Anchor | One Big Idea by Rahul Johri: Digitization to re-ignite Indian television industry

21 Jan,2013

By Rahul Johri, Senior Vice President and General Manager, South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific


Digital television is here in India in abundance and it is about to transform the national viewer experience and the industry economics.


The government’s push to digitization of television has made India step up to the next level of technology and efficiency in television. It is set to revolutionize the creation, broadcasting and distribution of television shows. It is also full of new possibilities of branding and differentiation of content.


Most importantly, digitization has ensured that television remains the centrepiece of knowledge and entertainment in India.


The Indian television industry has reinvented itself repeatedly to enhance consumer experience. From colour transmission to cable TV to live broadcast and now to digital TV, it has mesmerized the viewers. Digitisation will not only multiply channel choice but also enhance television’s utility to the consumer through interactive entertainment, education and communication services.


DTH has already catalysed the transformation of television’s quality and utility and now digital cable is set to make this change universal.


Now, plenty of niche channels can viably coexist with the mass channels. Digitization will lead to improved revenues from all kinds of content and it will encourage channel differentiation and packaging innovation.


At Discovery, we anticipated this transformation a few years ago. We have been preparing for this new environment. In the last few years, Discovery has increased its channel portfolio in India from three to eight networks and from two to five languages, triggering a new and robust category in the industry of unique content channels. Discovery Networks pioneered new genres with the launch of Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery HD World, Discovery Tamil, and most recently Discovery Kids. We proved that the viewers, when offered choice, will prefer well-defined and high-quality content. The rest of the industry has also responded to this consumer trend by launching various multiple channels across categories. All these channels have found distinct viewer groups. The major networks have introduced new programming genres and new formats.


The future belongs to special-interest channels. Finally, the consumer is king.




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