News viewership in India up 200% as a result of pandemic, says TV9 CEO

19 August 2020

The latest guest on the AIB’s In Conversation series is Barun Das, chief executive of TV9 Network in India.

Speaking to the AIB’s Simon Spanswick, Das said that the exponential growth of audiences for TV news channels during the pandemic is positive and as lockdowns ease, advertisers are finding that news is a highly effective platform to reach consumers. There’s a shift in the TV news audience demographic. Traditionally, TV news has been skewed to a male audience, but that’s changing as more women are watching. Advertisers are recognising this with more commercials targeting women being bought.

Allied to the growth of audiences consuming channels via traditional cable and satellite distribution is the development of digital platforms including OTT, says Das. TV9 is making use of new digital platforms and the network believes that by 2027/28, advertising on digital news offers will overtake TV news advertising. It’s for this reason that TV9 Network is betting big on digital, says Das.

In the interview, Das talked about how TV9 maintained operations as the pandemic raged and some 150 staff members caught the coronavirus. Shift patterns were altered, and extensive safety guidelines implemented in all the company’s broadcast centres. Das also believes that as a result of the pandemic, India as a country has actually become more disciplined, despite that size and diversity that exists within the population of 1.3 billion.

Watch the full interview here.

TV9 Network has recently become a Member of the AIB.

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