Saturday, 31 August 2013

Balaji launches new business unit Balaji Spark

Balaji Motion Pictures Limited (BMPL) has started a new business unit named Balaji Sparks, which will be the talent management arm of the production house. The new unit will be under BMPL and will be headed by Firoz Engineer, who will report into Tanuj Garg, CEO, BMPL.
After Yash Raj Films, Balaji is the second production house to have an in house talent management unit.

NDTV Good Times staffers told to move to other group channels

Another round of restructuring is in the offing at the country’s oldest news broadcaster, New Delhi Television (NDTV).
Around 40 staffers of the lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times in Mumbai and New Delhi have been asked to relocate to other NDTV channels, such as NDTV Profit, which is going through a process of restructuring.

Discovery partners with SLT PEO TV; Launches Discovery Kids in Sri Lanka

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (South Asia) announced the launch of its eighth channel - DISCOVERY KIDS - in Sri Lanka. The 24-hour kids’ channel will be available from August 30 on SLT PEO TV. PEO TV customers can now enjoy unlimited kids programmes with their children on Discovery Kids on channel Sixty Four (64).
 Discovery Kids seeks to entertain and educate children with content that sparks their curiosity and helps to develop their cognitive, social, emotional and personal skills, bringing families together by promoting co-viewing with parents. The target audience for Discovery Kids is children between four to 14 years and their parents.

Sony Entertainment Network launches mobile billing in America

Sony Network Entertainment International and Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC., launched a new feature that enables users of participating mobile networks in the United States to top up their account wallet to purchase content from the PlayStation®Store and across Sony Entertainment Network using their mobile phone account.
Working with mobile payments company, Boku, the process makes it easier for users to obtain PlayStation Store and Sony Entertainment Network content, including downloadable games, add-ons, themes, movies and TV shows, as well as subscriptions to the Music Unlimited service. Mobile billing works in conjunction with select mobile network operators in the United States.

DoT seeks sops to revive sector

The Department of Telecom has sought sops from the Finance Ministry to revive the telecom sector. This includes extension of tax holiday for new investments in creating infrastructure. The telecom department has also asked the Ministry to let telecom companies avail of viability gap funding, like other infrastructure sector companies.
Telecom companies that started operations between 1995 and 2004 have been given a 15-year tax holiday under section 80 IA of the Income Tax Act. DoT has urged the Finance Ministry to remove the sunset clause, and extend the benefit to companies that are making fresh investments in infrastructure.

Internet cost may go up by 30%

Using the internet may become up to 30 per cent costlier as the Department of Telecom issued corrigendum to the new telecom licences agreement bringing revenue from these services under its cess net.
As per the initial version of the Unified Licence on August 2, DoT had exempted internet services revenue from adjusted gross revenue (AGR) - part of telecom company's earnings on which annual licence fee is levied.

Government may ban Gmail for official communication

The government will soon ask all its employees to stop using Google's Gmail for official communication, a move intended to increase security of confidential government information after revelations of widespread cyberspying by the US. 
A senior official in the ministry of communications and information technology said the government plans to send a formal notification to nearly 5 lakh employees barring them from email service providers such as Gmail that have their servers in the US, and instead asking them to stick to the official email service provided by India's National Informatics Centre.

TV Today appoints two additional directors

TV Today Network announced appointment of Ashish Kumar Bagga and Dinesh Bhatia as additional directors of the comapny with effect from August 23, 2013.

Now, a social networking website to know your MPs, MLAs

S.Y. Quraishi, a former chief election commissioner of India launched a social-networking website janpratinidhi.com on 29 August. Users and voters to get information about their elected representatives and initiate online conversations around their respective constituencies from the website.
The website—janpratinidhi.com—has collated information on all Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies in India. Using interactive maps, data and infographics, the website gives the history of the elected representatives from all constituencies and details about their constituencies.

Kolkata based MSOs, LCOs receive summons from service tax department

The Kolkata based Multi System Operators (MSOs) and local cable TV operators (LCOs) had uninvited guests last week. They were taken by surprise when the service tax officials conducted two raids to probe into their alleged financial irregularities. And, this in a digital addressable system (DAS) cable TV ecosystem which reveals the business and operations of these players at length.
Apart from service tax, the income tax department also searched the premises of one of the big MSOs. And if sources are to be believed, the MSO made an upfront payment of around Rs 50 lakh - Rs 75 lakh to the income tax authorities.

TDSAT stays 10+2 ad-cap on broadcasters till November 11

The TDSAT has stayed on August 30 that the implementation of the ad-cap regulation, which will make it compulsory for broadcasters to limit total advertising in a clock hour to 12 minutes, till the next date of hearing on November 11, 2013. 
The Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has come to the aid of news broadcasters by directing the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) not to take any “coercive action” against news channels for not implementing the agreed ad restrictions.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Set a date with James bond only on MOVIES NOW!

Starting 2nd September- 19th September, every Monday- Thursday at 11pm, the Ultimate Bond brings you the suave secret agent in some of the most memorable Bond movies. Whether the irresistible Sean Connery, the elegant Roger Moore, the serious and calm Timothy Dalton, the charismatic Brosnan or the new-age, rugged Daniel Craig, catch them in their most powerful performances portraying the perennially stylish James Bond all through the month!

dB Broadcast Appoints Finance Director and achieves Top 100 listing

dB Broadcast, the leading broadcast systems integrator, has strengthened its top team with the appointment of Ross Amory to its Board as Finance Director with immediate effect.
Amory, aged thirty, joined the company two years ago, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Prior to joining dB Broadcast, he was responsible for financial reporting at office products company Spicers, part of FTSE 250 group DS Smith.

Chinese Entertainment Giant Shanghai Media Group Brings Synchronized 2nd Screen Experiences to ‘Chinese Idol’ Fans Using Civolution’s Syncnow

Civolution, the leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing content, today announces its cooperation with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), one of China’s leading television and radio broadcasting, news and Internet companies. Under the agreement Civolution has integrated its award-winning SyncNow® technology with SMG’s new 2nd screen offering aimed at boosting show ratings and enhance viewer interaction. 

Zenga TV bags Mobile rights for US Open Tennis Championship 2013

Zenga TV, India’s largest mobile TV platform announced on 29 August that they have bagged the exclusive rights for 2013 US Open Tennis Championship that will be played from August 26 to September 9 for India. This event is licensed by Zenga Media Pvt. Ltd. from Seven3Sports who has licensed it from Ten Sports.

KBC Season 7 kicks off from September 6 with Rs 7 crore prize money

Sony Entertainment Television’s big draw for the season, Kaun Banega Crorepati 2013, was formally launched by Amitabh Bachchan with an entertaining mock quiz round on Thursday, August 29, 2013 in suburban Mumbai. The show, in its seventh season now, and the fourth on Sony, will be aired from September 6 at 8.30 PM. The show will have 36 episodes spread over 13 weekends.

Ditto TV partners with Turner International

Ditto TV, India’s first OTT (Over-The-Top) TV distribution platform from Zee New Media, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), further strengthened its content offering by partnering with Turner International India and adding three of their globally renowned  channels – CNN International, Cartoon Network and POGO – to its bouquet.

Koffee Media and Exset in Digital Monetization Partnership

Netherland-based Exset B.V. and Koffee Media launched a new drive and initiative which will help LCOs and MSOs to better monetize their digital platform.

TDSAT expresses displeasure over TRAI's move

A Delhi court issued summons to broadcasters, the sectoral tribunal TDSAT expressed on 29 July that its displeasure over TRAI moving the court when a dispute was already pending before it. 
Shortly after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash issued summons to 14 broadcasters on complaints by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on the issue of capping advertisements 12 minutes per hour, the television channels approached TDSAT against TRAI's action. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Make way for Superstar Weekends this September on zoOm!

This September zoOm is celebrating its 9th anniversary and the channel is giving Bollywood fans a truly star-studded experience! So gear up for Glam up presents Superstar Weekends powered by Levis all through the month! Set a date with the most desirable Bollywood stars and get to know them like never before as zoOm lines up day-long specials on every Saturday & Sunday through the month.
Sit back and enjoy the zoOm bastic songs of your favourite Bollywood star played back-to-back on Superstar Songs at 9:30pm. Feel like expressing your love for your favourite Bollywood star? Dedicate a song to them on zoOm’s Your Likes or learn their personal favourites as they dedicate songs for zoOm’s anniversary on zoOmit!

Conax announces new representation in D-A-CH countries

Conax, a leading global specialist in solutions for securing multi-device and digital video content revenues, today announced on 29 August 2013 that the introduction of Andreas Binderlehner, Conax’ new Director of Area Sales for the German-speaking countries. Mr. Binderlehner will be responsible for development of business opportunities and expansion of sales of Conax Conditional Access and DRM solutions to Cable, Satellite, DTH and DTT Operators, ISPs and telcos in the "D-A-CH" countries.
The German-speaking countries, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, represent a highly significant market for distribution of pay-TV and Over-the-Top content with a cumulative population of over 90 million inhabitants. 

Amagi commences sales and support operations in Singapore

To cater to the growing pay TV broadcasters in the Asia-pacific region, Amagi media labs have opened its Asia-pacific sales and support office in Singapore.
Amagi is a cloud enabled TV broadcast infrastructure firm that offers cost effective linear channel distribution and playout technology options for TV networks. The Bangalore-based company runs India’s largest local advertising network playing more than 1 million local ad seconds every month on more than 15 TV networks ranging from sports and news to entertainment and lifestyle. The company also has international deployments of its broadcast infrastructure in Europe, Singapore and Africa. 

ZigBee Enables New Markets for Device Developers

The Netherlands – GreenPeak Technologies, a leading ZigBee semiconductor company, announced on 28 August 2013 that the growing success of ZigBee sentroller devices (sensors, controllers and actuators) will enable Smart Home device developers and integrators to expand their markets into new areas and multiplying their sales.
As virtually all cable operators and broadband service suppliers are starting to offer Smart Home services to their subscribers and have chosen ZigBee as the wireless communication standard, there will be an almost insatiable demand for affordable and easy to install Smart Home devices that connect to the set-top box. Device developers are just starting to recognize this great opportunity to offer all types of different Smart Home devices at very affordable costs. GreenPeak’s ZigBee chips enable device developers to build and market ZigBee based smart devices starting at less than $5 each.

Harmonic Powers Cutting-Edge OTT Multiscreen Service for Turkish DTH Provider D-Smart

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Aug. 27, 2013 — Harmonic the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure announced on 27 August 2013 that D-Smart, a leading Turkish DTH provider owned by Doğan TV Holding, has selected an end-to-end video preparation solution from Harmonic to power its new OTT multiscreen service offering. D-Smart chose Harmonic's ProMedia™ adaptive bit rate (ABR), WFS™ file-based workflow, and MediaGrid™ shared storage systems. The integrated solution provides the scalability to deliver high-quality live, VOD, and catch-up TV services to any subscriber device, including TVs, PCs, set-top boxes (STBs), smartphones, and tablets. 

More than 40% of Iranians watch illegal satellite channels

More than 40 per cent of Iranians watch television channels beamed into Iran and accessible only by illegal but widespread satellite dishes across the country, a media reports said. 
The figure was released by the research department of the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), in what the daily 7 Sobh said was a rare admittance of the popularity of satellite channels in Iran. 

Disney joins Apple TV

Apple TV has revealed the launch of authenticated plug-ins for Watch Disney and Watch Disney XD. They provide access to the live feeds, as well as a menu of on-demand fare from each network.
Disney confirmed Apple joins Comcast, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon Communications FiOS using its plug ins.

Hathway to allot Rs 100 cr worth shares to Steadview Capital

A clutch of funds managed by Steadview Capital will pick up shares worth roughly Rs 100 crore in Hathway Cable and Datacom through the preferential allotment route.
Steadview Capital Mauritius, LTR Focus Fund and Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be issued 35,21,000 fully paid-up equity shares of the company, Hathway informed the stock exchanges today.

Arasu Cable TV gets additional MD

The state government on 27 August directed Dr J. Kumaragurubaran, director of information and public relations and ex-officio joint secretary to government, Tamil development & information department, to hold full additional charge of the post of managing director of TN Arasu Cable TV Corporation.
D. Vivekanandan, MD, TN Arasu Cable TV Corporation and MD TN Road Development Company Ltd, is posted to act as project director of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society vice Rajendra Ratnoo, holding additional char­ge. Dr C. N. Mahes­waran state project director SSA has been posted as managing director of TN Text Book Corpo­rat­ion vice E. Sarava­navelraj, alrea­dy transferred.

Sun to pull out 18 channels from Reliance Big TV bouquet

Sun TV Network Ltd has informed subscribers of Reliance Big TV that it will pull out 18 of its channels from the direct-to-home service provider following Reliance’s “failure to make payments towards outstanding amounts”.

Times Television to launch new channel Romedy Now

The Times Group is all set to broaden its horizons with its latest venture in the English entertainment category- ROMEDY NOW. Catering to all urban, up-scale audiences, ROMEDY NOWis a one of a kind English entertainment channel with a unique blend of ‘Love & Laughter’. The channel is set for launch within the next 15 days.

Digitisation drive to speed up for Phase III & IV

Bimal Julka, the new secretary, I&B has got into the groove of digitalisation and asked the teams at I&B and TRAI, which have been spearheading the drive along with TRAI representatives to keep the foot on the accelerator pedal and if possible rev the digitisation drive even more.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

TV in your hand

Mobile video viewership has steadily been on the rise in India. VuClip says India has been growing quickly and will continue to do so.
In February, Google reported that 30% of all YouTube viewership from India takes place on mobile phones, and users switched between devices 27 times in a day on average, suggesting that users are becoming device agnostic, watching on whichever device is at hand.

Govt to launch 50 educational channels

Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the government will launch 50 educational channels beaming lectures real time to students. Expected to be launched on the next Republic Day, the channels will be free to air, with content from IITs, Central Universities and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
The Pallam Raju-led education ministry is eying over a thousand education channels across streams and disciplines in various Indian languages to reach quality education to the remotest of areas.

Prasar Bharati to assist Afghanistan in starting news channel

Prasar Bharati will assist the Afghan government broadcaster - Radio and Television Afghanistan (RTA) to start a news channel in the war-ravaged country. 
The Afghan government is planning to start in three months a news channel that will telecast news initially for 6 hours, and later will be transformed into a round-the-clock channel. 
This would be the first news channel run by the Afghan government though some private channels are already there. 

Middle East TV Network buys Pehla Media & Entertainment

OSN, the leading pay-TV network in West Asia and North Africa, has expanded its entertainment bouquet with the acquisition of Pehla Media & Entertainment, the region’s largest provider of South Asian pay television content.
The acquisition brings nearly 40 popular South Asian channels in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam languages to OSN’s existing comprehensive portfolio of channels, the company announced on 26 August.

Middle East TV Network buys Pehla Media & Entertainment

OSN, the leading pay-TV network in West Asia and North Africa, has expanded its entertainment bouquet with the acquisition of Pehla Media & Entertainment, the region’s largest provider of South Asian pay television content.
The acquisition brings nearly 40 popular South Asian channels in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam languages to OSN’s existing comprehensive portfolio of channels, the company announced on 26 August.

Extension of time for receiving comments on consultation paper on “Distribution of TV channels from Broadcasters to Platform Operators”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a Consultation paper on “Distribution of TV channels from Broadcasters to Platform Operators” on 6th August 2013, inviting written comments from the stakeholders by 27thAugust, 2013. 
On request of the stakeholders, the last date for receipt of written comments has been extended up to 03.09.2013. Subsequently, an Open House Discussion (OHD), on the issues dealt with in the consultation paper, will be held at Delhi on 12.09.2013. The date, time and venue will be intimated separately.

TRAI moves court against 10+2 ad cap violations by broadcasters

In a first of its kind case the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has moved a Delhi court against broadcasters seeking their prosecution for carrying advertisements for over 12 minutes in an hour. 
Separate complaints have been filed in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash seeking summoning and prosecution of the errant broadcasters.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Three media firms make it to the billion-dollar club – Business Standard Report

Business Standard has releases its annual listing of top media firms recently. According to the report by Vanita Kohli Khnadekar in Business Standard the Times Group, Zee Group and STAR India are now part of the billion-dollar media club. All three were just about a billion dollars in revenues. The listing is based on publicly available data in an industry that is notoriously secretive. That explains why we never manage to compare profitability - the figures aren't available across all these firms, says the report

ZeeQ brings international animated shows

ZeeQ, India’s first edutainment channel, is all set to launch the animated series ‘Dinosaur Train’ and ‘Zou’ in India. The channel has acquired the Indian rights for these series which cater to the preschooler audiences.
Dinosaur Train has been honored by the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor TV series award, which is a mark of acceptance by parents as a preferred choice for their toddlers’ TV viewing. The half-hour show features two animated episodes with a real paleontologist interacting with kids who love to explore the world around them. Dinosaur Train, an Emmy nominated series, starts August 26, 2013, and will air Monday to Thursday at 4:30 PM.

MOVIES NOW pays a tribute to the King of POP with This Is It!

Certified as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, Michael Jackson won over millions of fans with hits like Black or White, Thriller, Billie Jean and Beat It. To celebrate the icon’s birthday, MOVIES NOW brings you This Is It, the blockbuster showcasing the hard work that went into making the man a legend. Premiering on what would be his 55th birthday, this ultimate tribute to the King of Pop captures his preparations for his final concert tour! Get ready for a roller-coaster of emotions with This Is It only on MOVIES NOW on 29th August, Thursday at 11 PM!

Phased black out of 1.80 lakh subscribers in Kolkata

TRAI’s firm stance on submission of CAF forms by 23 August has resulted in 1.80 lakh defaulters in Kolkata facing a blackout of TV channels on their TV screens. After the several warnings and extensions it had given for the submission of Consumer Application Form which had to be mandatorily submitted while connecting the Set top Box to air the channels as per the Viewer’s choice. TRAI is in no mood to give any further extension.
 The MSO’s and LCO’s had failed collectively to submit the applications by the 23rd August deadline, which resulted in crores of loss to the government.

BIG MAGIC Hops on Board Videocon D2H

BIG MAGIC, the flagship general entertainment channel from the Reliance Broadcast Network stable fortifies reach with the announcement of its distribution deal with Videocon d2h, the fastest growing DTH service provider in India. After meeting with phenomenal success in the heartland of India, it is BIG MAGIC’s endeavor to extend its assorted entertainment offering across the Hindi Speaking markets and this alliance takes it to an additional 8mn subscriber base.

Zee Media to launch a crime channel

Zee Media Corporation has recently announced the launch of two new channels – movie channel &pictures and GEC Zee Anmol. Now, according to sources, Zee is planning to launch a 24-hour channel devoted to news stories on crimes in various parts of the country. The yet-to-be-named channel is being touted as the country’s first crime TV channel.
According to sources the new channel will be headed by Navin Kumar, who is currently Editor, Crime and Investigations, Zee News Network.

Viacom18 appoints Saugato Bhowmik as head, consumer products business

Viacom18 has appointed Saugato Bhowmik as the head of its consumer products business. Bhowmik replaces Sandeep Dahiya, who quit the company in June.

Sahara One reports loss in Q1-2014

Television and motion picture operator Sahara One Media and Entertainment Limited (Sahara One) has reported disappointing results for Q1-2014. Total income, including income from operations and other income in Q1-2014 was almost flat at Rs 30.32 crore as compared to the Rs 30.36 crore for Q1-2013. Total income for Q4-2013 was Rs 28.2 crore. 

STBs, dongles boost smart device market

The smart set-top box and dongle market is expected to pass 18 million units in 2013 – higher than originally forecasted due to the arrival of Google’s Chromecast device. According to analysis firm ABI Research, overall the market is expected to grow with a 10.8 per cent CAGR (2013 to 2018) with less saturated and developing (from connected and OTT perspective) markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America helping drive this growth.

Google to create driverless taxis to carry passengers

Technology giant Google Inc. is planning to create a fleet of driverless ‘robo-taxis’ to pick up and drop off passengers.
The ultimate goal of Google’s self-driving car project is to create a ‘robo-taxi’ that picks up commuters on demand. Such a system could transform transport systems around the world, doing away with the need for most people to buy cars, company executives believe. They also believe that it would reduce the number of road accidents as well as having environmental benefits, The Times reported.

70 per cent of Americans have high-speed Internet: Study

The percentage of Americans with high-speed Internet connections at home has reached 70 per cent, while just three per cent still use dial-up to go online, a study reported. 
The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project said the percentage of high-speed users represented a small but statistically significant rise from the 66 per cent of adults who said they had home broadband in April 2012. 

Videocon offers calls to US and Canada at 10 paise per minute

Videocon Telecommunications Limited, part of $4 billion Videocon Group offered calling rates of 10 paise per minute to US and Canada for new and existing subscribers from 26 August.
The company is offering a 98% discount on rack rate of Rs 6.40 per minute, which effectively costs lower than a call made between two local subscribers. 

Security norms eased for 100% FDI in telecom

To give foreign exchange inflows in the country a push, the Government on 26 August relaxed the norms for foreign direct investment in the telecom sector by dropping certain security-related provisions mandatory for 100 per cent FDI proposals.
Under the earlier norms, there were a number of security-related provisions. These have now been scrapped. For example, it was mandatory that the Chief Officer In-charge of technical network operations and the Chief Security Officer should be resident Indian citizens. It was also mandatory that the positions of Chairman, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, if held by foreign nationals, be security vetted by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This security vetting had to be done every year.

Recommendations for third round of spectrum auction soon: TRAI

The recommendations for valuation and reserve price for the third round of spectrum auction would come “very shortly”, regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman Rahul Khullar said on 26 August. “The recommendations will come very shortly,” said Khullar during an open house discussion on the matter.
Asked about the timeline, he said, “You can see our track-record in the broadcasting sector,” but refused to share a time-frame for the recommendations.

India has third largest internet population in the world: comScore

The Indian digital ecosystem is throwing up some interesting statistics. India has surpassed Japan to become the third largest internet population, rising to 73.9 million users – a 31 per cent growth as compared to last year. India is now behind China (second largest) and the US at the top.
The new statistics were revealed in a comScore study titled ‘India Digital Future in Focus 2013’. According to the study, about 75 per cent of internet users in India are under the age of 35, making it the youngest skewing online population among the BRIC countries.

TV makers hope new levy on panel imports will boost sales

With the imposition of 36 per cent duty on imported TVs as baggage becoming effective from 26 August, manufacturers, including Panasonic, Sony and Samsung, are hoping that their local sales in India will grow in double digits.
“This will result in expanding profit margins and will lead to better profitability,” Panasonic India Managing Director Manish Sharma said.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Aidem Ventures selected as ad sales partner by InSync

InSync, music channel launched on August 15, 2013 has hired Aidem Ventures to handle its ad sales.

‘Zee Anmol’ another movie channel from Zee

Announcing the launch of a new movie channel, &pictures, Zee TV network is launching another general entertainment channel, Zee Anmol. The channel is being launched with the tagline: ‘Dil ko chu jaye’.

Congress to use social media for an image promotion

The Indian National Congress has decided to shore up its presence in social media platforms and project a positive image of the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Congress is conducting a social media workshop in order to familiarise party spokespersons and leaders with the intricacies of engaging people, especially the youth, on social media as well as navigate the new media platform.

Zee, MSM spend Rs 450 crore to buy blockbuster movies

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) have forked out over Rs 450 crore to pick up all the leading blockbuster films this year. That is virtually equivalent to the cost of producing six to seven big budgte movies.
The year is turning out to be an amazing one for Bollywood with movies like Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, Chennai Express and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag crossing the Rs 100-crore mark. It is no doubt then that broadcast networks have been scrambling for satellite rights for movies and most deals have been sealed even before the movie was released.

DoT panel proposes a new body to regulate telecom and broadcast

An internal DoT panel is learnt to have proposed creation of a new body that can regulate both telecom and broadcast sectors with greater teeth than existing regulator TRAI.
Under a proposed communications convergence legislation, the new body would be chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High court who has special "knowledge and experience in telecommunications, broadcasting, finance, accountancy, law, management or consumer affairs," a source said.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Online ads come under ASCI scanner now

In June 2013, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 144 ads. Most of the misleading ads were from the health and personal care category, followed by the education sector.

Shagun TV launches new game-show Jodi No 1

Shagun TV, country's first 24-hour wedding entertainment channel, was launched with a promise to have shows that were not only unique but also exciting to all matrimonial-related matters, whether it's astrology, shopping or honeymoon travel planning.
Trying to stay true to its theme, the channel is launching its first game show Jodi No 1. 

Flat panel TV market may cross $6-b mark by 2015: Report

Digitisation, reduced replacement cycles and increased affordability are driving growth in the Indian flat panel display (FPD) television market.
According to Frost & Sullivan research, the flat panel TV market in India is expected to touch the $6.39 billion mark by 2015.

Murdoch’s UK unit could face hacking charges

Police are actively investigating Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper business for possible criminal violations over allegations of phone-hacking and illegal payments to public officials by its journalists, a source familiar with the matter said.
Murdoch’s News Corp said it was aware of the police inquiry but gave no further details. Until now, the investigation appeared to be focused on News Corp employees rather than the corporation.

Ten Cricket launches on Rogers in Canada

Zee Americas in partnership with Ethnic Channels Group has announced the launch of TEN Cricket on Rogers Communications Inc. Channel 671. Cricket, one of the most watched games in the world, will be broadcast in Canada as a 24-hour South Asian sports channel.
Roger’s addition of TEN Cricket will enable cricket fans across the region to watch all home and away matches played between teams representing West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and India. Ten Cricket’s 24-hour programming will include LIVE and repeat broadcasts of major tournament matches such as Test, ODI and T20 as well as popular shows such as Cricket Classics, Great Centuries and The Inside Story.

India’s first online digital channel Trendspotters.tv launched

Smartube Entertainment has launched India’s first online digital channel that spots trends across genres, called Trendspotters.tv at APREE 2013 in Goa. A preview of the online digital channel that covers trends from Fashion & Lifestyle to Business, Politics, Sports, Music, Gadgets and much more was showcased at the event as part of the launch.
Trendspottters.tv is supposed to be India’s first “trendspotting” network that will try and pull out trends that could make it big in the future from across the country. There will be a team of dedicated trendspotters who will aim to pick these cool styles out through networking. The group will consist of handpicked bunch of 18 to 30-year-olds who are essentially early adopters of new styles. Their focus will be on showcasing micro-trends – fads that could be the next big thing.

MSOs to begin direct billing for digital cable consumers from August

In a significant step aimed at ushering in transparency in the way cable TV consumers are billed, the multiple system operators (MSOs) are rolling out a direct billing system from August.
As of now, the monthly charges for cable TV connections were being collected by the local area cable operators, who were subsequently passing on the payments to the MSOs. However, the current system was often found to include differential pricing to different customers for same package and in many cases the payments did not include taxes.

Turner launches HBO Defined & HBO Hits on Hathway & GTPL

Turner International India has announced the launch of HBO Defined and HBO Hits on two of the country's leading digital cable platforms, Hathway and GTPL. With this HBO's two premium advertising-free movie channels will be available to digital cable subscribers for the first time.
The channels are available for a free preview in the initial phase of the launch. Turner International, the distributor for HBO Defined and HBO Hits will soon have the channels available on other digital cable platforms as well.

Madras HC issues notices to 3 channels for non-payment of carriage fees to Arasu cable

The Maduai bench of the Madras high court has ordered notices be issued to the managing director of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TNACTVC) and the special tahsildhar, Karur, on a public interest litigation seeking direction to recover carriage fee dues payable to TNACTVC by three private televisions channels.
 The PIL filed by C Cheran, a resident of Karur, stated that his application under the Right to Information Act revealed that three TV channels (Jayam, Vanavil and City) were allowed to run on a trial basis by the TNACTVC and they are continuously telecasting programmes without paying carriage fees to the TNACTVC since September 15, 2011.

TRAI recommends higher FDI limits in broadcasting sector

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limits and approval routes thereof in various segments of the broadcasting sector in India.

DD to foray into HD TV channels

The war between cable TV operators and DTH companies has started to heat up, but Doordarshan, the only entity entitled to telecast using the terrestrial network, will foray into high definition (HD) television channels. The good news is that it will also bring in 10 private television channels on the terrestrial network as a free-to-air bouquet.
M. Anandan, deputy director general (engineering), Doordarshan said, “With an aim to keep in pace with current technological trends, Prasar Bharati has asked us (Doordarshan) to broadcast two of our channels on the high definition platform, for which we have started installation of HD equipment in our transmitter in Chennai.”

Thursday, 22 August 2013

RTI Online Web Portal launched to file applications online

The government launched a web portal https://rtionline.gov.in to promote participation of our citizens in the process of governance and policy making decisions of the government.
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy said this facility has presently been provided to Central Ministries but DoPT will consider extending this facility to the subordinate and attached offices of central government also.

Greek state broadcaster resumes news programing

Greece's new state television channel has begun airing news programs, more than two months after the government's abrupt closure of state broadcaster ERT drew international condemnation and led to a severe political crisis.
The move Wednesday came as Europe's public broadcaster said it was halting its relay of programs by ERT's sacked workers, who have been occupying the company's building and producing 24-hour programing in defiance of the closure.

Cable lost 2.5 mn viewers between 2010 and 2012: FCC

According to recently released FCC data from their annual report on cable industry competition, the cable industry lost roughly 2.5 million video subscribers between 2010 and 2012. According to the FCC, cable operators laid claim to 57.3 million pay TV subscribers at the end of 2012, down from 59.8 million in 2010.
Most of these customers flocked to telcoTV, with AT&T U-Verse increasing their subscriber total from three million to 4.1 million between 2010 and 2012, and Verizon FiOS's total subscriber total going from 3.5 million to 4.5 million during the same stretch. Verizon and AT&T recently announced they've both passed the five million cable TV subscriber mark, giving them more TV customers than all but the nation's two largest traditional cable companies: Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

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...