The Broadcast Audience Research Council study ‘The HD Landscape’ has revealed Sports genre to be one of the three key drivers for HD content consumption on Indian television.
There has been a phenomenal growth in the number of high definition channels and their viewership over the last two years, according to a latest BARC India study on HD channels. While the number of HD channels increased 41% during October 2015 to September 2017, their viewership share has grown by a whopping 169%. In the same period, the SD channel viewership grew by a healthy 25% even as the number of SD channels increased by 16%
The study reveals that GEC, movies, and sports are the top three drivers for the HD content consumption – the three genres are sharing 95% share of the HD viewership between them.
Among TV viewers in households with continuous availability to HD and SD channels, the sampling of GEC channels is the highest, followed by movies and Sports. Further, their viewership is mainly driven by their core content cricket and football for sports channels. The report states that GEC and sports genres deliver better engagement (ATS) on HD channels as compared to their SD counterparts.
The number of HD channels has increased from 59 in 2015 to 83 in 2017. Of the available 83 HD channels, 50 channels have both SD and HD feed. SD channel count over the same period has jumped to 517 in 2017 from 445 in 2015.
According to the report ‘The HD Landscape’, the youth in 22-40 year age bracket are among the biggest consumers of HD channels with a 35% share of HD viewership.
BARC has considered a 31-week average data between week 8-38 of 2017 for the study. In terms of consumer classification, the NCCS A category comprising the top end of the consumers are the largest contributors to HD channel viewership. HD channels and packages are generally targeted at high-end customers.
The study further highlighted that the NCCS CDE viewers are driven to HD by key content like a big sporting event. The HD viewership in India is slightly skewed towards male audiences with a 51% contribution to viewership. The SD channels have an almost equal viewership of males and females.
The study also indicates that HD sports viewership also witnessed a spike around the time of the ICC Champions Trophy play. The launch of a few sports HD channels also contributed to this growth.
The GEC genre has the lion’s share of HD viewership at 62% followed by movies (22%) and sports (11%). The share of GEC is understandable as 31 out of 83 HD channels are from this genre.
While in most genres, the SD channels deliver a higher reach & ATS as compared to HD channels, in the case of GEC and Sports it is the reverse with the HD channels delivering a better time spend and reach.
Within the sports genre, all languages have a high share of HD minutes. This, the study noted, could be indicative that there is high sports consumption on HD channels, and it is language agnostic.
The English entertainment and movie channels deliver a substantially higher share of HD minutes vis a vis lower incidence, which is completely opposite to Hindi GEC and movie channels. The English language viewership, across GEC, Movies & Sports genres, is concentrated towards a high % share of HD minutes thereby indicating that the typical HD viewer is likely to spend more time in consuming niche English content.