With a spike in viewership of high-definition (HD) channels, sales of LEDs and smart TV sets are also on the rise. As per BARC India, in the past one year, there has been an increase of 35% in HD channels, while standard definition (SD) channels grew at only 2% between 2017 (weeks 8-52) and 2018 (weeks 1-26). The percentage of homes that had cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs in 2016 was 87%; this now stands at 79%. TV homes in India have moved to thinner TVs, thus giving opportunity for HD channels to flourish. The top five markets contributing to growth in HD channels are Tamil Nadu, AP/Telangana, Bihar & Jharkhand, Odisha and the five northern markets (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir).
Smart TVs sales are also on the rise, especially from Tier 1 cities. However, there is an overwhelming demand from Tier 2 cities due to increased internet penetration, rich media content and rise in disposable incomes. As per a Research & Markets report, it is expected that revenues from TV sets sales will reach Rs 1,30,500 crore by 2020. BARC highlights that HD contribution to IPL season 11 was thrice that of IPL 10. HD viewership also grew 1.5 times on channels airing FIFA 2018 versus the previous four weeks. Neeraj Bahl, associate director, business group head, consumer electronics, Panasonic India, says: “There is a major spike in sales observed during high-decibel sport events such as IPL and FIFA, as TV viewing is enhanced through larger screens, that is 49 inches and above.” During FIFA, the company ran a digital campaign exclusively for its consumers and winners were given Panasonic accessories like Bluetooth headsets and speaker systems at discounted prices.
Similarly, in June, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, Samsung launched its Feel the Game offer for customers looking to upgrade to large screens and premium TVs. “Consumers tend to upgrade to newer TVs to watch the game and teams they love on bigger and better screens. In June, the TV industry in India saw month-on-month sales growth of 10%, again led by TVs 40 inches and bigger, which grew by more than 20%,” says Piyush Kunnapallil, general manager, consumer electronics business, Samsung India. DishTV saw a spike in subscriber additions during the first quarter of FY18.
A total of 3,01,000 additions were positively impacted by a sports-heavy programming calendar. Of all subscriber additions, 44% were of HD. In total, HD subscribers form a promising 17% of the total net base of the company. “With modern TV sets being sold, there is a huge market for HD channels,” says Sukhpreet Singh, corporate head – marketing, Dish TV India. Popular culture nudges consumption in more ways than one, and in the case of a popular TV property like a FIFA or an IPL match, it is a win-win for all. Points out brand expert Harish Bijoor, “This is a virtuous and vicious cycle of consumption. One scratches the other’s back. A football match at the World Cup is a positive stroke for the television set, the chip and cola brands alike. In return, the very same television set and chip and cola will advertise on FIFA.”