Public Service Broadcasting and the digital switchover

IN Research Studies | 01/09/2014
Has digitization changed television viewing in the country?Why have people migrated to digital signals? What are their programming needs?
A research study by The Media Foundation, Delhi

A research study by The Media Foundation, Delhi,

supported by Ford Foundation


A complete shift in television access from analog to digital was mandated by an amendment to the Cable TV act in 2011.

This meant all TV channel signals would be encrypted and accessible only through a set top box after a switch-off date.



Research questions

Has digitization changed television viewing in the country?

Why have people migrated to digital signals?

What are their programming needs?

Has digitization served those needs

What is it doing to the public broadcaster’s reach?

Are there barriers to the use of television itself?

The research universe:

People at the bottom of the pyramid in five states:

Andhra Pradesh,





Additonal interviews in UP and Bihar


Working class people, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs.



Poorer districts of the country including those with large tribal populations:


Kalahandi * Kandhamal * Sambalpur * Puri * Bastar * Rajnandgaon * Dantewada * Surguja * Surajpur * Adilabad * Narmada * Tapi

Farming zones


Krishna and West Godavari districts


Semi urban locations


Aganampudi, Ward No. 56 of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation


Kukurbeda, Ward No. 14 (Ishwari Charan Shukla Ward) of the Raipur Municipal Corporation


Urban slums



Kalyanpuri, Subhash Camp, Ramchand Basti, Saboli Khadda, Rajasthani Camp and Tulsiram Bagicha.



Juhapura, Vadaj




Raiyya Dhar




Gopipura, Mora Bhagal


Bhuj: mixed group from nine slum colonies

Research methods

Household surveys--15 villages

2 semi urban areas

6 urban slums


Focus group discussions 55



Prasar Bharati executives

Doordarshan programme personnel

Engineering staff

Cable operators

Village residents in UP and Bihar

Locations of hh surveys 

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