Report: South Asians adore cable TV & radio


In one of the largest surveys ever conducted on attitudes of ethnic minorities towards the media, Asians have topped the list in many areas.

The survey, which was conducted by Starfish Research, reveals that South Asians are more likely than other ethnic minority groups to own multi-channel TV, as whilst 68% of all ethnic minorities have multi-channel TV at home, amongst Indians this rises to 78%, amongst Pakistanis it is 74% and amongst Bangladeshis, 73%.

Over two thirds (68%) of England�۪s South Asian community watch ethnic TV channels daily and 59% listen to ethnic radio stations ��� a far higher percentage in both cases than any other ethnic minority group. Indeed in some instances, Asian media outperform their mainstream rivals in terms of audience size, with ethnic TV channels and radio stations featuring prominently in the top 10 channels viewed and listened to by South Asians. Indeed five of the top ten rating TV channels amongst Indians are Asian channels.

The research also smashes the preconception that it is only the older (often non-English speaking) first generation of South Asians who watch ethnic TV channels, since although viewing does peak amongst the 55+ age group, Asian TV channels are also watched by a majority in every age group. In fact, over two thirds (67%) of 16-34 year old South Asians who watch TV, watch ethnic TV channels.

Parveen Bdesha, Director of Starfish Research says, ���The prominence of ethnic media amongst South Asians has potentially far reaching implications for advertisers wishing to tap into this valuable and growing consumer group. The MinorityReportTM findings highlight how crucial it is for anyone planning a campaign aimed at reaching these audiences, to understand the role and the performance of ethnic media, as only then will they have a complete picture of the media consumption habits of England�۪s South Asian community.�۝

When it comes to non-ethnic media, South Asians feel they are unfairly represented by it. In fact only Black Caribbeans ranked higher on this measure (at 55%) than Pakistanis at 52% and Bangladeshis at 51%. Furthermore, 57% of Indians, 61% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshis feel that non-ethnic TV channels should have more programmes for ethnic minorities.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Cain, Managing Director of Starfish Research says, ���It is clear from the findings of our MinorityReportTM study that England�۪s ethnic minorities feel that mainstream media and the advertising industry are still not giving them both the representation, and the representativeness, that they desire. With a myriad of specialist ethnic media channels now available to them, whether it be TV, radio, newspapers and magazines or indeed websites, and with the huge expansion that�۪s occurring in the ethnic media sector, mainstream media owners and advertisers alike need to wake up to the needs of ethnic minorities if they are to be able to effectively serve and connect with these communities.�۝

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