CTV in India – A scale not proportionate to the hype

CTV penetration in India ranges between 10-14 mn homes, which is less than 5% of TV universe.

Mumbai: Infrastructural challenges like the massively low penetration of high-speed internet connections and miniscule cord cutting limit the scale of CTV in India to 0.5 million homes, or five per cent of India’s TV universe.

The scale of CTV in India has been a concern for advertisers and has not been able to play up to the hype around it. Not just CTV, but advancement of technology in developed markets from computers, to internet, to smartphones have always brought disproportionate hype to India much before they could become scalable. CTV is witnessing a similar reality check in India, as has been unravelled by credible industry reports over the last year. As per reports published by CII & KPMG, EY-Ficci and MediaSmart, CTV penetration in India ranges between 10-14 million homes, which is less than five per cent of India’s TV universe.

Factors behind the lack of scale for CTV in India

    A very miniscule number of smart TVs in India are CTVs. The penetration of wired broadband in India that drives high-speed connectivity to power CTVs is currently limited to 12 million homes as per a Trai report in 2022 and has witnessed significantly sluggish growth post-pandemic. 

    The absence of cost arbitrage for OTT platforms vis-à-vis pay TV subscriptions is another key factor that is likely to keep CTV growth modest. 

    Cord cutting in India as per the recent CII-KPMG report is limited to merely 0.5 million homes, 0.2 per cent of the overall TV universe that currently stands at 226 million homes.

HD channels dominating premium audience viewership with a scale close to 7x of CTV

Premium audiences among India’s TV universe have been seeking high-quality viewing experiences on pay TV which has been largely addressed by their shift to high definition (HD) TV channels. Viewership of HD channels has grown rapidly to reach a base of 70 million homes covering over 25 per cent of the TV universe. This six-fold reach of HD TV in comparison to CTV is demonstrative of its far superior capability in reaching out to premium audiences. In fact, 95 per cent of CTV homes in India are HD homes. TV consumption on HD channels is a key distinguishing characteristic of premium audiences beyond ownership of cars & premium smartphones.

Nine out of 10 HD homes watch sports on HD channels

Sports viewership on HD TV is massive, with nine out of every ten HD TV homes watching sports on HD channels. This exhibits the choice of sports fans seeking the very best viewing experience via HD channels. A Kantar research showed that nearly two thirds of sports viewers preferred HD channels due to better audio/video quality as compared to CTV. Half of sports viewers on HD channels also cited easier navigation and the absence of lag/ delay, which further illustrated the superior viewing experience perceived relative to CTV. The decision to watch live sports on CTV isn’t influenced by preference but rather a tendency to utilise existing OTT subscriptions. Pay TV has retained its status as the most preferred platform for watching live sporting content even in developed markets with high penetration of paid OTT platforms such as the US. The Super Bowl, which is a megaevent in the US, witnessed 9x higher viewership on TV as opposed to digital, showcasing that when it comes to consumption of live sports, TV is the way to go for viewers.

Latest Reads
Ampere Electric 2 wheelers collaborates with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Mumbai: Ampere the flagship electric two-wheeler brand from Greaves Electric Mobility Private Limited, (GEMPL) has collaborated with Royal Challengers Bangalore as their official EV partner for the upcoming season of the T20 League. With Royal Challengers Bangalore being the world’s first carbon...

Television TV Channels Sports
Ravi Kishan in Aap Ki Adalat: When Bigg Boss changed his life and Bhojpuri film's success made him arrogant

Mumbai: Ravi Kishan, a Bhojpuri actor and Bharatiya Janata Party MP, who is hailed as Dev Anand of the Bhojpuri film industry faced tough questions from India TV editor-in-chief & chairman Rajat Sharma in his show, Aap Ki Adalat. Kishan candidly answered Sharma's questions on his journey from...

Television TV Channels Viewership
RCB Unbox 2023 marks the return of fans to the Chinnaswamy Stadium after three years

Royal Challengers Bangalore has taken one step forward in merging sports and lifestyle. As a brand with pan-India presence and rapidly rising global visibility, RCB is intending to show a new path to the audience in India

Television TV Channels Sports
Star Sports’ coverage of Legends League Cricket fuels 2X growth in viewership

Mumbai: Star Sports’ coverage of Legends League Cricket, played between 10 – 20 March in Qatar, has met with a tremendous response from cricket fans. The second edition of the League involving three teams representing regions – Indian Maharajas, Asia Lions and World Giants - was broadcast on the...

Television TV Channels Sports
Series Mania announces festival winners

Mumbai: With Series Mania 2023 coming to a close, Series Mania founder and general director Laurence Herszberg announced the winners of the Series Mania Festival, and the final number of participants on 24 March. “We would first like to thank the public and the professionals who attended this...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
India’s top tourism leaders awarded at TV9 Network Iconic 2023 Summit

Mumbai: The global travel and tourism industry is finally witnessing a rebound as it emerges from a two-year slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when the industry is exploring new possibilities to improve the traveller experience, TV9 Network and Red Hat Communications have...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Colors Tamil to launch 'Pishachini'

Mumbai: Colors Tamil, Viacom18’s Tamil entertainment channel, is all set to take its viewers on a magical ride with complete thrill and mystery, as its new serial ‘Pishachini’ will be aired starting this 27 March at 9 pm.   

Television TV Channels Viewership
Stars all set to shine down at the Planet Marathi presents Filmfare Awards Marathi 2022

Mumbai: The Filmfare Awards Marathi are back once again to celebrate the cinematic and artistic brilliance of Marathi cinema. The seventh edition of these glorious awards will be hosted in association with Planet Marathi as the title partner. The much-awaited Filmfare Awards Marathi 2022 will...

Television TV Channels Viewership
News18 India's Lucknow Adhiveshan to discuss achievements of Uttar Pradesh Govt 2.0 on its first anniversary

Mumbai: The state of Uttar Pradesh is set to celebrate the completion of the first year of the Chief Minister's second term in office on 25 March. The Yogi Adityanath government has been at the helm for six years now and has transformed the state under his visionary leadership. To discuss and...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting