Wednesday, 25 January 2012

PM on Twitter attracts more babus to social networking

A day after the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) went on social networking site Twitter, there are signs the rest of the government may follow. 
Top sources in the government confirmed that an “orientation workshop” for officers of the Indian Information Service — which deals with the media and organises information about the government — will be held at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in New Delhi at the end of the month. The subject: Social networking sites and how to work with them. “The next step would be setting up social networking sites dealing with different ministries,” said the source. 

Smartphone shipments cross 10-mn mark in 2011

Smartphone shipments touched 10 million units in the first eleven months of the calendar year 2011, estimates CyberMedia Research (CMR). 
In its report titled 'India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review', CMR claims that November last year was the third consecutive month when smartphone shipments in India crossed one million units and saw the launch of 23 smartphone models. 

TDSAT reserves order on telcos' plea against DoT penalty

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has reserved order on operators' plea to stay the penalty imposed on them by the government for failing to complete the directive to reverify prepaid connections in Assam and North East service areas.
The TDSAT bench, headed by its Chairman Justice SB Sinha, reserved the order on 23 January 2012.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

BBC Worldwide launches mobile gaming franchise

Tongue Tracer, a new mobile gaming franchise created by BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment and Games, is now available to download for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. 
In the game, players take control of a colour-changing chameleon named Chuck. He’s on the run from a hungry eagle, and needs to hide fast, but swarms of devious bugs are trying to give away his location. 

Yahoo! India enters on-line video advertising

Keeping in line with the increasing on-line advertising spends in India. Yahoo! India is all set to venture into the online video advertising space. Claiming that movies, TV shows and sports are the fastest growing categories in the audio-video segment in India, and that over 30 million Internet users in India consume online video regularly, leading to over 1.8 billion video streams every month, the digital giant has announced its offerings to leading marketers to reach their target audiences through online video messaging. 
“Yahoo! provides insights into the online consumer behaviour, dispelling myths about reach of the medium, quality of the audience, helping them think about digital at the core of the creative process and many more initiatives,” stated a statement from Yahoo! India. 

Telco pay-TV subs close to 100m

Data from TeleGeography show that at the end of Q3 2011 telcos worldwide had a total of 94 million pay-TV subscribers, giving them a 12 per cent share of the global pay-TV market. Leading the telco charge is America Movil with ten million pay-TV subscribers, thanks to a dominant market position in Brazil and Colombia and substantial pay-TV operations in several other Latin American countries. It is followed by China Telecom and Rostelecom, both of which focus solely on their home markets, and France Telecom-Orange which has pay-TV operations in Poland, Spain and Slovakia in addition to being one of the leaders in the French market. 
While telcos’ pay-TV activities are commonly equated with IPTV, that is only a part of the story. Many telcos have clearly identified IPTV as being important both strategically and tactically, but it accounts for less than 60 per cent of their pay-TV subscribers. Several telcos are investing heavily in cable TV and satellite DTH operations, while pay-DTT and some residual MMDS services are also part of the mix. As examples, America Movil has achieved its leadership position by developing or acquiring cable and DTH businesses, and it has hardly any IPTV interests; and number three ranked telco Rostelecom can thank cable TV for providing 85 per cent of its pay-TV subscriber base. 

MAA TV to launch Telugu GEC on January 25

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at a high voltage event, clubbed with the presentation of the MAA Music Awards.
MAA Gold promises ‘24 carat entertainment’ - the gold standard in entertainment. It is being positioned as a ‘trendy’ GEC, combining distinct and differentiated content with a mix of genres, offering an interesting line-up for the entire family. The network has tied up with all the cable operators in the State and is also considering getting on to the DTH platform at a later date. It will be launched, for the present, as a free-to-air channel.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Dhoots to offload minority stake in Videocon DTH

Dhoots, promoters of world’s largest picture tube maker Videocon group with interests in energy, have decided to sell a minority stake in Bharat Broadcasting Corporation which provides Direct to Home (DTH) television service under the Videocon D2H brand,
two people familiar with the development said. Videocon owns 100% stake in the DTH business now.
One of the PEs Dhoots have begun negotiations with is Apollo Global Management, the sixth-largest private equity fund by assets under management. The PE fund had invested $100 million in Videocon’s rival Dish TV in 2009.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Reuters to launch Reuters TV Channel with YouTube

News agency Reuters has announced the launch of Reuters TV, a new YouTube channel featuring 10 news, commentary and analysis programmes covering hard news, finance, politics, technology and special Reuters investigations. 
The programming, which will appear on Reuters.com and on Reuters redesigned YouTube channel, marks Reuters entry into the rapidly growing business of online video programming, in partnership with one of the biggest players in next-generation TV, YouTube. 

AOL HD and Sony partner for multi-screen

AOL has announced the AOL HD app is available for download on Sony Internet-enabled devices – continuing the momentum from AOL HD’s launch on connected devices including Samsung, Google TV, Roku, Boxee, DivX TV and Yahoo! Connected TV. 
“Today’s announcement signals AOL HD’s commitment to creating an interactive and engaging environment that takes our incredible video from the Web to the living room,” said Robert Delacruz, General Manager for AOL HD. “Sony is one of the premier consumer electronics brands innovating the way content is delivered to your living room. So extending AOL HD across their product lineup allows us to meet the growing consumer demand for free HD video content via their connected TV devices – and we’ve made discovering new content as easy as the click of a remote.” 

Connected TV to dominate global TV shipments

With forecasts exceeding 80 per cent of units shipped by 2015, connected TVs are expected to lead the way in global TV shipments escalating from 27 per cent in 2011, according to new research from Futuresource Consulting. On a regional level, Japan leads the way in the adoption of connected TVs, with 59 per cent of shipments in 2011 integrating IP connectivity as standard. Penetration in the USA and China hit 29 per cent; however Europe is behind the curve, with 24 per cent of TV sales being connected.
Futuresource notes that as demand for connected TVs gains momentum, major TV manufacturers are responding by making IP connectivity a standard feature in 60 per cent to 80 per cent of their product portfolio. In addition, embedded Wi-Fi is expected to drive usage moving forwards and many premium models now incorporate this feature enabling consumers to connect and use with ease. 

Acetrax prepares TVoD launch

Multi-region digital movie retailer Acetrax is to launch a TVoD (Transactional VoD) movies service across the UK, France, Italy and Germany via the Inview Technology connected TV service this spring. The Acetrax movies App will offer viewers using the Inview platform access to an unrivalled range of blockbuster movies, without being tied in to a subscription service. The Inview service runs on Tier 2 TVs and set-top boxes, turning these low-cost products into connected devices. 

MEN-FTV spat in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court (SC) will hear a decade-long dispute between international fashion channel FTV BVI and its Indian licensee Fashion Television India Pvt Ltd (FTV India) on 20 January 2012, after FTV India sought relief from the apex court.
FTV India wants the apex court to restrain FTV BVI from entering into any third party agreements for distribution and licensing of the channel in India till the dispute over termination of a contract is resolved between them.

HC orders Nimbus to pay 305 crore security to BCCI

The Bombay high court on 19 January, directed Nimbus Communications to provide security for the amount of Rs 305 crore, claimed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as its dues from the advertisement revenue for matches already telecast on their sports channel Neo.
The BCCI moved the high court to claim the advertisement revenue from Nimbus and the lawyers representing the cricket board, Raju Subramanyam and PV Raman, urged that Nimbus and Neo TV owed it the money which was their right.

Dish TV Q3 revenues rise 31%

Dish TV India, India’s first DTH service provider, reported a 31.4% rise in operating revenues for the third quarter ended December 31 at Rs490.5 crore as against Rs373.16 crore in the year-ago period. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew 81.5% to Rs120.1 crore year on year while Ebitda margin stood at 24.5%.
The company registered a net loss of Rs43 crore in Q3 owing to foreign exchange losses of Rs15.6 crore.

India to have 175 million broadband connections by 2014

“India will have 175 million broadband connections by 2014,” said R Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DoT and DIT & Chairman Telecom Commission, Ministry of Communications and Information
Technology at the launch of a report titled India: The Impact of Internet at the India Digital Summit, 2012 held in New Delhi on 19 January 2012. The report has been jointly prepared by ICRIER, DIT and IMAI. This tentatively translates to 700 million internet users in India vis-a-vis shared connections. The Government has already laid down optical fibre in majority of rural areas, and the rest of the villages in the country will be covered within the next couple of years.
According to the report India stands to add US$ 17 billion in GDP annually for every 10% increase in internet and broadband penetration. Further, an additional US$ 87 billion in GDP during 2012-2014 can be generated if targets are achieved as per TRAI’s National Broadband Plan. However, missing the targets set by the National Broadband Plan in 2004, India lost approximately US$ 100 billion in GDP in the interim. The report shows that States with higher internet penetration can grow by 1.08% points for every 10% increase in the number of internet subscribers. Developing States of India have chances of greater growth dividend than developed States if there is higher internet penetration. E.g., if Bihar had half as many as internet subscribers as that of Punjab, it would have resulted in an increased growth of 7.02% in the State’s per capita income.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Dish TV tapping investors for Rs 1,000-cr fund

According to media reports, Dish TV, the country’s largest direct-to-home television company, is reaching out to private equity and institutional investors for a fresh round of fund raising, which could turn out to be the highest in the sector.
Dish is believed to have appointed investment banks UBS and Macquarie to help raise around Rs 1,000 crore ($200 million) of equity to fund expansion and investment in upgrading technology, said sources.

CASBAA urges Indian govt to allow DTH & satellite ops to cement long term deals

At present, contracts for satellite capacity for DTH broadcasters are limited to a 3-year term by Indian government regulation. Speaking at...