Friday, 31 January 2014

Union cabinet clears spectrum usage charge proposal

The Union Cabinet has cleared the government's proposal to levy a spectrum usage charge (SUC) of 5% on annual revenue from 2G airwaves bought through the upcoming auction, along with a weighted average system for old and new airwaves, paving way for the auctions to begin on February 3. "The Cabinet has ratified the decisions taken by the Empowered Group of Ministers on spectrum usage charge," said Uma Shankar, joint secretary at the telecom department.
The approval puts to rest speculations around the possibility of any further delay in the bandwidth sale, crucial for the likes of No. 1 operator Bharti Airtel and No. 2 Vodafone India who must win 900 Mhz spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to continue to offer uninterrupted services. Vodafone's licences in all three circles expire November 2014, the same time when Bharti's licenses expire in Kolkata and Delhi.

Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh cricket boards yet to give support to BCCI-ECB-CA combine

While the ICC has said that the proposals at its meeting in Dubai got unanimous approval, Cricket South Africa (CSA), Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have issued statements clarifying where things stand as far as they are concerned. 
CSA will be convening a joint session of its board and certain key stakeholders as soon as is practically possible to consider these principles. 

ZEEL enters Indonesia, appoints country head

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) has entered the south Asian country of Indonesia by opening an office in Jakarta and appointing Maria Liza Ginting as country head, Indonesia. The company announced the launch of Zee Bioskop channel that focuses on Bollywood blockbuster movies; and Veria Living, which already exists in the USA, as the first wellness content channel in Indonesia.
Subhash Chandra, chairman, ZEEL, said, "Indonesia and India share a lot of similarities when it comes to culture, values and entertainment appetite, in addition to being maritime neighbours. Indonesia is economically one of the fastest growing markets with huge potential for pay TV growth. I am confident these launches will flag off a new beginning for our venture and relationship between the two countries."

BSkyB-HBO agreement boosts pay-TV defence

BSkyB has signed a new deal with US producer HBO to secure exclusive access to blockbuster shows such as Game of Thrones until 2020 and strengthen its defence against an increasingly competitive BT.
The deal announced on Thursday is part of efforts by Britain’s dominant pay-TV provider to broaden its offering with increased content and services to tie in customers after BT encroached on its traditional stronghold of sports coverage last year.

France 24 signs broadcast services contract with Ericsson

Ericsson and France 24 have signed a five-year broadcast services contract following a tender process conducted by the international channel. 
France 24 has renewed Ericsson’s playout management mandate and scheduled the deployment of modernised tools, including new control rooms and HD studios. Modernisation will allow France 24 to better meet the needs of the international TV market with enriched content. France 24 broadcasts news 24/7 to 250 million homes around the world in French, English and Arabic. 

Polimer TV appoints J Shekar as CEO

J Shekar has been appointed in as CEO of Polimer TV. He will be reporting to PV Kalyanasundaram, MD, Polimer TV. Shekar will be based in Chennai. His last stint was with Maa TV as COO for three years.
Sources said the news and said that Shekar will be joining on February 3, 2014. 

Asianet cable digitisation

Asianet Satellite Communications has achieved total digitisation of cable service connections in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. 
Binu George, Executive Vice-President, Asianet Cable Services, said that the company uses digital set top boxes manufactured by Cisco. Digital set top boxes are required for receiving television signals. Without it, cable TV signals would be blacked out. The boxes are available in different models as well as in latest high definition and high definition-digital video recorder formats. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

National and local MSOs meet in Kolkata to discuss billing process

The multi system operators (MSOs) seem to be in full swing to bring the gross billing system in place. This time, to discuss the smooth rollout of gross billing in the Kolkata Municipal Area (KMA), the national representatives of MSOs that included SitiCable Network and Den Networks, along with the local players like Manthan and AMBC among few others met and signed a deal to expedite the process. 
Kolkata has 30 lakh cable homes and most of them still get ad hoc bills from the MSOs. Thus, to implement the gross (consumer) billing for January, and bring transparency in the entire process, the MSOs have requested cable TV subscribers to ask for bills from the local cable operators (LCOs) before paying the monthly subscription charges.

10 Million DTH Connections in just 4 years - a major landmark for Videocon d2h

Videocon d2h, Asia’s Most Promising Brand & Fastest Growing DTH Service has crossed 10 million connections.  The youngest & latest entrant in the DTH industry went pan India in 2010 and has grown tremendously in the last 4 years.  
On celebrating the success story of 10 Million connections in a very short period of time, Videocon d2h credits this growth and popularity of the brand to the wide range of channels and services, high definition services and impeccable focus on customer service & satisfaction. For Videocon d2h, the encouraging response from the customers is an ample testimonial to the trust placed on the brand and its superior performance.  Videocon d2h has also firmly established itself as the leader in the High definition category. 

JAINHITS DPs successfully hosted LCO meet for AP

JAINHITS, India’s only HITS Platform based service in an effort to digitize all analogue cable networks in the country, conducted a massive LCO (Local Cable Operators) meet in association with the state DP (Distribution Partners) for the Andhra Pradesh region. The meet saw close to 650 LCOs from across the state. The objective was to inform the gathering about the immediate cable digitization solutions that JAINHITS can provide across every corner of India.
Present on the occasion, Mr. Pradip Baijal, Ex Chief, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) said, “JAINHITS has obtained content coupled with all the regulatory approvals to supply cable TV and broadband, and has downloaded its signal. The time has come for the latest technology of HITS to take the signal directly to the LCOs, and then to subscribers, and to also supply broadband to subscribers through the LCOs.

22nd Convergence India 2014 expo- South Asia’s Largest ICT, media, entertainment and applications industry expo ends today amidst an overwhelming response

Convergence India 2014 expo, South Asia’s largest ICT, media, entertainment and applications industry expo, was inaugurated by Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Former Union Minister, Shri Syed Shahnawaz Hussain at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Syed Shahnawaz Hussain had said, “I am pleased to be present at this important platform that recognizes the potential of the evolving telecommunications, media and entertainment industry and its contribution in boosting the economy, and overall growth of the nation”.
Following this, Dr. Rahul Khullar, Chairman, TRAI set the agenda for the three day expo by opening the floor for dialogue on “Connecting India”, the theme for the 22nd edition of Convergence India 2014. The inaugural ceremony also saw industry leaders such as N Ravi Shankar (Special Secretary & Administrator, USOF, DoT), Anupam Shrivastava ( Director (CM) & CMD (Designate), BSNL), Umang Das, Chief Mentor, Viom Networks Ltd., Rajan S Mathews, ( Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India ), Pankaj Mohindroo (National President, Indian Cellular Association) and Rajiv Bawa (Country Head, Telenor).

News Express expected to launch regional channels in March

After a plethora of appointments, News Express is all set to launch two regional channels, in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, in March. The Hindi news channel will also be revamped just ahead of the new launches.
To head the two channels, Ravikant Mittal has been appointed as managing editor of News Express. He will oversee the regional channels of the news network and will report to Vinod Kapri, CEO and editor-in-chief, News Express. He joined the channel on January, 29.

Airtel Digital TV’s ARPU touches new high, Q3 EBITDA improves

Airtel Digital TV’s average revenue per user (ARPU) has hit an all-time high, climbing to Rs. 207 in the fiscal third quarter and raising the question of whether customers are finally willing to pay higher for the television channels that they subscribe to. 
Even in the trailing quarter Bharti Airtel’s DTH arm had reported an ARPU of Rs. 198, a new high. ARPU in the third quarter ended 31 December rose by Rs. 21 from the earlier-year period. The upward trend is an encouraging sign for direct-to-home (DTH) service providers who have been struggling to increase consumer pricing. 

No relief for Kantar as Delhi HC asks govt to file reply; hearing on Feb 11

The Delhi High Court on 29 January dashed Kantar Market Research Service’s (KMRS) hopes of redress by refusing to stay the TV rating agency guidelines issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). 
The hearing in the matter has been adjourned till 11 February, just four days ahead of the 30-day deadline to comply with the guidelines. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Amendment No. 3 to the notice inviting applications for the spectrum auction in February 2014

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, has issued the 3rd Amendment to the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the Spectrum Auction of 1800 MHz band and 900 MHz band scheduled for February 2014. As per the fresh Amendment, some changes have been made in some parts of Clause Nos. 4, 5 and 8. Also, there has been some amendment in the Table 1-A of the NIA (Auction Time Table). The details of the Amendment are available on the website of DoT.

Trai suggests outright transfer of purchased spectrum, bars leasing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 28 January cleared the working guidelines for spectrum trading, allowing cellular operators to buy and sell spectrum. However, it has recommended leasing of airwaves be barred, for now.
Spectrum trading refers to the transfer of rights to use spectrum. Under such trading, only outright transfer of spectrum (ownership of the usage right is transferred to the buyer) is allowed, according to Trai guidelines.

BIG MAGIC Bihar & Jharkhand launches Police Files Season II

BIG MAGIC Bihar and Jharkhand is all set to launch the second season of Police Files. The leading entertainment channel from the region launched the show with famous Bhojpuri actor and show host Vinay Anand at a press conference in the city today. Highlighting the various stories of crime, retaliation, presence of mind and bravery, the show hinges on the core principle ‘Surakshit Samaaj, Ek Abhiyaan’ and encourages people to be more socially responsible for those around them. The show launches on 3rd February, every Monday to Friday at 7.30pm and 10pm only on BIG MAGIC Bihar & Jharkhand!

Raj TV Network profit up 54%

Raj Television Network Ltd has reported a 54 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 5 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, against Rs 3.24 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2012.

Star India gets licence for IPL digital distribution from Times Internet

Star India Pvt. Ltd, media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s Indian Television Company, has got its hands on one of the only two key cricketing properties it doesn’t own in the country, strengthening its dominance over one of the world’s richest sports media markets.
Cricket generates an estimated Rs.1,400-1,500 crore in advertising in India in a non-Cricket World Cup year.

TRAI sticks to Jan 31 deadline for digitisation in Bangalore

Sticking to its January 31 deadline for digitisation of cable television in Bangalore and Mysore, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that signals to cable television consumers who do not install set-top boxes and submit consumer application forms (CAF) by the month-end will be switched off.
Adviser to TRAI, Bangalore, Sibichen K. Mathew said multisystem operators (MSO) would have to switch of signals to consumers who do not submit the CAF by January 31.

‘Jainhits’ launches its services in city

Jainhits, direct to network service, launched its services in Vijayawada on 27 January. On the occasion, Jainhits Head (Products and Strategy) Rakesh Gupta said Jainhits was a satellite-based digital cable TV delivery platform. The Jainhits partnered with Motorola and Itelsat to provide the most advanced digital technology. The company would build and operate digital highways in collaboration with cable network operators. It provides MPEG-4 digital quality TV channels including SD/HD channels and regional and international channels to cable operators, who in turn provide services to end customers.

Da Vinci Learning partners with Airtel Digital TV, Siti Cable and Digicable

The upcoming edutainment television channel Da Vinci Learning is taking steps to build a strong ecosystem and develop its foothold in the industry prior to its launch later this year. The channel has announced programming partnerships with DTH operator Airtel Digital TV and MSOs Siti Cable and Digicable. 
The partnership is aimed at giving Indian viewers an opportunity to sample Berlin-based Da Vinci Learning’s content portfolio, which is targeted at 4-14-year-olds and their parents. To showcase the channel’s extensive programming, which covers topics ranging from physics and chemistry to history and nature, Da Vinci Learning has struck a video-on-demand (VOD) deal with Airtel Digital TV. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

IndiaCast UTV issues disconnection notice to Arasu for non-payment of dues

IndiaCast UTV, the company that distributes TV18, Viacom18 and Disney UTV channels, has issued disconnection notice to Tamil Nadu government-owned multi-system operator (MSO) Arasu Cable TV Corporation for non-payment of dues. 
The notice states that the signals of some or all the channels of IndiaCast UTV will be discontinued to Arasu Cable subscribers after three weeks if the MSO fails to pay up its dues. IndiaCast UTV distributes 35 channels including Colors, MTV, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Hungama TV, Bindass and Nick. 

Siti Cable will be open to investors when valuation is ripe

Multi-system operator (MSO) Siti Cable is targeting a total digital subscriber base of 10 million and has a gross funding requirement of Rs. 1,200 crore (Rs 12 billion), a top executive of the company said. 
Siti Cable, which already has 3.6 million digital set-top boxes (STBs) deployed, expects to collect Rs. 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) from activation charges as it digitises its full subscriber universe. With the promoters putting in Rs. 240 crore (Rs 2.40 billion), the balance amount will be raised through debt or equity. 

AMBC eyes 5 lakh cable homes by Dec 2014

West Bengal multisystem operator, Advance Multisystem Broadband Communication (AMBC), which began its journey with a set of LCOs and isolated cable operators from Hooghly District in February 2000, is looking at expanding its footprint from the current around 4 lakh to 5 lakh cable TV homes by December this year.
According to AMBC managing director Sujit Das, the MSO plans to bring at least 1,000 LCOs within its fold from the present over 450 LCOs affiliated to it.

Switchover to satellite may help Prasar Bharati to save Rs. 635 cr annually

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, which owes Rs. 13,641 crore (Rs 136.41 billion) to the government, may save Rs. 635 crore (Rs 6.35 billion) annually just by switching over completely from terrestrial to satellite transmission. 
Incidentally, moving from terrestrial to satellite will not only meet all the requirements of the public broadcast service but also improve the overall customer experience of TV households on terrestrial and analogue cable, according to the observation of the Group on Technology of Prasar Bharati committee.

DW to shut Bengali services, Hindi news website

Deutsche Welle (DW), the German international broadcaster, has decided to shut its Bengali language services as part of a global restructuring under which English will gain prominence as the preferred language for news dissemination. 
The German pubcaster also said that it will absorb some of the employees from the Bengali department into the English-language TV and online offerings for Asia. DW’s Bengali offerings for Bangladesh and India include a Bengali news portal and a weekly TV programme. 

Euronews to launch multilingual African news channel

European news channel Euronews said on 27 January that it will launch Africa’s first multi-language news channel in the middle of next year in partnership with the state television of the Republic of Congo.
The new venture called Africanews will be headquartered in Brazzaville, the Congo capital.

Kamala Haasan, Vidya Balan among Padma winners

Actor-director Kamala Haasan and classical singer Begum Parveen Sultana have been selected for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year, while Bollywood actors Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal will receive Padma Shri.
Haasan in a career spanning more than five decades, has over 190 films to his credit, across genres and languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

Entropic appoints Tanmay Jha as associate director of sales in India

Entropic has appointed Tanmay Jha as Associate Director of Sales for the India market. Jha will be focused on helping to grow Entropic's set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) and connectivity businesses in the Indian sub-continent. Jha will be based in New Delhi, and will report to Noel McKenna, Vice President, Sales, EMEA and India.

Network18 launches local news portal, News18.com

Network18 has announced a local online news strategy with News18.com. It is being positioned as the country’s India’s first web, mobile and tablet service to focus on news at the state and city level. 
News18.com was launched on 26 January. Available on the web, on mobile phones and tablets, and as downloadable apps for iOS and Android devices, News18.com currently covers seven states: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It will expand the remaining states of the country over the next 18 months. 

TRAI awaits call from Madras High Court for Arasu hearing

More than four weeks have passed since the Madras High Court gave the interim order restraining the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking any coercive steps against the Tamil Nadu state government-owned MSO Arasu Cable TV Corp for giving analogue signals in Chennai.
However, there has been no follow up by the Madras HC on what it intends to do following the stay. 

Nasik cable ops to move Bombay HC as TDSAT dismisses billing plea

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has dismissed a petition filed by the Nasik District Cable Operators Association (NDCOA) challenging the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) regulation on billing. 
The petition was dismissed in the light of the Supreme Court ruling that the TDSAT does not have the right to adjudicate cases involving TRAI regulations and the same can be challenged only in High Court or a Supreme Court. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Zee Media launches automotive news vertical, Zeegnition

Zee Media Group has launched Zeegnition, a consolidated vertical for all its automotive related news, today. The brand will disseminate the automotive news via print, television and digital media. The main focus is to cater to the automotive world in a format-neutral approach where nothing is lost in translation.
The main thrust of brand Zeegnition will be on the digital format and Adil Jal Darukhanawala will be its editor-in-chief. The group has also launched a new web portal, http://www.zeegnition.com/.

BARC assures that its TV rating system

Television ratings agencies seem to be the flavour of the season. On the one hand, Kantar Research, one of TAM Media's major shareholders, has moved the Delhi HC against the Union Government’s new guidelines on cross holding restrictions. While on the other, up-and-coming ratings agency Broadcaster Audience Research Council (BARC), slated for a 1 October launch, has announced a tieup with France-based Mediametrie for technology services and licensing of a TV metering system.
BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and BARC Technology Committee member Paritosh Joshi spoke to CNBC TV18 about what to expect in the new set up.

Cable ops in Assam move HC against APDCL

Assam cable operators, under the aegis of the Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators Association (GGCTOA), have moved a petition in the Guwahati High Court against the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited’s (APDCL) demand of Rs. 25 per electricity pole per operator. 
Cable TV operators use poles for running their networks and there were no charges or rentals for this. APDCL first fixed Rs. 25 per pole as monthly electricity charges for pole utilisation. However, GGCTOA opposed the move and submitted requests and memorandums to various ministers and APDCL to negotiate. 

Arasu switches on Mediapro channels and switched off Sony bouquet and Tensports channels

State-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation has switched on mediapro channels after reaching an agreement with mediapro, the details of which are yet to be disclosed.  Earlier they had disconnected the channels due to breach of letter of acceptance and non-conclusion of price negotiation. Arasu had demanded a 50 per cent reduction in subscription fee from Media Pro, which they had denied earlier.
Meanwhile Arasu has switched off Ten Sports and all the Sony channels falling under Sony bouquet.

MSOs ask LCOs to collect CAFs from remaining cable homes in Kolkata

That the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked MSOs in Kolkata to start gross (consumer) billing from 15 December, 2013. MSOs in the Kolkata Municipal Area (KMA) have requested local cable operators (LCOs) to expedite the process of collecting Consumer Application Forms (CAF) and channel package details from the remaining five per cent of nearly 30 lakh cable TV homes in the city.
“We are asking the LCOs to cooperate and collect the remaining five per cent CAF so that we can start generating accurate bills against their names,” said SitiCable Network director Suresh Sethia, adding that the region had already collected 95-97 per cent CAF. 

Adopt DTH as DD’s primary mode of telecasting content: Panel

An expert panel has recommended making direct-to-home (DTH) signals the primary mode of transmitting content for Doordarshan and to discontinue terrestrial analog transmission.
The Prasar Bharati Expert Committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, submitted its report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on January 24.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

SC allows WSG-MSM arbitration on IPL facilitation fee issue

The Supreme Court on 24 January set aside an earlier Bombay High Court order and allowed sports marketing agency World Sport Group to proceed with arbitration against Multi Screen Media (MSM), erstwhile Sony Entertainment Television, on the issue of facilitation fee payment for the IPL broadcast rights. 
The Bombay HC had restrained World Sport Group (Mauritius) from proceeding with the arbitration. As per the contract, WSG had wanted the dispute to be resolved through arbitration in Singapore. However, MSM insisted it be decided in a regular trial before the court. The companies have fallen out over a facilitation fee deal for the media rights for the IPL.

Sony Six bags broadcast rights to RBS Six Nations' Rugby

Sony Six has won the exclusive broadcast rights to the RBS Six Nations’ Rugby tournament, which commences on February 1, 2014. Taking on its global viewing spectrum, the 2014 edition of the RBS Six Nations’ Rugby tournament will be shown on the prime time slot between 8 pm and 11 pm on Sony Six and Sony Six HD for Indian audiences.
Sony Six has also has broadcast rights to other premier rugby tournaments such as the Super Rugby League and the Rugby Championship.

ESPN launches digital shops for cricket fans

Global sports media brand ESPN has launched digital shops across its ESPNcricinfo.com and ESPN.com.au sites. The online stores, developed in collaboration with Velocity Brand Management’s retail division (VBM Retail), will provide cricket fans with a wide range of licensed and fan-specific merchandise along with branded and co-branded products. 
Fans can access the shops through a ‘Shop’ tab and button, available in the navigation of each of the ESPN site homepages. Additional digital shops will debut across other ESPN digital properties globally in 2014, including ESPN Scrum and ESPN Footytips. 

MTV India appoints Vikas Gupta as programming head

MTV India, the youth channel from Viacom18 stable, has appointed Vikas Gupta as programming head for the channel. 
Sources in the channel confirmed that Gupta will join on 3 February. 

Panel under Sam Pitroda suggests how Prasar Bharati can become an independent public service broadcaster

For becoming an independent public service broadcaster, a government-appointed committee has recommended private investment and “effective” administrative and financial powers to Prasar Bharati. 
Headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, the committee suggested restructuring of Prasar Bharati and complete transfer of ownership and management of the assets to it. 

TRAI to take decision on content aggregators, DTH licence and FM radio in two weeks: Khullar

Despite the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stating that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has no jurisdiction over competition-related issues, Chairman Rahul Khullar is bent on pursuing the content aggregator issue till a logical conclusion is reached. 
Putting all speculations to rest about the delay in the guidelines for content aggregators, the TRAI chairman said that the authority would come out with its recommendations on the role of content aggregators in two weeks. 

TRAI Extends Deadlines for Entry of Subscriber Details in SMS Systems for the DAS Phase-II Cities

Progress of digitisation in Phase II cities is held up because Consumer Acquisition Forms (CAF) have not been collected from all consumers and complete consumer data is not fed into the Subscriber Management Systems (SMS) to generate itemised billing.
Keeping in view the enormity and complexity of the task involved, TRAI has exercised regulatory forbearance in the interest of consumers and initially extended the time for collection of the CAFs and entry of these details in the SMS up-to November 2013. Thereafter, on the explicit request of the MSOs, further extensions of time up to December 2013 were given.

Focus on Consumer in Phase III & IV - I&B Minister at CII’s 5th CEOs Roundtable

The digitization process during Phase-III and IV would have to focus on the interest of the consumers in order to ensure that they were partners in the process rather than adversaries said Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Manish Tewari while addressing the 5th CEOs ‘Roundtable on Broadcast’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at New Delhi on 24 January 2014. For this purpose, the industry would have to run a focussed consumer awareness campaign, whereby the consumer would have to be sensitized about the benefits accruing from this process. 
Elaborating further, Tewari stated that the campaign would have to focus on improved quality of viewing and related qualitative benefits accruing to the consumer as a result of the implementation process. The learnings of the implementation during Phase-I and Phase-II would also have to be taken into account while outlining the implementation roadmap for the remaining phases. For digitization to succeed, the industry would have to make efforts to ensure that the consumer was an integral component in the digitization value chain. At the same time, the comprehensive approach would also ensure the emergence of viable business model for the industry.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Star India to invest Rs1, 500 crore in hockey

Star India, the country's leading sports network Star Sports has committed to make an investment of Rs1, 500 crore in hockey over the next eight years.
Nitin Kukreja, Head of Sports Business, Star India, said, "Our aim is to transform the sporting landscape and imbibe a culture of multiple sports in India. Sports broadcasters in India have traditionally invested only in cricket but shied away from committing such heavy investments in other games.

Sri Adhikari Brothers to raise Rs 100 crore

It is one of the more successful Indian-origin companies in the media industry that delved into the comedy genre with SAB TV, which it sold to the Sony Entertainment Television in India. It followed that up with niche channel forays, the most recent of which is a Marathi comedy and music channel Maiboli. 
Now, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network Ltd (SABTNL), has once again drawn up ambitious expansion plans and has decided to raise funds of upto Rs 100 crore to bankroll them.

Dish TV adds 220,000 subscribers; carriage fee up by 86% in Q3 FY14

Dish TV has reported standalone operating revenues of Rs 6,128 million in the third quarter ended December 31, 2013, recording a growth of 9.9 per cent over the corresponding period last fiscal. Subscription revenues stood at Rs 5,529 million, a growth of 11.9 per cent over Q3 FY13. The DTH operator, which has almost 27 per cent share of the market, added 220,000 subscribers in Q3 FY14, taking its net subscriber base to 11.2 million.
Bandwidth revenues of Rs 180 million were up 83.6 per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter of last fiscal. Average Revenue per User (ARPU) went up to Rs 166. Dish TV reported EBITDA of Rs 1,355 million in Q3 FY14, with EBITDA margin at 22.1 per cent.

Tata Sky’s latest advertising platform is an innovative option for advertisers

Tata Sky has now opened the doors of its interactive platform (Actve Services) for advertisers to reach out to their relevant audience. Brands can now effectively reach out to segmented targets such as women & children based on their product & services.
Popularity of Tata Sky’s Actve Services have grown four-folds over the years as they were developed to cater to specific audience with specific services; such as Actve Fun Learn (for kids aging 1-10yrs), Actve English (for women and schooling children), Actve Cooking (for food lovers), Actve Vedic Maths (for quick and competitive techniques in exams) and Actve Music (for Hindi & English music lovers) being some of the popular ones. Companies can now run commercials or integrate brand communication in programs running on these platforms.

Sunil Lulla promoted to President, Corporate Development of BCCL Group

Nine years ago, Sunil Lulla was given the challenge of steering the Times Television Network's (TTN) fortunes in a competitive Indian TV landscape. Today, the late entrant in the industry has blossomed as a broadcast major. And it seems like the former TTN MD and CEO’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by the board of Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL). Lulla is being challenged once again to work his magic on and grow some relatively nascent activities within the group.
Lulla has been designated as President of Corporate Development in the BCCL group and has been been given the task of replicating his earlier success with TTN in smaller BCCL businesses like music, sports, new IP, international events and other initiatives. The Times Music division will now be reporting to Lulla who will be working closely with Times Internet CEO Satyan Gajwani and BCCL group MD Vineet Jain.

Romedy Now lines up 3 new shows

Romedy Now will premiere ‘Witches of East End’, the current hottest TV show in the US, for the first time in India. The channel is also premiering Bradley Cooper’s ‘Kitchen Confidential’ and the much loved ‘Ally McBeal’.
America’s hottest supernatural love series, ‘Witches of East End’, will premiere on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8 PM. Starring Julia Ormond in the lead role, the show centres around the adventures of a family of witches. The two daughters Freya, a wild-child bartender played by Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Ingrid, a shy librarian played by Rachel Boston, are both unaware of their magical birth right, but when one of the daughters is engaged to a young, wealthy newcomer, a series of events forces their mother to admit that they are, in fact, powerful and immortal witches.

Vh1 to telecast live 56th Grammy Awards

English entertainment channel Vh1 will be hosting this month the iconic 56thAnnual Grammy Awards. The show will be aired live on January 27, 2014 at 6:30 AM with a primetime repeat at 9 PM.
This year the Grammy Awards will be hosted yet again by America’s most favourite rapper, entrepreneur and actor, LL Cool J. Making a rare TV appearance after 2008 will be Daft Punk. The electronic duo is all set to make it a stellar performance as they team up with the legendary Stevie Wonder. That’s not all, there are many more performances to look out for as Katy Perry, Lorde, Metallica, Pink, Nate Ruess, Merle Haggard, Blake Shelton, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar set the mood for the evening with their scintillating music tracks and sensational performances.

NewsX launches 'Decode India with MJ Akbar'

NewsX, India’s New News leader has launched a unique show ‘Decode India with MJ Akbar’. The show will be the first of its kind where the guest will lead the questions and discussions. The show will see MJ Akbar taking up current issues of national significance and demystifying them for the viewer with an investigative and informative show that is backed by the expertise, knowledge and journalistic experience of the host.

Reliance Jio wants to go solo, targets Diwali for roll-out

At a time when the telecom sector is heading towards consolidation, Reliance Jio plans to roll out telecom infrastructure on its own and is unlikely to buy an existing player.
Over the last one year there has been a market buzz that Reliance Jio could acquire telecom assets of one of the struggling telecom companies, including Aircel and Reliance Communications, in a bid to speed up the roll out.

MTNL to offer free incoming roaming

State-run operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) is to offer free incoming roaming for its customers travelling to Mumbai or Delhi, the only two circles where the company has operations.
The free incoming would be offered both for on-network (calls on the company’s network) and off network (calls from other operators). The services would be launched on Friday by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, sources close to the development said. The services would be available from January 26 for both pre- and post-paid users, they added.

Now, 4G gets a voice on your smartphone

Bharti Airtel has become the first operator in India to enable 4G services on mobile phones.
To start with, the service has been launched on iPhone 5S, 5C and Xolo LT900.
Until now, users could access 4G services in the country only on desktops and laptops through data cards.

Amazon says it’s not planning online pay-TV service

The possibility that the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com is considering opening its own online pay television service heated up the race in the US to provide the service, according to reports on 22 January.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon dismissed the reports, saying “we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service.”

Telered Partners with MEASAT to Provide New Video Distribution Services

MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. (MEASAT) and Telered Technologies & Services Corp (Telered) announced an agreement for capacity on the MEASAT-3a satellite.
Under the terms of the agreement, Telered will utilize MEASAT-3a for the distribution of the Viva TV and Pinoy Box Office (PBO) channels across the Philippines. The agreement also contains on option for additional capacity to support Telered’s planned future expansion of video distribution services in the Philippines market.

‘Fastest ever’ broadband passes speed test in UK

In a breakthrough, scientists in the UK have achieved the "fastest ever" broadband speeds of 1.4 terabits per second - enough to transmit 44 high-definition movies at once.
The joint test by British Telecom (BT) and French networking equipment company Alcatel-Lucent achieved the high speeds of 1.4 terabits per second on the existing fibre network in London.

Kolkata MSOs won’t change package price till June 2014

On 6 December 2013 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) met the multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata to extend the deadline for initiating gross (consumer) billing from 10 December to 15 December.
Now, the MSOs have assured cable TV subscribers that they will try and keep the package price unchanged till June this year, although they are contemplating a price rise post June 2014.

Zee Media exits Andhra market, to relaunch 24 Gantalu as Zee Kalinga in Feb

Zee Media Corporation Ltd has completed the process of closing its loss-making Telugu news venture Zee 24 Gantalu and is gearing up to relaunch the channel in its new avatar for the Odisha market, under the moniker Zee Kalinga. 
The company has dissolved its wholly-owned subsidiary 24 Ghantalu News Limited, an entity formed to house Zee 24 Gantalu, and will use the channel licence to launch the proposed channel for Odisha. 

Airtel Digital TV set to release Telugu movie on same day of release

Telugu movie Minukumanna Minugurulu will be the first movie to be released on DTH along with its theatrical release. The movie is getting released exclusively on Airtel Digital TV on its pay per view channel.
The movie will be released on January 24 and on Airtel Digital TV at 00.30 hours and will be available for 5 days.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

9X Media unveils third compilation with Universal Music

Music network 9X Media has unveiled its third compilation with Universal Music on the iTunes India store. The network’s Bollywood hits channel 9X Jalwa has launched ‘9X Jalwa RD Burman Blockbuster Beats’ on iTunes. 
The compilation features 25 of the most popular Bollywood songs created by the legendary music director including ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’, ‘Aa Dekhen Zara’, ‘Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildar Ka’, ‘Yamma Yamma’ and more. The songs can be downloaded from the iTunes store by paying Rs. 150. The compilation is meant to commemorate the classic tunes of the legend whose death anniversary was on 4 January.