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Budget 2018 likely to expand TV universe, says BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta

However, the expected barometer price hike could be a dampener for planned panel expansion

Partho Dasgupta

The government's thrust to rural infrastructure and agriculture in the budget could lead to additional broadcast revenues and may increase the number of TV households in India. 

"Budget 2018 is clearly focussed on driving rural sector growth. This should result in higher rural incomes and therefore higher standards of living in rural India," Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India said.

As the standard of living increases, electrification expands and affordability goes up, the rural India will buy more television sets and the penetration will increase. A lot of the freedish homes might also get converted to pay TV homes, adding up to the subscription revenues of the broadcasters.

“Our baseline study indicated that economic prosperity and higher living standards goes hand in hand with TV penetration and higher TV consumption. With only two-thirds of Indian homes having access to TV, there is huge headroom for growth here, and this year’s budget should help drive up TV ownership and consumption in rural India," Dasgupta said.

BARC India is a completely technology heavy organisation with close to 75% investment in technology. “As head of a tech-driven research company, I am also excited to see government’s focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence and other such technologies of the future,” he said.

One of the shortcomings of the budget which might prove discouraging for the television industry is the increase in customs duty on select electronic equipments. As a result, BARC India’s barometers are likely to be costlier.

Dasgupta explained, “One dampener for industry is the hike in basic customs duty on certain electronic equipment including LCD/LED/OLED screens, which would make TVs more expensive. Our barometers too are likely to get more expensive, and this will raise burden on industry for our planned panel expansion.”

If the barometers get expensive, the stakeholders will have to bear the additional burden for the expansion of BARC India’s panel homes. Every year, BARC India has planned an addition of 10,000 barometers, till the total number reaches 50,000.

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