Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Aircel chooses ZTE to deploy 4G network

Telecommunications equipment provider ZTE India has won a contract to deploy 4G LTE network for Aircel, a move that would help in boosting the mobile operator’s enterprise and retail businesses. The financial details of the contract were not revealed.
“We believe that data are the growth engine of the future and a cutting edge technology such as 4G LTE has the ability to empower consumers like never before,” said Aircel Chief Marketing Officer Anupam Vasudev.

TRAI seeks industry views on value, price of 800-MHz spectrum

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 30 December floated a consultation paper on valuation and reserve price of the 800-MHz spectrum band, currently used by CDMA operators.
The move comes after a series of communication between the regulator and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Captain TV News Editor gets bail

A Judicial Magistrate Court, Chennai on 30 December granted conditional bail to S. Dinesh kumar, News Editor of Captain TV, who was arrested recently based on a sexual harassment complaint by a former woman employee.
Denying allegations levelled against him by the complainant, Mr. Dinesh kumar claimed that he was innocent.

Broadchurch named Best TV Program of 2013

British crime drama Broadchurch has been named the best TV show of 2013 by Radio Times critics.
Starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as the lead actors of an ensemble cast, the drama follows the story of a police investigation into the murder of a schoolboy in a small Dorset coastal town. 

Al Jazeera says three journalists held in Egypt after hotel broadcast

Al Jazeera said Egyptian security forces arrested three of its journalists after the interior ministry accused the Qatar-based television channel of broadcasting illegally from a hotel suite together with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3 when they were raided by security forces hours after the army ousted the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi from the presidency.

SitiCable to host get-together for LMOs, broadcasters

SitiCable Network is all set to welcome the New Year on a positive note and how? The national multi-system operator (MSO) is hosting its yearly get-together with around 14,000 last mile operators (LMOs) along with their families and the broadcasters attending it. The get-together which is scheduled for 4 January 2014 is a platform for the MSO to discuss its ambitious expansion plans in the eastern region as well as share their achievements.
Suresh Sethia, Director, SitiCable Kolkata, said, “This get-together is very important for us. It is here that we will talk about the cable TV industry and also announce our achievements, particularly, in the eastern region.”

Guwahati cable subscribers to face blackouts due to unsettled dispute between APDCL and Guwahati Cable TV Operators Association

A meeting between state power minister Pradyut Bordoloi and representatives of the Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators’ Association over a charge imposed for using electric poles to string up cable wires remained inconclusive.
The government-owned Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has asked the association to pay Rs.25 per electric pole every month for stringing up their cable wires through the poles. The association alleged that Bordoloi ignored the fact that the cable TV industry is providing employment to several thousands of youths in the state.

Govt to set up hiring body for Prasar Bharati

The UPA government will soon set up a recruitment board for Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster, which will make all future appointments in various entities under it, including Doordarshan.
A cabinet proposal for the recruitment board, recommended by an interministerial panel, or a group of ministers, is being moved by the information and broadcasting ministry.

New Gen Media's English news channel plans hang in balance; journalists left in a lurch

Chennai-based New Gen Media Corporation Group’s English news channel plans seem to hit a roadblock.
The group, which also runs Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai, had been looking for a more pan-national presence with the English news channel had appointed close to 40 employees for the channel in the last 18 months. Now their term with the group hangs in balance as they were told on December 26, 2013 to either accept a 50 per cent cut in salaries or retrenchment with a severance pay of three months’ salary. Meanwhile, some employees have already quit the group.

All India Radio to go TV-like for election coverage

All India Radio (AIR) is making plans to give out election-related news, results, analyses and comments, and even tweets, to compete with TV news channels.
AIR's first attempt at directly linking four regional stations for live phone-ins during the assembly election results Dec 8 proved a huge hit. Now it is gearing up to replicate the success on a bigger scale for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, AIR director general (news) Archana Dutta stated.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Gauhar Khan wins Bigg Boss 7

Model and reality television star Gauhar Khan was announced on 28 December the winner of Bigg Boss Season Seven as curtains came down on one of the most entertaining editions of the show.
Gauhar defeated superstar Kajol’s younger sister Tanisha Mukherji, the first runnerup, with a significantly big margin.

DoT defers 2G auction till Feb 3

The government has decided to defer the auction of 2G spectrum by about 10 days. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on Saturday, stated that the auction would start on February 3, 2014, instead of January 23 as stated earlier.
The DoT has also decided to permit withdrawal of bid applications before the auction starts. Applicants can withdraw bid applications on or before January 27. This option was not there in the original Notice Inviting Applications (NIA). With this option, companies can withdraw bids before auction if they do not get contiguous spectrum in the circles they would like to bid.

Panchayats to soon get WiFi connectivity: I&B Minister

Disclosing this here on 29 December, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari said this was a countrywide programme in which over 2 lakh gram panchayats would be provided WiFi connectivity and Ludhiana had also been included in the first phase of the project.
The minister, who is a local MP, expressed his gratitude to the government of India for granting his request to include Ludhiana district in the first phase. He said the project would provide immediate and fast Internet connectivity to the people living in villages.

Cable users in Delhi, Mumbai to get bills

Multi system television operators (MSOs) in Delhi and Mumbai are gearing up to achieve complete digitisation in the two cities at the earliest. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India December 2 directive, every MSO and the linked local cable operators (LCOs) in the two cities should start providing bills to customers on a pre-paid or post-paid basis, as chosen by the subscriber.
S N Sharma, secretary, MSO Alliance, and chief executive officer, Den Networks, said, "This move is important as it will ensure there are no additional or random charges levied. Our viewers will thus, pay only for what they watch and they must insist on a bill from their LCO or MSO at the time of monthly payment."

Arasu Cable threatens to disconnect Star Sports channels

It is using its dominant position in the state to the hilt by forcing its hand on broadcasters to reduce subscription fee. After issuing disconnection notice to MediaPro, Tamil Nadu government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation has decided to take on Star Sports India. 

Shubhranshu Singh to join Star Sports as Sr VP & Mktg Head

The appointment of Shubhranshu Singh, former Marketing Director, India & South Asia at Visa, as Senior VP and Head of Marketing of Star Sports India is another step that the broadcaster is taking to strengthen its position in the sports arena in India.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Veteran actor Farooq Sheikh passes away at 65

Veteran Bollywood actor Farooq Sheikh passed away due to heart attack in Dubai on Saturday, 28 December 2013. He was 65. 
The actor suffered the heart attack while he was holidaying with his family in Dubai.

Arasu Cable issues switch-off notice, seeks reduction in subscription fee from Media Pro

State-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation is embroiled in a bitter tussle with India’s largest content aggregator Media Pro Enterprise India over subscription fee payout. 
Arasu has threatened to switch off the Media Pro distributed channels which include the Star, Zee and Turner bouquet of channels. The multi-system operator (MSO) has issued a 21-day mandatory disconnection notice informing its subscribers and linked local cable operators (LCOs) that the Media Pro distributed channels are liable for disconnection due to breach of letter of acceptance and non-conclusion of price negotiation. The public notice was issued on 25 December. 

MSOs in Kolkata urge WB government to go soft on amusement tax

The multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata have urged the state government to maintain leniency in amusement tax collection as they are yet to collect money from the end customer. 
The MSOs in Kolkata were so far paying amusement tax on a lower subscriber base in analogue regime. However, the advent of digital addressable system (DAS) has resulted in full declaration which means that their tax burden will go up considerably. 

Cable TV operator held for power theft

A person from Santhoshnagar was apprehended and remanded to judicial custody here on 28 December, on the allegations of indulging in power theft.

Sun TV reduces ad inventory for content partners

Sun TV has already cut down the inventory it offers its partners from four minutes every hour to three minutes. And, they indicated, it could go down further.
Sun TV did not reply to an email seeking its view. The issue pertains to a unique in-house model Sun TV, a leading broadcast network in South India, follows. It leases out prime slots to third party content providers for a fixed fee.

DTH operators battle to woo mobile TV viewers

After successfully managing to secure over 60 million DTH subscribers among them over past seven years, now the half a dozen direct-to-home operators are locked in a bitter battle to capture the attention of their customers on their mobile phones and tablets.
Around 1 million DTH subscribers are already logging on to their smartphones and tablets to watch the DTH feed. The six private DTH companies — Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct, Videocon D2H and Reliance Digital — have either launched applications for smartphones and tablets or are on the verge of doing so to engage and interact with not only their own subscriber base but also with new smartphone and tablet users.

DirecTV, Dish Network to hike price

Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers will have to gear up to shell out more for using their services. Come 2014 and DirecTV’s base ‘entertainment’ package will cost $58 per month, a $3 hike from 2013, the ‘premier’ package will cost $130, up $5 from a year ago. Rising content cost and desire to keep the satellite TV provider’s operating profit flat are being cited as the reason for the price hike.
Dish Network on the other hand will hike its fees by 5.5 per cent. This following its 16.3 per cent price hike in the beginning of 2013. While, the ‘welcome plan’, ‘America’s choice 120+ plan’ will cost the same, the other packs will get a $5 price hike and a $3 hike in the ‘smart pack’ which will cost $33 in 2014.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

BARC gets start-up funds as it gears to commence operations in 2014

In June 2013, when broadcasters started suspending their subscriptions fr0m TAM Media, confusion prevailed not only among the advertising and marketing fraternity, but also among the broadcasting community. As in the case of the 10+2 ad cap, broadcasters were divided about ending their subscriptions fr0m TAM Media. However, within few weeks most of them followed the generic mood and withdrew their subscriptions fr0m TAM. The move was opposed by advertising and marketing community as there was (and still is) a lack of credible alternative to television audience measurement in the country.

The Economic Times launches ETCIO.com

BCCL's business and economy newspaper The Economic Times has launched ETCIO.com, a media portal envisioned to offer news, information, data, tools and services to IT decision makers across all industries.
This is in line with the company's plans to diversify into B2B news and to adopt an aggressive strategy to redefine content delivery with a sector-wise approach. This comes close to the company launching ETTelecom.com, a news portal catering exclusively to the telecom sector in India, in October 2013.

Foreign money floods big telecom operators

Doha-based Qatar Foundation Endowment has bought five per cent stake for $1.18 billion in Bharti Airtel.
Top telecom players had a good run with foreign investment this year. More than Rs 17,000 crore of foreign money came into the sector.

Galli Galli Sim Sim' back on Doordarshan

Sesame Workshop in India (SWI) has launched the sixth season of Galli Galli Sim Sim, the popular children’s programme, on Doordarshan with a brand new message, “Hasaye Zabardast, Seekhaye Mast’.
The show aimed at children aged 0-8 years believes in harnessing the power of television to provide a strong early childhood educational foundation to preschoolers. Season six being aired on Doordarshan, which reaches out to 13 million children, focuses strongly on literacy and numeracy. Aprt from it, it will also focus on other areas of child development such as problem solving, caring and sharing, giving a head start to a significant number of children with little to no access to early childhood education.

Arasu Cable plans to switch Off Mediapro Channels

Tamilnadu State Government run Arasu Cable TV is facing lot of financial issues to run their show on the ground. The payout by Arasu to pay channels vs. the revenue inflow from ground is not meeting their requirement.  As per the sources they have a short fall of revenue by 40% to be able to meet their payout to the pay channels. To compensate the short fall, they decided to collect 40% payback of subscription amount in the form of carriage fee from all the pay channel broadcasters, which did not work out for them. In the recent meeting of Arasu Cable with Mediapro officials, Arasu Cable has demanded reduction from Mediapro and it was denied by Mediapro. As a result Arasu Cable has issued a public notice in the leading newspapers saying that they are unable to carry Mediapro channels due to financial crisis.

Municipal Corp seeks to tax Bengaluru's MSOs, ISPs

The multi-system operators (MSOs) and internet service providers (ISPs) in Bengaluru will soon have to loosen their pockets and pay tax to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for cabling on main roads and the arterial roads of the garden city. While initially, even the local cable operators (LCOs) were in the BBMP hit list, the body, in its meeting last week has released the LCOs from paying the taxes for using its services.
BBMP has formed a committee to decide on the tax that both MSOs and ISPs will need to pay. The meeting was presided by the BBMP mayor B S Sathyanarayana and was attended by the BBMP chairman, MSOs and ISPs last week.

I&B writes to MHA on broadcasters' security clearance demand

The I&B Ministry has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs suggesting that security clearance given to broadcasters be made valid for the entire duration of their licence.
The I&B ministry made the suggestion after it received a clarification from the MHA that the security clearance given to broadcasters at the time of allotting them licence to run a channel was valid for only three years.

Mixed response on interoperability by stakeholders

Responding to the recent TRAI consultations on issue related to issue of DTH licences, most of the DTH players want Set-top box (STB) interoperability to be kept out of the new licence guidelines. 
However, Dish TV and Cable Operators Federation of India have suggested a common inface for technical interoperability like it prevails in other developed markets. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Aidem bags ad sales duties of Janta TV

Hindi news channel Janta TV has handed over its ad sales mandate to Aidem Ventures. 
Launched in 2011 by Gurbinder Singh, Janta TV caters to the Punjab Haryana Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh (PHCHP) region. The channel is also widely distributed in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. 

Meredith Corp to buy 3 TV stations for $408 million

Media Company Meredith Corp said it would buy three television stations from Gannett Co Inc and Sander Media for $407.5 million to expand its broadcast revenue and footprint.
Meredith said it expects the three stations - KTVK-TV and KASW-TV in Phoenix and KMOV-TV in St. Louis - to generate revenue of $105 million-$115 million, and add between 16-18 cents to its run-rate earnings per share in the first full year after closing.

Endemol acquires 33% of Israeli broadcaster Reshet

Seeking to expand its footprint in the fast-growing Israeli TV market, production major Endemol has acquired 33% stake in broadcaster Reshet for an undisclosed amount. 
Earlier in April, Endemol acquired a controlling share in Israel’s leading independent producer Kuperman, which has now become Endemol Israel. The multi-award winning company, led by CEO and founder Elad Kuperman, is now building on a track record of international hits including Israel’s most popular sitcom Traffic Light, entertainment show Honey Please, reality seriesThe Successor and the Israeli version of Endemol’s reality blockbuster Big Brother, which has become Israel’s most successful ever TV show.  

Dish, IndiaCast case disposed of by TDSAT

Broadcast tribunal TDSAT has disposed of cross petitions filed by Dish TV and IndiaCast after the direct-to-home operator agreed to put channels on pick-and-choose basis and the distribution firm assured to end the ad campaign.
The tribunal in its order said: "Mr Singh (Dish TV counsel) stated that with effect from January 1, 2014, shall take all the 22 channels of the petitioner (IndiaCast) out of its packages and put them on a-la-carte (pick-and choose) basis on its platform." 

Centre approves 45 new news channels

The Centre has approved licences to 45 new news and entertainment channels. STAR, Sony, Viacom and Zee were among the broadcasters that secured licences to start channels.
Currently, 350 broadcasters account for 780 channels.

Cable operators demand a 10 year licence for better operations

If the entire digitisation process has affected any of the related bodies the most, it is the local cable operators (LCOs), who are unsure about their future completely. Keeping this in mind, the Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) has written to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minster Manish Tewari requesting him to give the LCOs a 10 year licence so that they can work on various expansion plans.
The letter was sent to the minister on 18 December. However, the association still awaits a response.

Bombay High Court extended entertainment tax in Maharashtra

The last mile operators (LMOs) in Maharashtra have got a further extension until 21 January from filing joint affidavits along with the multi-system operators (MSOs). The cable operators can also in the interim continue paying entertainment tax to the Bombay High Court, following an extension given by it on 24 December. The next hearing of the case is on 21 January.
The Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) had on 13 December moved the Court challenging the Maharashtra state government's amended gazette resolution (GR) regarding entertainment tax. According to the amended GR, it was mandatory for the LMOs to file a joint affidavit with the MSOs while paying entertainment tax.

Healthcare channel Medi BizTV launched from Kerala

The healthcare segment is attracting television audiences in India. After Careworld TV, a dedicated free-to-air healthcare channel has been launched from Kerala. 
Medi BizTV is available across 130 countries through APSTAR – 7 satellite covering Asia, Australia, Middle East, Eastern Africa and Eastern Europe. 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Captain TV channel Editor arrested on sexual harassment charges

S. Dhineshkumar, Editor of Captain TV channel was arrested on 22 December from his residence here following a complaint by a former woman employee, who alleged of sexual harassment, police said.
He was arrested from his residence around 1:00 am, they said.

Dish TV voted as India’s Most Attractive DTH brand: Trust Research Advisory

Dish TV, Asia’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) service provider has been voted India’s Most Attractive DTH Brand by Trust Research Advisory (TRA) under their report titled ‘India’s most attractive brands – 2013’.
Trust Research Advisory (TRA) is India’s foremost research agency and a brand intelligence company dedicated to understanding and analyzing stakeholder behavior through two proprietary matrices of brand- trust and brand attractiveness. 

FTC Fines Time Warner Cable $1.9 Million for Violating Pricing Rule

The Federal Trade Commission on 19 December said Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle the first case brought under the commission's risk-based pricing rule.
Under the rule, finalized in 2011, creditors must notify customers of higher charges that are based on less-than-favorable credit histories.

Cable TV ops in Assam threaten to black out transmission of TV channels on 23 December

Cable TV operators in Assam have threatened to black out transmission of television channels on their networks on 23 December due to charges being introduced on utlisiation of electricity poles. 
The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) has fixed Rs 25 per pole per month as electricity pole utilisation charges, which is mostly used by cable TV operators for running their networks. There were no charges or rentals so far. 

ABP News' Shazi Zaman re-elected BEA President

Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA), the apex body of editors of news TV channels, unanimously elected its office bearers at an AGM held in New Delhi recently.
Shazi Zaman (ABP News) was re-elected President of the body. Arnab Goswami (Times Now) was re-elected as Vice-President. Deepak Chaurasia (India News) was also elected as Vice-President of BEA. NK Singh (Live India) was elected General Secretary, while Supriya Prasad (Aajtak) was elected Treasurer of BEA.

Tamil GEC Pudhu Yugam appoints A L Venkataachalam as new Channel Head

Pudhu Yugam, the recently launched Tamil GEC from New Generation Media Corporation, has appointed AL Venkataachalam as the new Channel Head. In his new role, Venkataachalam will be spearheading programming activities and will be responsible for getting the content in place.
RBU Shyam Kumar, CEO, New Generation Media Corporation said, “I am pleased to have Venky join us as Channel Head. I am sure that with his rich experience and insightful business acumen, he will take the channel to newer heights.”

I&B ministry initiates steps to set up Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board

In a major step towards addressing the issue of critical manpower shortage in the public broadcaster, the Information & Broadcasting ministry has initiated the process to set up a Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board.
Sources said that the ministry had held discussions related to the composition of the board with the Department of Expenditure in the Finance Ministry and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Paid news should be made electoral offence: CEC

With the number of cases of paid news rising, it continues to disturb the election commission (EC). Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the EC wants to include paid news among the list of electoral offences. 
The EC has recommended to the law ministry to treat all paid news as an electoral offence, chief election commissioner VS Sampath said. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Makeover helps Hungama hike ad rates by 25%

A little over two months since its makeover and Hungama TV has already upped ad rates by 25 per cent on the back of an estimated 25 per cent growth in viewership.
It was in October this year that Disney UTV’s kids’ channel underwent a reboot, wherein a local flavour was imparted while keeping its ‘unapologetically fun loving, mischievous and boisterous’ character intact.

ISRO launches its new Facebook and Twitter accounts

ISRO had earlier in October 2013 launched an experimental social media campaign on Facebook for ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission, it has now extended it further by creating another Facebook page and also has opened a Twitter account.
While the earlier Facebook page on the Mars Orbiter Mission called ISROMOM will continue, the new social media pages (On Facebook and Twitter) can be reached from ISRO web portal or directly through www.facebook.com/isroofficial and www.twitter.com/isroofficial.

TLC launches its international hit series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’

The international hit series will bring an inside look into the world of beauty pageant queen and reality star Honey Boo Boo aka Alana Thompson. ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ will make its debut on Indian television on January 17, Friday-Sunday at 10 pm on TLC.
Featured as one of the ‘Most Influential Women in TV’ under 30 years, Honey Boo Boo will showcase her antics along with her mom June, dad Sugar Bear, three older sisters and Uncle Poodle at the family home in McIntyre, Georgia in the new series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’.

Cable and satellite firms have to offer Canadian news channels: CRTC

Cable and direct-to-home (DTH) companies will have to offer all Canadian television news services either in bundles or a la carte. 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has set a 20 May deadline, making it mandatory for the Cable and DTH companies to provide this option to their subscribers. 

IPTV subs to hit 102 m in 2018

Global IPTV subscriptions are expected to reach 102 million in 2018, with the fastest growth coming from Latin America and Africa and the Middle East, according to the a report by Pyriamid Research.
“Latin America and Africa and the Middle East are the smallest IPTV markets globally, with a combined estimate of 2.3 per cent of global IPTV subscriptions at year-end 2013, or 901,000 and 1,432,000 subscriptions respectively,” says Leslie Arathoon, Research Director at Pyramid Research.

FCC approves Tribune Co. acquisition of Local TV

Tribune Co.’s $2.73 billion acquisition of Cincinnati-based Local TV LLC was approved by the Federal Communications Commission Friday.
The deal makes Tribune Co. the largest combined independent television station owner and content creator in the U.S., according to the company.

News Corp acquires social news agency Storyful for $25 mn

Accelerating News Corp’s digital transformation and video strategy, the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company has acquired Storyful, the world’s first social news agency, for $25 million. 
Building on Storyful’s skill in finding verified news amid the noise of social media, News Corp will use its own global scale, robust digital presence and advertising expertise to enhance and expand the social news agency’s video products and services for newsrooms, advertising agencies and brands. News Corp will also utilise Storyful’s tools to help drive engagement and revenue across News Corp’s businesses. 

Madras HC grants relief to Arasu, asks MIB to process MSO’s DAS licence fast

The Madras High Court has asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to take a decision on Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation’s digital addressable system (DAS) licence. 
The HC made this observation while allowing a writ petition filed by Arasu seeking restraint on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking any coercive action for transmitting analogue signals in Chennai. 

Dish TV to move TRAI against Star Sports’ RIO terms

Direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV is all set to write to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) against some of the clauses in its reference interconnect offer (RIO) deal with Star Sports India for Star Sports 2 channel that it finds objectionable. 
Dish TV had challenged these clauses in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), contending that these clauses, some 10 to 12 in total, are against the TRAI regulations and are untenable. 

TDSAT reserves verdict on 3G roaming issue

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) reserved its verdict on 20 December the 3G intra-circle roaming issue while simultaneously directing that till the time it gives its judgment, the earlier order of the apex court barring Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular from adding new subscribers in circles where the firms do not have the required spectrum, shall continue.
The Supreme Court had remanded Airtel's plea on the 3G ICR matter back to the telecom tribunal and had directed it to decide the matter before the end of December. The apex court had, on April 11, also restrained the three telecom majors from increasing their subscriber base through the tripartite agreements between them.

Digital content service Trendspotters.tv launches iOS app

India's first online digital channel Trendspotters.tv has launched an app for iOS. The app offers information related to fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. It also lets users share interesting news and trends that appeal to them with their friends on popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

I&B Ministry to invest Rs 3,500 cr for Prasar Bharati

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will invest Rs 3,500 crore on upgrading Prasar Bharati’s broadcast infrastructure and network development, especially in border areas.
The proposal has been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee and is up for approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). These funds will be used to strengthen the transmission in the border areas by augmenting the broadcast infrastructure so as to counter anti-terrorist activities, among other initiatives.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Tata Sky attempts to target non-urban India

In non-urban India, Dish TV is the strongest DTH player. In its current campaign, Tata Sky, a brand that is strong in urban India, making an attempt to establish itself as a pan-India player in the truest sense of the term. Its availability in the most remote regions of the country is the message being highlighted. Currently, 50 per cent of Tata Sky’s total subscriber base (11.5 million as of April, 2013) is from rural India (which is outside the top 100 towns).
Being available in all parts of the country is a goal Tata Sky has been working towards for the past three years. The company has been trying to build sales and service infrastructure in these regions, and design better and more relevant applications. Mehra is confident Tata Sky will reach its goal soon. Here’s how: The first step is to strengthen distribution. Then comes after-sales service infrastructure, something the company has created with the help of local dealers and service technicians.

Auctioning 800 MHz is a policy decision: DoT

The Department of Telecom has told the regulator that the decision to auction spectrum in the 800 MHz band was a policy decision and TRAI should recommend a price at the earliest. TRAI had sent a note to the DoT seeking clarifications before it recommends a reserve price for auctioning the 800 MHz band. The regulator wanted the DoT to confirm if it had communicated the regulator’s views, and its subsequent clarifications to the Empowered Group of Ministers and the Cabinet.
It had also asked if DoT carried out a feasibility study to swap the defence spectrum holding between 925 MHz and 935 MHz with airwaves in the 834 MHz-844 MHz band.

DD Sports official broadcaster of Lusofonia Games 2014

DD Sports is set to invest Rs 15 crore to make the Lusofonia Games 2014 telecast.
DD Sports has been named as the official broadcaster for next month’s Lusofonia Games and the government-owned television channel telecasting from the Doordarshan Kendra in Delhi has promised to do an exemplary job.

Viacom 18 to launch second entertainment channel Rishtey in January

Viacom18, the 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Inc. and Network18, is launching its second GEC Rishtey in January in India. First launched in the UK in September last year, the free-to-air channel telecasts re-runs of Colors’ (Viacom18’s flagship channel) popular and old shows including Jai Shri Krishna, Bairi Piya and Jeevan Saathi for now. 
"DD Direct Plus added a new general entertainment channel ‘Rishtey’ to its channel line-up by replacing Test 308 channel. Rishtey is a new entertainment channel from the Viacom18 Group. The channel is a test feed and it is going to be officially launched soon.” said the official.

59th Idea Filmfare Awards 2013 to be held on 24 January

The 59th Filmfare Awards will be held on 24 January, 2014 at YRF Studios in Mumbai.
Awards will be given in 31 categories. Filmfare will continue its association with Idea as its partner and title sponsor, sixth time in a row. The announcement was made at a press meet held in New Delhi.

FCC votes to consider end of sports broadcast blackout rule

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to move ahead with a proposal to eliminate a decades-old rule that prohibited broadcasting of some professional sports events, often NFL football games, in their home markets, an FCC spokesman said on 18 December.
FCC commissioners have moved to begin collecting comments on the potential elimination of the nearly 40-year-old rule that was originally meant to ensure broadcasts of sports games did not hurt local ticket sales.

Al Jazeera considers Digiturk bid

Broadcaster Al Jazeera is considering a bid for a majority stake in Turkish digital pay-TV operator Digiturk, according to a Reuters report, citing three banking sources.
Al Jazeera has reportedly appointed Barclays Capital to advise on the matter, which could see Digiturk sold for $1 billion.

Viki partners with Baidu

Viki, the global TV site powered by fans, has announced a partnership with leading Chinese language Internet search provider Baidu to bring fully-licensed TV shows and movies from around the world to the 237 million monthly active users of Baidu’s video search in China. Viki will begin streaming hundreds of hours of TV programming from around the world, translated by fans into Chinese and English.
Viki is the first global video streaming site to partner with Baidu Video with the largest user base in both the PC and mobile markets. Viki will offer full-length movies, dramas, comedies, anime and other shows from the US, UK, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and 10 other countries and regions. The content can be found at v.baidu.com and will be available across multiple platforms, including PC and smart mobile devices.

SeaChange debuts at CES with hybrid TV focus

Increasingly, viewers are looking for personalised hybrid TV services that combine digital content and over-the-top (OTT) services with traditional television. SeaChange International plans to use its debut at 2014 International CES in January to showcase its platforms for operators looking to roll out blended services.
The vendor plans to demonstrate software and services that power multiscreen offerings, including blended entertainment services incorporating video-on-demand (VOD), linear television and OTT. Specifically, the company said that it plans to showcase headed and headless media gateways based on SeaChange Nucleus and the industry Reference Design Kit (RDK); the pay-as-you-grow SeaChange Cloud Adrenalin service; and unified multi-device subscriber experiences built with SeaChange Nitro.