The Anchor: 5 reasons why it’s the best time to be in English movies

03 Feb,2012

By Ajay Trigunayat


#1 India has the largest English speaking population.

India has one of the largest English speaking populations in the world, and as a result has been a potential market for all things English! English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but it is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. English speakers inIndiaoutnumber those in all of Western Europe, not counting theUnited Kingdom. And Indian English speakers are more than twice the UK’s population.


#2 Amongst English channels, English Movie Channels have the maximum viewership.

Amongst the English TV category, it is the English movie channels that comprises of 35 percent of the market share. This is the highest in this category. The English movie category also has a reach of around 27 percent of the total television viewers. These numbers definitely move the genre which was earlier seen as niche, to be highly influential.


#3 English urban audiences.

Yes, English is everywhere in India. Urban population: 33 percent of total population and 95 percent of all households have a TV. 2012 will also see Times Television Network launching new English channels in a bid to strengthen the overall channel bouquet. The timing could not be better at the pace which theEnglish Channelspace is growing.


#4 Digitization.

  • Indiais riding on robust cable and satellite growth. The television household universe has grown from 134 million homes to 148 million homes over two years.
  • Within this cable and satellite has grown from 103 million to 126 million. The media and entertainment industry is at an inflexion point with digital being the buzzword. Rightly so, every segment within the media and entertainment ecosystem is getting impacted by digitization in a significant way.
  • Digitization, where the feed will be received through set-top boxes, is expected to be executed in phases and the four metros ofDelhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai have to shift to digital addressability by March 31, 2012.
  • Increased Digital penetration will lead to parity in audio-visual reception and experience. Thus, channels which are on hi-frequencies which has distorted channel reception will tend to gain in viewership.
  • With CAS being mandated soon, the carriage fee should go down and subscription revenues should take a leap.
  • Currently the digital viewership contribution to the English Movie Channels is 31 percent which will go up to 50 percent by the end of 2012.


#5 Increasing footprint.

Transition of viewership from 5 – 8 metros – 1 mn.+ markets: 35 markets as per 2001 census to 53 markets as per 2011 census

  • Having expanded the horizon from 5/7 metros to 8 metros: All 1mn.+ towns is the next big opportunity
  • With the perception change amongst the viewers’ mindsets and the recent news about Lok Sabha passing the second bill to amend the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 has opened newer avenues for the English movie channels.
  • With the target audience no longer residing only in the metros and moving into the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, there is an opportunity to penetrate into the smaller cities, thereby expanding the overall viewership.


Ajay Trigunayat is the CEO, English Entertainment Channels, Times Television Network.


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