That’s really the bad news for the sponsors. The remote is suddenly all too proximate! This great invention of our times has now infiltrated nearly 60 per cent of India’s 43 million cable and satellite homes, which incidentally are prime targets for advertisers. All these viewers can skip commercials at the press of a button to catch the action on other channels.
Numbers show they are doing it more and more. According to a recent study by television rating outfit TAM India, viewership of commercial capsules has been dipping and the gap between programme and commercials viewerships has more than doubled since ’02 to 19 per cent (see chart). Thus, a programme with a high rating does not guarantee commensurate viewership for the intervening commercials.