Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Airtel Digital Launches iRadio With 21 Radio Channels

Airtel digital TV, the direct-to-home (DTH) service by telecom major Bharti Airtel, has launched iRadio – a 24/7 entertainment application that has 21 radio channels available to all its customers, at no additional cost.
The 21 audio channels on iRadio include FM Gold, FM Gold Mumbai, FM Rainbow, FM Rainbow Bangalore, FM Rainbow Chennai, Radio Kashmir, Gyanvani Radio, AIR Hindi, AIR Punjabi, AIR Tamil, AIR Telugu, AIR Bangla, AIR Gujarati, AIR Urdu, AIR Marathi, AIR Kannada, AIR Oriya, AIR Malayalam, AIR Assamese, AIR Ragam, and AIR North-East.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

History channel now available on mobile TV

History channel which debuted in India on 9 October, 2011 and claims to have reached out to 45 million viewers within a month of its launch is now available on the mobile platform. 
The broadcaster will be available on both platforms - live streaming as well as video on demand on GPRS enabled mobile phones. To access the application, the user will have to send the keyword "History" as an SMS to 51818. The user can chose to either view the channel or key episodes from a particular show. 

Dish TV: dilution fears seem overdone

Dish TV India Ltd’s stock rose 4.3% on 28 November 2011 to Rs. 65 on news reports that the company has got clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to increase overseas equity to around Rs. 980 crore.
According to media reports, the amount has only been approved, the company has not yet decided on how much to raise and when to raise. But the approval is to cover the expense on digitalisation and introducing new satellite services.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Financial Times launches FT India app for iPad and iPhone

The Financial Times (FT) has launched a new web application FT India app for iPad and iPhone. The app allows the user to access all stories on the home page for free through a web browser at app.ft.com/india. 
The FT India app showcases tailored Financial Times content, which covers the latest developments in India and international business circuits. The app also highlights news from beyondbrics blog, business education reports, and Luxury 360, Financial Times' new online hub for creative and commercial coverage of the luxury goods industry, among others. 

3G roaming issue: Sibal to take to telecos

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal will meet all stakeholders to diffuse the growing controversy over the issue of three leading incumbent operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, offering 3G services without having spectrum in the circles, thus violating licence conditions. 
Sibal’s ultimate is of one nation, one licence. He, however, dismissed the request made by the three operators, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through a letter that in case they are not allowed roaming services, the government should refund their spectrum auction payment with interest along with compensation for all the capital investments made by them to build the network. 

Delhi HC stays Rs 1.1 mn penalty on Yahoo

The Delhi High Court has stayed the imposition of Rs 1.1 million fine levied by the Union Home Ministry on the Internet portal Yahoo for not imparting information about nearly a dozen yahoo IDs and IP addresses who are suspected to be Islamic Terrorists and Maoists.
On a petition by the portal challenging the government's decision, the Court also issued a notice to the Central Government.

Dish TV gets FIPB nod to raise Rs 9.8 bn

FIPB the Government has permitted Dish TV India to increase foreign equity to the extent of Rs 1000 crores. The leading direct-to-home company had sought permission to raise funds to produce telecommunication equipment and provide management and marketing of 'agrani' services in the area of Mobile Satellite Communications.
Meanwhile, NDTV Lifestyle Ltd has been permitted to increase in foreign equity up to 100 per cent. The company is engaged in the media industry for up-linking, producing, distributing and broadcasting non-news and non- current affairs TV channels. This will not involve any additional FDI.

DTH: Madras HC stay on levy of entertainment tax

Tamil Nadu state government's decision of imposing a 30 per cent entertainment tax on the DTH services in the State has been stayed by Madras High Court, while hearing the petition of Dish TV challenging the state government move.
The Tamil Nadu Government had passed a Bill in September, this year, to levy 30 per cent entertainment tax effective 27 September. However, the leading DTH operator Dish TV had filed a petition in the High Court contesting the decision.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Next Mediaworks launches subscription-based app for iPad and iPhone

Next Mediaworks, the owners of Radio One, in association with digital customer engagement specialist 2ergo.com, has launched 'IndiaONE - The sounds of India', an application specially designed for iPad and iPhone platforms. The application streams high quality audio and covers a wide range of genres, including Indian film music and non-film music such as ghazals, religious, folk, and Indipop, and news in three languages. 
The karaokeONE feature of the app is also available separately, and allows one to sing Bollywood songs with synchronised lyrics and high-quality back up music and support vocals. 

Ketchum Sampark forays into digital media

Ketchum Sampark, the Indian affiliate of global communications network Ketchum today announced the launch of its digital media business Ketchum Sampark Digital. Aimed at garnering market share in the emerging digital media business, Ketchum Sampark Digital will offer full-service interactive strategy, web design, video production and multimedia development to help companies tell their stories and build engagement with their audiences on digital media (internet and mobile).

Idea launches smartphones to boost 3G services

Idea has launched a range of affordable smartphones to promote 3G services in India. Priced between Rs 2,609 and Rs 4,751, the phones are expected to lead to increased 3G usage, especially in semi-urban areas, which are Idea’s traditional strongholds.

Delhi High Court issues notice to Star India on copyright infringement

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Star India, producers Babble Fish, and sponsors Bacardi on a petition by the company Open Mind and music and writer musician Manish Kumar alleging that Star India Pvt Ltd has infringed its copyright by telecasting the programme 'The Dewarists' on Star World'.
Justice Manmohan Singh today asked the defendants to reply within 10 days and posted the matter to 19 December. The Court said that the order to stay the telecast will be subject to the outcome of the suit.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Airtel launches Mediphone for North subscribers

In order to provide timely medical advice to people living in rural, semi urban and even urban areas in Northern region, Bharti Airtel has joined hands with Healthfore (a division of Religare Technologies Ltd), with Fortis Hospitals as knowledge partner -- to launch Mediphone. 
The unique 24X7 health service, would allow Airtel mobile customers to avail of quality health advice through their mobile phones -- anytime and anywhere. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Yahoo! India launches online video platform

With the aim to tap into the swelling number of online users, Yahoo! India has launched Yahoo! Video, a site that will offer original videos in multiple genres such as news, entertainment, lifestyle and movies. The free online video platform promises a secure and trusted environment for publishers and content providers. 

Top telcos protest to PM on 3G roaming

After writing to minister Kapil Sibal to return their third-generation spectrum licence fees if intra-circle roaming pacts are to be now considered illegal, top telecom operators have sent a joint letter to the Prime Minister with the same demand. 

Tata Sky adds three new channels

Direct-to-Home service provider Tata Sky has announced the addition of three new channels to its line-up of channels for its subscriber base of over 8 million connections.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

DoT panel accepts TRAI formula for pricing 2G spectrum

Much against the wishes of the GSM mobile operators the Department of Telecom's internal committee has accepted the formula suggested by the telecom regulator for pricing 2G spectrum. 
The committee has, however, rejected other proposals including those related to changing the roll out obligation norms, reducing licence fee to 6 per cent and relaxing mergers and acquisition norms. The committee's views have been sent to the Telecom Commission which is expected to meet on November 28 to discuss this. 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

TDSAT asks Vodafone to deposit half penalty by DoT

TDSAT on 18 November directed Vodafone to deposit half of the Rs 50 crore penalty imposed on it by the Telecom Department (DoT) regarding a case of issuing bulk SIM cards without proper verification.
In an interim order, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) asked Vodafone to deposit Rs 25 crore within two weeks observing that company has "prima facie" violated the licence condition when it issued bulk SIM cards to Matrix Cellular Services.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Vuclip launch India's first mobile movie

California-based mobile video service provider Vuclip on 18 November 2011 launched India’s first independent mobile movie portal — Starlight Cinema. This would offer users the option of watching shortened feature films, movie clips, songs, reviews and trailers. Movies can be downloaded on low-end feature phones as well, without the need to download any application. 
Offering 9,000 movie clips in 13 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, Rajasthani, Kashmiri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, the launch comes at a time when brand strategists are trying to find new and compelling advertising alternatives in the wake of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issuing strict guidelines on SMS-based marketing, a release said. 

Andhra HC asks Censor Board to clarify stand on The Dirty Picture

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to come out with its stand regarding stalling the release of Ekta Kapoor's The Dirty Picture.
Vadlapatla Naga Prasad, the younger brother of the late actress, has asked the censor board not to clear the Vidya Balan-starrer for release. Prasad has claimed Smitha's character, played by Vidya, portrays her as a woman of loose morals through indiscriminate sex scenes.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

BSNL winds up its IPTV business

The IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service offered by BSNL is being wound up following poor subscriber offtake. 
BSNL was providing IPTV services under a partnership with MyWay, a digital entertainment enterprise owned by Smart TV Group. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

MTS partners with UTV Indiagames to launch GoD

MTS' MBlaze users will now have unlimited access to world class gaming content at prices starting as low as Rs 49 per month. 
After the recent success of Games on Demand (GoD) service on the wired broadband platform, UTV Indiagames has joined hands with Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited (SSTL), which operates its telecom services under the MTS brand nationally, to offer its GoD service to all its MBlaze customers. GoD is an online gaming subscription service provided via broadband. 

Khabar Bharti a Hindi news channel to go on air on November 17

Madhya Pradesh-based Sai Prakash Group (SPG) is all set to launch its 24-hour channel Khabar Bharti, which will initially be available in three states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Commenting on the development, Pushpendra Singh Beghal, Founder and Owner, Sai Prakash Group, said, “We have always strived for establishment and sustenance of an environment of trust and service for our valuable customers. We are venturing into the media industry with this same underlying philosophy.”

Huawei brings cloud-based phones, data service to India

China's Huawei Devices will now have its own cloud services and cloud-based mobile phones in India. With a starting price of Rs 9,000, the two new handsets - Huawei Sonic and IDEOS X3 - can download and enable content sharing, while backing up information on the cloud.
After unveiling the first GSM handset in June, the company has sold over 100,000 such handsets.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Supreme Court rejects Times Now plea

The Supreme Court has declined to interfere with a Bombay High Court order that asked Times Global Broadcasting Company Ltd, owner of the Times Now TV channel, to deposit Rs20 crore in cash along with a bank guarantee of Rs80 crore before its appeal against a Pune trial court ruling awarding Rs100 crore in damages for defaming a former apex court judge PB Sawant could be heard.
PB Sawant’s photograph was telecast by mistake during the reportage of the infamous provident fund scam in September, 2008. Though several district judges, some high court judges and a Supreme Court judge had been under the CBI scanner, Justice Sawant had nothing to do with the scandal exposed by a treasury officer Ashthana, who however died while in Ghaziabad jail.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Sun Direct launches pack for kids

Leading DTH service provider Sun Direct is offering a free preview of Kid’s channel this month, available on its Kids Mega pack on the occasion of Children’s day, from the 12th to 19th of November.
The Kids Mega Pack groups Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney and Disney XD.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

DOT extends time for feedback on national telecom policy

In order to accord adequate time for wider consultation, the date for receipt of feedback on the draft New Telecom Policy has been extended to 9 December. 
The Policy announced by the Government will aim to ‘address and enable the coordinated action to respond to the dynamic needs resulting from confluence of telecom, broadcasting and IT sectors.’ 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

DTH adds 1.6 mn subs in the month of October

According to a media report, Direct-to-home (DTH) operators have mopped up 1.6 million subscribers in the month of October, the highest monthly mobilisation this fiscal.
DTH added 2.85 million subscribers during the three-month period ended June. There was a marginal slowdown as the sector collected 2.5 million in the second quarter.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

FremantleMedia launches Pets & Animals Channel on YouTube

Television format and creator FremantleMedia is ready to bring a new channel to online video social network YouTube as part of the social online network's new original channels' initiative. 
The original Pets and Animals channel (title TBA) is scheduled to launch next year.

YouTube & Disney in $15-million video deal

Disney and Google have joined hands so that Disney would create original video content to be broadcasted on YouTube and its own website. 
Disney Interactive Media and YouTube, a division of Google, will spend a combined $10 million to $15 million on original video series; those shorts will be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded channel on Disney.com and YouTube. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Hearst Magazines to launch two new YouTube channels

Hearst Magazines of the US is bringing two new channels to YouTube as part of the online video social network's new original channel's initiative. 

ITV Granada to launch on Airtel Digital TV

TV Studios Global Entertainment has announced new carriage deals for its entertainment channel ITV Granada, with pay TV platforms in India. It has done a deal with Bharti Airtel's DTH platform Airtel Digital TV and will join it later this year.
ITV Granada is home to entertainment, drama, comedy, reality and talk shows from the UK. Content includes 'Coronation Street', drama 'Emmerdale' and entertainment shows such as 'I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!', 'Popstar to Operastar' and 'Dancing on Ice'.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

WSJ adds new distribution channels for WSG Live

US business newspaper The Wall Street Journal has announced several new distribution channels for WSJ Live, the interactive video service for iPad, Internet-connected televisions and set-top boxes that launched in September. 
The WSJ Live app is now available via Apple TV, Google TV and Roku, adding significant reach across a variety of platforms for live and on-demand programming from The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. On-demand video from WSJ Live is also now available on Daily Motion. 

AT&T and DirecTV extend co-branding agreement

DirecTV and AT&T have signed a three-year extension to their commercial agreement and will continue to offer a co-branded version of DirecTV‘s satellite television service across the 22 states where AT&T offers residential broadband and voice service.
This agreement, which has been extended through March 2015, will enable both companies to provide customers with access to an exclusive quadruple-play bundle of AT&T and DirecTV services.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Amazon launches digital book library service

Online retailer Amazon.com said Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership will now get access to the company's new digital book library service. 
Kindle owners with the Prime membership can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free on a Kindle device, including more than 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers, as frequently as a book a month, the company said. 

TRAI Regulate M&A in telecom industry

Operators with 35% combined market or revenue share can merge, case-wise approval possible if joint share up to 60%; new ground rules on spectrum. 
Mergers of telecom operators with a combined market share or adjusted gross revenue of less than 35 per cent in a circle should be permitted, according to new recommendations by sector regulator Trai. If the combined market share is 35-60 per cent, the government could consider allowing a merger on a case-by-case basis. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Petition against ESPN dismissed by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has dismissed the interim application filed by Asianet Satellite Communications (Asianet) against ESPN Software India.
Asianet was seeking an early hearing of their appeal against the Tdsat order denying the company discounted services from ESPN.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Shemaroo to release Super K online

Shemaroo Entertainment is set to release Super K, a 95-minute animation film, on Yahoo!'s online movie channel, Movieplex, on November 11. Viewers can log on and watch the movie for free. 
Smita Maroo, head (animation division), Shemaroo Entertainment, says, "The film was not originally conceptualised to be released on the web. But our internal researches pointed to the fact that animation films don't do well in India because they don't get decent show timings in multiplexes." Since multiplexes are interested only in films with big weekend collections, Maroo says a small-budget animation film is sure to be sidelined. 

TRAI suggests zero termination charge in 3 yrs

The TRAI has suggested that the levy proposed for terminating a mobile call on a network to be done away with effect from 2014.The proposal comes as part of its affidavit filed before the Supreme Court. 
The affidavit comes in response to the Supreme Court's direction asking the regulator to submit various models for calculating the termination charge. The regulator had approached the apex court after the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate (TDSAT) set aside its IUC regulations of November 2009 as a host of operators had opposed them. 

TRAI raises SMS limit to 200

Trai has increased the limit of 100 SMSes per day per SIm to 200 SMSes. The authority has considered the representation of the service providers and consumer and decided to increase the limit of 100 SMSes per day per SIM. 
The new cap of 200 SMSes per SIM per day will be effective from Tuesday. 48th ABU General Assembly to commence from 2 November.

Neo Sports to broadcast World Series Hockey in India

Neo Sports will broadcast the World Series Hockey in the Indian Sub-Continent. According to industry sources, “Neo has bagged the broadcasting rights of the inaugural edition of the WSH for approximately Rs 70 crore.
The inaugural edition of the league will be held from next month on Saturday, 17th December to Sunday, 22nd January and will feature 8 teams, 37 days of nonstop action and 61 prime time matches that will be broadcast live.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Airtel digital TV expands total channel count with 4 new HD channels

Airtel digital TV-the DTH service from Bharti Airtel, announced that it has added 15 more channels over the last 3 months taking its Total Channel Count to 262.
With this, Airtel digital TV now offers 240 channels in Standard Definition (SD) and 11 High Definition (HD) channels. The 4 new HD channels added include UTV Stars HD, History TV 18 HD, Colors HD, and CNBC TV 18 Prime HD taking its True HD channel count to 11.