The cable revolution is rapidly expanding with more penetration in the villages now. According to figures published in Aurora magazine, now we have over 2.5 million cable connection with 80 % houses in the urban population while rest in semi urban areas. Now it has changed our attitude towards our social life with more impact of news and sports.
Geo is the most favorite news channels with ARY standing second. Geo Super is no doubt the supper channel of the sports world. Not to forget that PTV is the only choice in the villages and towns deprived of cable.
There is different fee structure in the country for cable customers. It ranges from Rs. 200 (sometimes even 100) to 1000 in the country. It differs from posh to low developed areas While PTCL smart TV an advance shape of the cable costs Rs. 2000 monthly. In cities almost 80% houses have cable connection. Cable has eliminated the Video business. In the villages where some people still think that it is against our cultural norms and religious values are far away from the cable TV.
TV channels’ expensive advertising was beyond the reach of small and local brands and entities of every city. But now the things have changed a lot. Now you can watch TV commercials of Baba Cloth, Ballay de Hatti on the Cable Channels. According to one estimate Cable network has driven more than 50 million annual budget of companies (Mostly the local ones) for advertising.
Cable has also given an opportunity to the semi skilled workers to edit these TVCs, another bunch of jobs through local production houses. I know one production house, which is situated in F-8 markaz, and produce the products for smartness like Sauna belt and their documentaries are being aired all the time. So this has provided opportunity to translators, voiceover artists, models, linear editors and so on.
There are three causes, which are hampering the growth of cable industry.
- Low cost
- Sponsorship hurdles
- Network problem.
If low cost is the strength of cable advertising then it also happen to be the weak point for its growth as well.
All the proposals, which are being sent by major advertising firms to public & commercial clients, are with out the inclusion of cable advertising. The reason is very simple; if they advertise on cable then the earning of the ad agencies will nosedive. So no agency will recommend it to any client. Resultantly, all big clients have no idea how to reach out their target audience through cable advertising.
Last year Telenor had announced that it will never give any ad to cable operators as this medium is not paying any attention to copyrights which is a matter of concern for all the companies abiding the rules and regulations..
As cable network gets no share from big companies like nestle, brook bond, liver brothers, surf excel etc, so it is suffering badly.
The last thing, which is also affecting the cable advertising, is that its network is not countrywide. All cable operators have regional reach. If they can ensure countrywide reach of any ad then it may be is possible that this type of advertising may grow faster than expected.
During past few years TV channels grew like mushrooms creating abundance of opportunities for business development. Digital advertising as we can also call it web advertising is also relatively a new medium being groomed in Pakistan. The amazingly 60% annual growth in this industry may in future affect the advertising business of both TV channels and cable operators.
Cable network in general has one setback that needs to be considered immediately – the poor standard of service. One survey revealed that though cable operators are offering over 100 channels but many of them are repeated and some are shown with poor resolution, video disappearance or audio disturbance.
Let’s look where it will stand in the future. Wether smart TV will eaten it up as this service has a tight reply to cable TV.