Cable TV has proliferated all over the country. A variety of channels are available to the viewers and viewers have favoured them. As a result, the viewership for channels like BBC and STAR TV is increasing gradually.
Various types of programmes are being telecast by these channels such as, news, serials, sports, film based programmes and music programmes. This has affected adversely the cinema houses in many cities as the percentage of people who prefer to watch movies in theatre has gone down by 25 to 40 per cent.
Video libraries which had mushroomed in eighties are also closing down. There are differences of opinion regarding the impact of foreign programmes on Indian culture.
Studies have shown that the expansion of cable and satellite TV will have profound effect on children, i.e. on their studies, work habits, play activities, sleeping pattern, their relationships with others, etc.
The expansion of TV viewers through satellite, cable TV or Doordarshan has enormously increased the scope for advertising.
Eashver (1994) studied the impact of cable TV on women in terms of activities, time management and interactions with family members and the outside world. Findings of the study revealed that cable TV did have a profound effect on the activities of women.
It increases considerably the isolation of women by restricting her interactions with the husband, children, other members of the family, friends, and neighbours. This happens both due to her own involvement with the TV, as well as the involvement of the other members of the family, in watching the cable TV and regular TV programmes.
The second major effect of cable TV emerged was that it restricts the exposure of the housewife to the other media including regular
TV, press, radio, books etc. They watched two feature films a day, thus having exposure to all kinds of feature films.
The advent of cable TV has more than anything else awakened people to the threat posed by the electronic media to the printed word. Their apprehensions are quite understandable.
With the advent of Cable TV, viewers are exposed to a variety of programmes - generally more interesting, entertaining and informative than anything seen on Doordarshan before. Viewers of all ages sit glued to the television.
With the coming of satellite television in India, children spend upto four hours every day watching TV programmes. It provides them thrill and entertainment which does not add to their knowledge or creativity.
According to several school principals, in New Delhi, children were showing behavioural abnormalities. They were reading and writing much less and generally suffering from under exposure to printed material.