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Accelerated by disruption, what ensued was nothing short of a digital revolution

The COVID-19 pandemic was a disruption that broadcasters were not specifically planning for, but had to quickly adapt to. The struggle with reduced ad spend, forced them to continue to update and refine their strategies and business models in order to manage and maximize the value of the massively increased media consumption. The past year has been an intense laboratory for deciphering the best methodologies and workflows for minimizing staff on-site, while innovating new technologies and data-driven features to augment at-home audience viewing experiences. With the lockdowns, broadcasters transitioned almost overnight from studio production to remote locations, with thousands of support staff deploying, monitoring and managing operations from home, while fully embracing cloud-based applications.

The TV broadcasting industry will witness YoY contraction of 15-20 percent in revenues in FY2021, says ICRA. Subscription revenues for TV broadcasters are expected to hold steady in H2 FY2021, as consumers are likely to continue their TV viewing. Overall, subscription revenues are expected to witness mid-single digit revenue growth in FY2021. Advertisement revenues witnessed a good traction during the festive season and most of the TV broadcasters have witnessed an uptick in ad-rates in Q3 FY2021. Industry players expect to reach pre-COVID advertisement revenues in Q3 FY2021. Advertisement revenues will thus witness a strong recovery in H2 FY2021, albeit will be lower by 5 percent on a YoY basis. The operating profit margins may remain under pressure and overall contract by 400-500 bps in FY2021.

As 2020 makes way for the new year, the Indian Media & Entertainment industry can be seen transforming into a key driver of economic growth, both at the national and global level. The recently announced Spacecom Policy 2020 is opening up the space sector to private players for commercial communications, so that by June, every inch of India will be offered broadband services. The National Broadcast Policy, while addressing the issues that are challenging the sector, will provide the much needed regulatory framework. The animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) policy will provide the requisite impetus to this sunrise sector.

As India moves toward 5G, it may finally utilize ATSC 3.0 to enhance capacity and reduce network congestion. Indian companies, often in collaboration with US partners, are already playing a leading role in developing the mobile technology that will seamlessly merge broadcast spectrum into the next-gen wireless ecosystem.
A USD 100 billion M&E industry by 2030 in the offing!

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