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A tale of six cities

Vanita Kohli-Khandekar  |  New Delhi 

If food reveals the character of a city so do television viewing habits. sleeps early and is less cosmopolitan while has a higher proportion of older people with more time on their hands. is truly a mix of many Indias and Delhi’s obsession with Hindi cinema and serials continues to go strong. That and more is what some exclusive data crunched by for Business Standard shows. (See accompanying charts)

While it has many interesting details such as the age break-ups, the genres watched and so on, it is the “day in the life” data that is most interesting. This tracks the viewing habits of each of the six major cities in India — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad — over the first 50 weeks of 2011.

There are three big surprises. One, is the robust mix of languages that Bangloreans watch — Kannada tops, of course, followed by Tamil at a whopping 20 per cent of viewership share with Telugu and Hindi following. This tells you more clearly how cosmopolitan the city has become. Mumbai which is supposed to be more cosmopolitan watches, largely in Hindi and Marathi.

Two, is the amount of television watches, through the day. The viewership is high and more evenly spread than in any other the city. Chennaites spent 161 minutes a day watching television, way higher than any of the other metros. It stems perhaps from the fact that it has a huge proportion of over 35 year olds and more than half the TV watching universe is female. The intriguing part about the data is that more than 1.5 per cent of the total viewing time goes to Malayalam as a language. That indicates the presence of a significant Malayali population.

Three, is the popularity of music channels especially in Mumbai and The only thing that sort of explains it is that both these cities have a somewhat younger population. Nevertheless in this age of iPods and portable radios, why are so many people watching music television? It may be because many music channels now offer non-music programming such on

But perhaps the biggest reason is that there are many more music channels such as and its ilk. In 2011 a record seven music channels in various languages were launched in India.

First Published: Sat, December 31 2011. 00:14 IST