in 2011, with reach and time spent viewing the channels adding to the success. Increased digital penetration in the metros over the past year has also delivered more English language channels to viewers.

TAM's new Impatient Generation report, says Hindi one hour special fiction episodes, aired in weekend prime time slots, have shown consistent growth over the past twelve months. In addition, the viewing share of Hindi television news increased by 10% in 2011, after registering a fall in 2010.

The number of unique showings of Hindi movies on television, however, declined by 10% during the year.

Increased fragmentation in the broadcasting market when compared to the days where public broadcaster Doordarshan commanded huge audiences for its epic dramas is key to the latest figures, says TAM.

"This new phenomenon has emerged because of the rise of the assertive, impatient and highly articulate generation of today in most Indian families, thanks to newer media and broadcast technologies, increasing diversities of content, and of course, advancement of new age mediums, that are able to cater to the differing tastes and preferences simultaneously," said L V Krishnan, chief executive, TAM.

The report says Indian's viewing behaviour increasingly differs across a spectrum of gender, age, geography, and social mores and cultures.

Children's television witnessed an 18% growth in market share, with 14 channels now making up this genre in India.

An 18% rise in the sports content on Indian TV during 2011 led to 200 million unique viewers during the year. Over 50% of the viewed sports events was live coverage. Advertising volume grew 35% in 2011, with cricket accounting for 70% of this.

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