MUMBAI: Indian TV advertising is expected to grow at twice the rate previously forecast following an unexpected surge in spending in the first half of the year.

The Pitch-Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2015 had originally projected a 10% increase in TV expenditure for the year but it noted a 20.6% rise during January to June and said that this growth rate was likely to be repeated in the second half.

"A 21% growth coming on the back of a 14% growth in 2014 and without the elections is quite unprecedented and shows the optimistic outlook of industry in Indian markets and the aggressive stance they are willing to take to protect and grow their market share," Sam Balsara, chairman of the Madison World agency, told Exchange4Media.

"The growth is also significant in the light of growing conversations around digital," he added.

While there was no repetition of the 2014 election season, which saw national elections and five state elections, there was still one state election (Delhi) as well as the ICC Cricket World Cup and the India Premier League.

Other factors behind the uplift in TV adspend included a number of new channel launches and the report also noted that many channels had broadcast more than 12 minutes per hour of advertising, resulting in an increase in ad revenue.

The ecommerce (+70%) and auto (+55%) sectors significantly increased their television spending in the first half, with household durables and the banking, financial services, insurance sectors both upping spend by more than 45%.

FMCG spending, while growing at a more sedate 13%, remains the single biggest contributor to TV expenditure accounting for 51% of total spending of Rs 8200 crore. Despite its spending surge, ecommerce still only makes up 6% of that total.

Forecasts for other media remained unchanged, so that overall advertising growth is now predicted to increase 13.8% for the full year, compared to an earlier figure of 9.6%.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff