Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cisco in talks with cable TV firms for broadband tech

US technology major Cisco is in talks with Indian cable TV operators to help them offer broadband services by upgrading their existing networks.
Cisco is offering a technology that will enable cable TV players to start offering two-way communications required for Internet services. In addition, the company has roped in its venture capital fund unit Cisco Capital to finance the technology upgrade.

TDSAT issues notice to TRAI on ‘MediaWatch-India’s appeal against TRAI’s amended ad regulations dropping provisions relating to ‘part-screen’& loud commercials in TV channels

Allowing the appeal filed by „MediaWatch-India, TDSAT on 30 October 2013 issued notice to TRAI on the amended TV ad regulations dt. 22-3-2013. The appeal reflects the interests of viewers who are presently harassed with indiscriminate ‘part-screen’ ads, scrolling ads and ‘loud’ commercials, apart from excessive duration of ads. The appeal asserts the audience’ due right to have a decent viewing experience and reminds TRAI about its statutory responsibility to check the illegal and unfair practices of TV broadcasters who had been indulging in ‘part-screen’ &„ high-decibel’ ads.

DoT may reject TRAI views on uniform spectrum fee

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to reject the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on introducing a uniform spectrum usage charge (SUC) of three per cent for all telecom service providers.
According DoT, the ministry has said the slab-based SUC regime cannot be changed as the terms of the notice inviting applications (NIA), contracts and bindings between the government and telecom service providers cannot be changed by the government.

STAR celebrates Sachin Tendulkar

STAR India has taken the farewell match of Sachin Tendulkar very seriously and plans to make it a big game for the cricketer as well as for its sports network. The network has launched a marketing initiative which aims for the World Record by creating the biggest cheer for the Master Blaster.
As per the campaign, 'Cheer for Sachin', the viewers are asked to send cheers for the cricketer as he plays the farewell series against West Indies during November 14-18. The broadcaster targets to break the world record for maximum 'Cheers' garnered by any campaign ever across the world.

Ad Cap hearing further adjourned by TDSAT

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 31 October 2013 adjourned till 11 November the case on ad cap regulation. The issue of 10+2 minute ad cap on TV channels is becoming murkier. Only yesterday ie 30 October. Mediawatch India, a consumer organisation has appealed against TRAI for diluting the quality of service regulations in TV Advertisement by removing clauses concern sudden increase in sound volume during ads, ‘part screen’ drop down ads and crowing ads on TV screen interfering the main programme. 
TDSAT Chairman Justice Afton Alam and member Kuldip Singh also rejected the interventions filed by Zee, Star and Viacom18, with the Tribunal asking them to file separate applications.

Consumer object dilution of Ad Regulations by TRAI

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Wednesday (30 October 2013) issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on a petition demanding the proper implementation of advertisements on cable and satellite television channels including some clauses that were earlier deleted by TRAI from the Quality of Service Regulations on Ad durations 
TDSAT will hear the appeal separately and not with appeal by the News Broadcasters Association. Trai had taken some television channels to court for not following the 12 minute advertising cap per programming hour mandated by law. Television channels had appealed in TDSAT and the matter is to be heard again.

The Economic Times unveils telecom news portal ETTelecom.com

One of India’s leading business & economy news website, The Economic Times announced the launch of ETTelecom.com, a comprehensive news portal catering exclusively to the telecom sector.
Launched by the Union Minister for Information Technology & Law, Kapil Sibal in a press briefing at Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi, and this initiative is a part of The Economic Times commitment to the telecom sector. ETTelecom.com has been launched with an objective to keep industry professionals updated with a comprehensive and focused round up on the telecom sector news - locally and globally; breaking new stories and in-depth analysis across varied topics such as technology, voice, VAS, and allied sectors.

Airtel Q2 profit falls 29% on forex losses

Bharti Airtel on reported a 29 per cent decline in its net profit to Rs 512 crore during the quarter ended September 30 compared with Rs 721 crore during the same period last year.
The company said margins were hit due to continued depreciation of the rupee with forex restatement and derivative losses of Rs 342 crore against Rs 25 crore loss last year. This is the 15th consecutive quarter when Bharti Airtel has reported declining profit.

RBNL gets shareholder nod to delist

Anil Ambani led Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), which has business interests across television broadcasting, radio, content production, out of home and intellectual properties, has received shareholder nod to voluntarily delist its equity shares from the bourses. 
The board proposal has been approved by 99.3 per cent of the non-promoter group shareholders who indicated their choice through postal ballot. On 18 September, the board of directors of the company had decided to delist equity shares of the company from stock exchanges. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Comcast's New Mobile App Streams Live TV Anywhere

Comcast's mobile video app is getting a huge revamp, adding around 35 channels of live streaming TV alongside the current on-demand shows and movies. The newly-named Xfinity TV Go app could arrive as early as this week for Android and iOS.
As The Verge reports, Comcast subscribers will be able to stream content over any Wi-Fi network (home or otherwise), and Verizon customers will have the option to stream on-the-go over 3G or LTE. Available channels include heavy hitters like ESPN, MSNBC, Disney, FOX and CNN, with more expected as the app rolls out.

AMC Networks to buy Liberty Global's Chellomedia for $1.04 bn news

US cable TV operator AMC Networks Inc yesterday said it would buy most of the assets of Liberty Global's international content unit Chellomedia, for about €750 million ($1.04 billion).
The deal gives AMC Networks an extensive array of London-based Chellomedia's television channels that are distributed to more than 390 million households in 138 countries.

ABAI FEST 2013 Mysore 6th - 7th December 2013 - First ever Animation and Visual Effects Film Festival

ABAI one if India's primary associations supporting the digital and creative arts sectors is organising ABAI FEST 2013 at the University Grounds in Mysore on the 6th and 7th December 2013. This is a 1st ever festival screening exclusive footage from all over the world in Animation and Visual Effects.
 "Computer Graphics has become part and parcel of International and local content creation in Film and Television. It provides the digital intermediation needed by filmmakers, directors and studios to mount bigger and bolder stories, themes and projects. Too little of how this is done has been exposed to the Indian public" said Biren Ghose, President – ABAI & Country Head – Technicolor India

Cloud computing: Govt to roll out ‘Meghraj’ in Dec

The government will in December roll out Meghraj, a programme that aims to move government data, services and application to remote servers, J. Satyanarayana, secretary at the department of electronics and information technology, said on 29 October.
Meghraj, the national cloud initiative, aims to establish a secure and unified cyber space for shared government services and infrastructure, provide IT resources on demand, and optimize utilization of IT infrastructure and resources, Satyanarayana said at Cloud Summit 2013, organized by lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry.

India’s TV NOW selects Grass Valley Solutions to launch first HD news channel

TV NOW, a brand new 24-hour Malayalam satellite television channel for news and other informational programming, plans to launch with a fully-integrated high-definition news production solution from Grass Valley. TV NOW's new infrastructure will include three GV Director nonlinear live production systems, the powerful GV STRATUS nonlinear media production tools, nine LDX Flex HD studio cameras, a Trinix NXT digital video routing switcher, a K2 Summit 3G transmission server, EDIUS nonlinear editing software, and HD K2 SAN storage. Together, these solutions will enable TV NOW to get news to air more quickly and without any interruptions, which is crucial to the smooth running of an operation that airs programming 24/7.

Tata Elxsi and Algotochip announce partnership to provide rapid SoC solutions and services targeted at OEMs and custom chip makers

Tata Elxsi, a leading product design company and Algotochip, the first company that turns behavioral C Code into Device, announced their partnership to provide rapid SoC solutions and services targeted at OEMs and custom chip makers. 
The companies' first collaboration is to develop digital chips and IP blocks that can support next-generation video services embedded with the latest 4K HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) technology. This leverages Tata Elxsi’s HEVC Ultra HD (4K) software that has been licensed to multiple customers. The IP blocks and services are targeted for an array of proliferating smart CE devices such as Smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, media players amongst others.

Antenna Cyprus Boosts Channel Playout Efficiency and Expandability With Industry-Leading Harmonic Spectrum(TM) Media Server

Harmonic the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure announced that Antenna Cyprus has upgraded its channel playout infrastructure with the installation of a Spectrum(TM) media server system at its Nicosia, Cyprus, broadcast facility. Supporting file-based operations while ensuring reliable and scalable playout, the Harmonic solution has allowed Antenna Cyprus to realize greater efficiency, from ingest to editing to archive, and to lay the foundation for a smooth migration to HD playout. 
"We chose to upgrade to the Spectrum media server system because of its excellent reputation, as well as its robust capabilities and simple scalability," said Michael Dallas, technical director at Antenna Cyprus. "The server system enables us to accept and work with a variety of file types, which is increasingly important as more and more content - from commercials to sports coverage - is being delivered to our facilities via file transfer. The ease with which we can move files around our facility has brought real time savings to our operations. As we look toward HD playout and the launch of additional channels, we're confident the Harmonic system will best support fast and cost-effective expansion." 

Amagi Media Labs enables ETV cloud based custom feed for Singapore

Eenadu Television Pvt Ltd launched the custom feed of its premier channel “ETV Telugu” in Singapore through Amagi’s cloud enabled broadcast solution. ETV has deployed Amagi’s localization platform at SingTel’s Mio TV to generate a local feed for Singapore and has been on air since July 2013.
TV networks often need to regionalize their channel feed. It could be to increase revenues by offering targeted ads in a country, or to ‘mask’ specific content to comply with broadcast regulation or even more commonly to include regional programming to cater to local audience preference. Creating such a customized feed has always been a challenge for TV networks with multi-country broadcast feeds, often forcing broadcasters to create a new feed using satellite or fiber. Amagi’s cloud based Localize platform helps TV networks to efficiently generate the regional feed from the existing linear feed of their channels. 

I&B Ministry dictates channels to follow the programme code

An advisory issued by the Ministry also said it was necessary to keep ‘the significance of the solemn days like Independence Day, etc. in view while carrying the speech of the Prime Minister and the President of India’.
The Ministry said any further violation of the provisions of the Programme/Advertising Code would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines.

Sun TV’s satellite subscribers in Europe and ME to migrate to cloud

Sun TV Networks Europe has partnered with Cloudio TV to migrate its satellite subscribers in Europe and Middle East to the latter’s over-the-top (OTT) platform. 
Cloudio TV will take control of the delivery of Sun TV’s current linear channels and develop Sun TV’s video on-demand (VOD) services. 

Videocon d2h makes HD and SD STB same cost

Videocon d2h, the fastest growing DTH brand in the country, has announced reduction in the price of its High Definition Set Top Boxes to Rs. 2000, thus equaling the price of its Standard Set Top Boxes, and welcome the festive season. The High Definition Set Top Boxes will now be available at the price of a Standard Definition Box. The HD Set Top box price has been reduced from Rs. 3090 to Rs. 2000 in rest of India and from Rs. 3250 to Rs. 2000 in the South. This will certainly boost the penetration of the High Definition services in the already growing HD segment. Videocon d2h has also bettered its offering on Standard Definition Set Top boxes by providing a 1 month free viewing for rest of India and 2 months free viewing in the South. Videocon d2h currently offers maximum 444 channels & services and 22 Asli “HD” channels on its platform. It has also been leading in month on month gains in the HD segment and this price revision will surely lead to a surge in HD subscriber numbers.

Tata Sky reduces price of HD set top box to Rs 2,000

DTH service provider Tata Sky announced reduction in price of its high definition (HD) set top box to Rs 2,000 from Rs 3,100 earlier.
Now, Tata Sky HD set top boxes will be available at the price of a standard definition (SD) set top box, the company said in a statement.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

NationalChip from China eyes Indian STB market

Seeing the speedy progress in digitasation of Cable TV Chinese digital TV solutions provider NationalChip is looking to increase its market share in India’s fast-growing set-top box (STB) manufacturing market. As part of its growth plans, NationalChip has launched new set-top box chips (system-on-chip) for the Indian market. 
The company wishes to cash on the mass market of Cable TV providing enhanced user experience to subscribers. 

Media Nucleus launches CAMS express for Phase III and IV market

Considering the special requirement of Phase III & IV market of Digital cable, Mumbai-based Media Nucleus, which provides technology solutions to the broadcast and cable market, has launched a new subscriber management system (SMS) solution christened as CAMS Express. This is a low cost plug and play product for the smaller operators in “other urban areas and rural markets”, as defined by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). 

Frost & Sullivan Commends Harmonic for Taking the Top Spot in the Multi-Screen Software Transcoding Market

Based on its recent analysis of the multi-screen software transcoding market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Harmonic with the 2013 Global Frost & Sullivan Market Share Leadership Award for capturing the highest market share within its industry. Harmonic's share in 2012 was slightly more than 9 percent, and in 2013, it outgrew the market to reach a market share of more than 10 percent, thereby rising to the top spot in a very fragmented market.

Pacnet First to Provide 100G Wave Services between Asia-Pacific and the United States

Pacnet announced the successful deployment of an optical mesh network with 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) technology between Asia and the United States on its EAC Pacific fiber optic cable system integrated with Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching over its Asia-Pacific region’s high-capacity submarine cable systems.  Pacnet can now offer its Carrier and Enterprise customers 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps services between Asia-Pacific and the U.S.
Pacnet’s 100G network upgrade is a significant move to address the increasingly growing demand for bandwidth throughout the Asia-Pacific region and all over the world.  In 2017, global IP traffic is expected to reach 1.4 Zettabytes per year, or 120.6 Exabytes per month, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent from 2012 to 2017.

TiVo announces Roamio for viewing recorded content out of home

US TV technology company TiVo, which offers advanced television services and also creates digital video recorders (DVRs), has announced the launch of out-of-home streaming on the TiVo Roamio Pro and TiVo Roamio Plus DVRs. This lets users stream and download live TV and recorded content to smartphones and tablets from anywhere. 
TiVo VP product marketing Jim Denney said, “Until now, your shows have been locked up in your set-top box at home. Now with a TiVo Roamio DVR, whether it’s a hotel in Denmark, the waiting room at the dentist office, when you’re stuck at the airport, or at the gym, out-of-home streaming gives you the level of choice, control and freedom that consumers have come to expect from TiVo.” 

STMicroelectronics Releases Unique HomePlug® Smart System-on-Chip for Smart-Home and Smart-Energy Innovation

STMicroelectronics a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has released its unique ST2100 STreamPlug System-on-Chip (SoC) targeting smart-home and smart-energy applications to the world market. The device is already powering a new portfolio of intelligent products developed jointly by ST and Tatung, a leading electronics company for smart-home solutions. 

DoT seeks approval for broadband connectivity at panchayat level

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought approval from the Telecom Commission on its proposal to overlay the government user network over the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) to ensure broadband connectivity at gram panchyat level.
It has proposed to establish a framework for the delivery of high speed broadband or closed user group connectivity from district headquarters and two other locations in the gram panchayats for government services that can be delivered to the public along with a community access to broadband.

Bharat Broadband plans to connect gram panchayats in 3 phases

Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) will opt for three-phased implementation of Internet connectivity across 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India to provide e-government services.
A single window connectivity, through broadband and Wi-Fi, at the panchayat level would help delivery of e-services, Government-to-Government (Centre-to-State Government) services at the gram panchayats, and Government-to-consumer services, a document prepared by the Ministry of Communication & IT says.

BSNL launches new mobile app for android/Windows phones

BSNL launched a new Mobile application 'My BSNL App' for Android and Windows Mobile Phone users.
With increasing penetration of Small Phones, this simple and Smart App will enable customers to pay their Post paid Bills and dp Pre-paid TopUp from anywhere at anytime, it said in a release.

MAA TV moots 14+2 ad cap formula for regional broadcasters

MAA TV COO J Sekhar has demanded that the regional language channels must be given some leeway by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on ad cap regulation as compared to their national counterparts. 
TRAI must allow regional channels to have ad duration of 14 minutes plus 2 minutes of self promotion in a clock hour as opposed to the current 10+2 formula. 

Media sector in South to nearly double by 2017: FICCI

Media and entertainment industry in South India is expected to grow at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent to Rs 43,600 crore by 2017 driven by popularity of vernacular content and rapid digitisation, a report by Deloitte and Ficci said.
The projected growth is against Rs 23,900 crore in FY2013, Deloitte, a leading global professional services firm, and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a release quoting from its report Media & Entertainment in South India - the Digital March.

Delhi Lokayukta wants DAVP panel to certify circulation figures before giving govt. ads

Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin has favoured setting up of a panel of Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity for empanelment as well as granting of government advertisements. 
The order by the Lokayukta came following a complaint that a local newspaper misrepresented facts about circulation figure in getting advertisement from government agencies and departments in Delhi.

Monday, 28 October 2013

NSBA declares Reports on TV news channels in DSP murder case impartial

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has rejected the complaint filed by Lucknow-based social activist Dr Nutan Thakur regarding news relayed by various News channels about the role of Raja Bhaiya in DSP Ziaul Haq’s murder.
The Authority (NBSA) has concluded that no impropriety was done in broadcast of these news items.

TV18 in Q2 FY14 net at Rs 10.1 cr vs loss of Rs 40.6 cr in Q2 FY13

TV18 Broadcast has posted net profit after tax and minority interest of Rs 10.1 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2013 as compared to net loss after tax and minority interest of Rs 40.6 crore in Q2 FY13.
EBITDA was up three times to Rs 39.6 crore YoY in Q2 FY14, as compared to Rs 14.2 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal, registering a growth of 178 per cent.

EC brings social media under ITS net

The Election Commission brought on 25 October the social media and Internet use for elections under its purview, issuing a detailed order for regulating them.
It decreed that the legal provisions and orders issued by the Commission regarding the election campaigning shall equally apply to the social media alike any other media, so far as the candidates and political parties are concerned.

Eros Media net up 42%

Eros International Media has reported an over 42 per cent rise in net profit for the second quarter ended September 30, 2013.
The film production and distribution company recorded a net profit of Rs 37 crore, against Rs 26 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

HomeShop18 closes fresh fund-raising of $14 million

HomeShop18, part of the Network 18 group, has raised $14 million in the follow-on funding round.
While Korea’s GS Home Shopping will invest $11 million, the remaining amount will be invested by OCP Asia Ltd and Network18.

NDTV, TV18 Broadcast, TV Today shortlisted for the 2013 AIBs Awards

The Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) has announced the shortlisted entries for the 2013 AIBs, its annual awards celebrating the best in international factual broadcasting. Drawn from nearly 300 entries submitted by TV and radio broadcasters, content producers and broadcasting technology companies throughout the world, the lists for each of the 18 awards showcase the best broadcasts, personalities and enabling technology over the last year.

CNN-IBN shines at ITA Awards 2013

CNN-IBN has once again proved its mettle by winning three awards at the 13th Indian Television Academy Awards. CNN-IBN was adjudged the Best English News Channel of 2013 – for the seventh time in the last eight years and four times in a row.
Sagarika Ghose was conferred the Best Anchor – Talk/Chat Show for ‘Face the People’. The other award was bagged by the channel’s flagship show ‘India at 9’ in the category Best News/Current Affairs Show.

IEEE standards association forms cloud computing innovation council to help accelerate and advance India’s IT infrastructure

IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, has announced that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has formed the Cloud Computing Innovation Council for India through its Industry Connections program. The new council will serve as a “think tank” for propelling technological innovations across the cloud-computing ecosystem in India and other emerging markets.

BBC could lose its exclusive right to licence fee

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been warned that it could lose its exclusive right to the licence fee unless it rebuilds public trust.
The broadcaster may either face a cut in the amount it receives or have to share it with other broadcasters, ruling Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps said on 27 October.

Cable ONE reaches agreement with Turner Broadcasting

Cable ONE announced that it reached an agreement with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., restoring broadcasts of CNN, CNN en Espanol, HLN, Turner Classic Movies, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, truTV, and Boomerang.
The channels were dropped from the country's 10th-largest cable provider as part of a carriage dispute.

Al Jazeera America set for TWC

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are set to begin offering Al Jazeera America to their customers in the coming months, bringing the news network to almost 55 million homes.
The network will roll out on basic digital tiers on the two platforms in markets such as New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas. 

Airtel Digital TV launches new set-top box

Airtel Digital TV, the direct to home (DTH) arm of Bharti Airtel launched a set-top-box for Rs 2,000 wherein customers can record by plugging-in an external storage device such as pen drive.
“The new standard definition (SD) set-top-box will allow customers to enjoy recording by just plugging-in an external storage device,” the company said in a statement.

Dish TV posts Rs 16-cr loss

Direct-to-home service provider Dish TV has posted a net loss of Rs 16 crore for the quarter ended September 30. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 55.09 crore in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal on the back of exceptional income. Net sales were up 10.57 per cent to Rs 589.68 crore (Rs 533.27 crore). 
The company said keeping in mind its strategy for self-funded growth with minimal debt on its books, it had “repaid debt to the tune of Rs 2,350 million in the first half and will be paying off the rupee equivalent of $90 million in the second half of the current fiscal.” “We are on track and look forward to acquiring additional transponder capacity to beef up our existing bandwidth in the current fiscal. We intend to leverage the additional capacity to distribute localised content as well as strengthen carriage revenues,” said Jawahar Goel, MD, Dish TV.

North East Live in talks with DTH players

 ‘North East Live’, the first 24x7 satellite news channel launched in Arunachal Pradesh at the beginning of this month, is in talks with DTH (direct-to-home) players like Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel, etc to get itself integrated in the list of channels offered to subscribers by them. For this, the channel has earmarked an annual budget of Rs 12 crore-Rs 13 crore.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the DTH players charge around Rs 4.5 crore every year as carriage fees.

Siti Cable posts revenue growth of 57% in Q2FY14

Siti Cable Network has reported total revenues of Rs 1,629.4 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 compared with Rs 1,039.8 million during corresponding quarter last fiscal, recording a growth of 57%. Operating profit (EBITDA) for Q2FY14 was Rs 329.8 million against Rs 189.3 million during corresponding quarter last fiscal.
Siti Cable is the only MSO in India to provide the Digital Subscriber Management system ‘Own Your Customer (OYC)’ to cable operators. It is the only MSO to share 25 per cent carriage revenue with cable operators.

Broadband grows at 3% in August: TRAI

India’s total broadband subscriber base has registered a 3.10 per cent growth to 15.28 million for the period ending August 2013 compared to 14.82 million a year ago, according to data provided by Telecom Regulatory Authority India (TRAI). 
On a sequential quarter basis, the subscriber base has grown 0.26 per cent to 15.28 million at the end of August 2013. 

Broadband grows at 3% in August: TRAI

India’s total broadband subscriber base has registered a 3.10 per cent growth to 15.28 million for the period ending August 2013 compared to 14.82 million a year ago, according to data provided by Telecom Regulatory Authority India (TRAI). 
On a sequential quarter basis, the subscriber base has grown 0.26 per cent to 15.28 million at the end of August 2013. 

DoT to drop lock-in period for telecom stake sale

The Department of Telecom will drop the three-year mandatory lock-in period for promoters of telecom companies under the new mergers and acquisition rules.
The lock-in period was introduced to prevent fly-by-night players from making windfall gains by selling spectrum at market price after acquiring spectrum from the Government under the first-come-first-served policy.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Exset and Donex enters into Strategic partnership

The Netherland-based Exset B.V., pioneers of TV ecosystems for developing markets, has announced a close cooperation with Donex Industries Limited for manufacturing ‘Set Top Box’ (STB) for the Indian home cable market. Under the agreement reached between the management of both the Companies, Donex will manufacture STBs in synergy with Exset’s award winning Digital Monetization System (DMS).
While Donex has been in the business of manufacturing STB for the Indian Cable Industry for over two years, this will for the first time they will be manufacturing STBs embed with DMS. This will ensure delivery of path breaking monetization service and the next generation content protection system to the cable fraternity and enable them to create multiply revenues by generating new value added monetization streams.

Airtel DTH subscribers can now watch their tweets live on TV

Airtel Digital TV subscribers can now watch their tweets live on their television screen, following Airtel’s partnership with Twitter. “A revolutionary convergence of tweeting and television viewing, the concept is an innovation in the DTH industry across the world and it allows customers to experience Twitter on TV,” Airtel Digital TV said in a statement. 

FCC to Consider Looser Reviews on Foreign Broadcast Ownership

The Federal Communications Commission set a Nov. 14 vote on relaxing reviews on foreign ownership of broadcast stations, a move backers say will increase investment in the sector.
The agency at its monthly meeting is to consider the loosening sought by companies including CBS Corp. (CBS), Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI), and the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, according to an e-mail distributed today by the FCC.

Comcast to offer HBO in basic TV package

Comcast Corp customers will soon be able to buy premium movie and TV channel HBO and its HBO Go online service in a pared-down basic cable package that includes about 10 channels plus Internet access, for an introductory price of about $50 a month.
The new offer, which is publicized on Comcast's website, is a chance for Time Warner-owned HBO to reach subscribers who felt they could not afford the channel before. Until now, HBO was generally marketed to customers who buy the priciest TV packages through their cable company.

DoT seeks nod to get tower firms under unified licensing

The telecom department (DoT) is seeking approval from the highest decision-making body of the communications ministry on including telecom tower providers under the unified licensing regime.
If cleared by the Telecom Commission, tower providers may have to pay a fee of about 8% of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) which would add to the woes of the struggling industry that has been insisting that it is an essential infrastructure provider and hence be treated differently. 

TRAI sticks to its recommendations on reserve price

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said the Reserve Prices for 1800 MHz and 900 MHz will remain unchanged and at the level already recommended by the Authority.
Since the recommendations on the reserve price obtained for different LSAs follow, in logical sequence, from the valuation through adoption of different economic methodologies, the authority did not find any scope to “reconsider” the reserve price, as suggested by the Department of Telecommunications. 

F&S Sees 9% CAGR for Indian Broadcast Gears Market

Frost & Sullivan has released key highlights from its ‘Digital Media India Summit 2013’ hosted in Mumbai. The summit included participants from broadcasters, pay TV operators and production houses and featured Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Media India Awards for the Broadcast Equipment Market. The summit addressed key industry trends such as optimizing high definition (HD), deploying TV-everywhere, leveraging digital analytics, and monetizing digital Pay TV services, said a Frost & Sullivan release.

Walt Disney Names New Managing Director for India

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said on 24 October its managing director in India, Ronniew Screwvala, has decided to step down and that he will be replaced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, who heads the unit's studio's business.
Mr. Kapur will become Disney UTV's managing director on Jan 1. Mr. Screwvala will stay with the company until June 30 to help in the management transition, it said in a news release.

Notice to I&B Ministry, NBA on allegations of paid news

On 25 October the Allahabad High Court issued notice to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) in a petition relating to paid news.
Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Ashok Pal Singh of the Lucknow bench said that in a democratic country while freedom of expression is a basic requirement, there are problems related to paid news and other vested news if there is no forum with the government for complaints to be presented by the public.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

DoT paves way for big-ticket mergers in telecom sector

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has decided to allow an entity formed by merger of two or more mobile service providers to have up to 50% of the market share in a circle. Moreover, companies holding 3G spectrum will be allowed to retain two blocks of the high speed radiowaves per circle in any resultant entity post merger, according to draft guidelines on M&A being discussed by the telecom department.
These new amendments to the telecom merger & acquisitions (M&A) rules (final guidelines expected to be issued on November 1) are expected to give a big boost to consolidation in the sector. Analysts and operators say the industry can at best accommodate five to six players, compared to over 10 in some circles currently.

Dish TV unveils two new and exciting Diwali bonanza offers

As the country readies to celebrate Diwali, Asia’s largest direct-to-home network Dish TV has announced the launch of two special offers: the first on a Rs 1,500 cash back on purchase of a Dish TV set top box and a Ultimate Combo Offer that will encourage purchase of high definition boxes.
This year, Dish TV will provide whopping a Rs 1,500 cash back on purchase of any Dish TV set top box. This offer is applicable on the purchase of either Standard Definition (SD) or High Definition (HD) boxes. In addition to this offer, Dish TV has also announced the Ultimate Combo Offer that will help consumers earn a free standard definition box with the purchase of every high definition box.

Vuclip to power video of Airtel VAS entertainment store

Vuclip is powering the video section of the Re 1 Entertainment Store at telecom major Bharti Airtel.
The mobile entertainment store of Airtel offers services including music, games, photos and videos.

Rural internet users to rise to 85 million by June 2014: IAMAI

There will be 68 million claimed Internet users and 46 million active internet users in rural India by the end of October 2013, according to the i-Cube report titled, 'Internet in Rural India' by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, which released on 22 October. The report estimates that by December 2013, there will be 72 million claimed Internet users and 49 million active Internet users in rural India. By June 2014, claimed internet users in rural India will rise to 85 million and active internet users to 56 million. The report also finds that around 61% or 25 million of active Internet users access Internet at least once a week.

DoT to drop fine on 2G firms for shutting service without notice

The Department of Telecom is likely to drop plans to impose a penalty on some of the 2G players for shutting down services without notice.
The follows an opinion given by the legal advisors that 2G operators whose licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court cannot be blamed for closing services after the deadline set by the apex court.

Casbaa adds Todd Miller and William Wade to board of directors

Casbaa, the Asia Pacific multichannel TV association, has announced the election of Celestial Tiger Entertainment CEO Todd Miller and AsiaSat president and CEO William Wade to the board of directors.
Re-elected as chairman of Casbaa was Marcel Fenez, global leader, entertainment & media practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and re-elected for additional terms on the board were PCCW TV and New Media MD Janice Lee and GroupM APAC CEO Mark Patterson.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Broadcasters to get MHA Security clearance Every Three Years

NEW DELHI: Home Ministry has clarified to the I & B Ministry that security clearances given to companies by the Ministry for running TV channels will be considered valid for a period of three years only.
The Home Ministry conveyed this in a letter to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, which had earlier sent a query to it asking if the security clearance given to broadcasting companies came with a time frame attached.

Netflix CEO hopeful for deals with Comcast, others

LOS ANGELES: Netflix Inc CEO Reed Hastings said on Monday he was hopeful the company would reach a deal with ComcastCorp and other pay television providers to offer his company's movie and TV streaming service through cable set-top boxes. 
"I'm really hopeful we can do that with Comcast and others in the industry," Hastings told analysts on a video webcast after Netflix released quarterly earnings.