Following the TRAI Regulations on aggregators of TV channels MSM and Discovery have decided to part ways with effect from January 1, 2015.
The last of the broadcast distribution joint ventures (JV) in India will cease to exist in the New Year. One Alliance, the distribution JV set up 12 years ago between Multi Screen Media (MSM) and Discovery Network, will be dissolved.
In February this year, Trai mandated that distributors cannot bundle channels from different broadcasters while selling content to various platforms such as cable operators and direct-to-home (DTH) entities. It further said the existing distribution platforms can only act as agents of individual broadcasters and need to sell each network bouquet separately.
Twelve years ago, when One Alliance was started by the JV, MSM controlled 74 per cent of the equity in the JV, the rest was with Discovery. However, Discovery has since launched many new channels, increased its market share within the genre and attained leadership position by a big margin in the area they operate. At the same time, MSM faced tough competition from the new GEC channels and sport genre. Its newly-launched GEC, Sony Pal, has also had a slow start. Its comedy entertainment channel, Sony Sab, is a consistent number five, while in genres such as English entertainment, it has been at number two and three. Also the group does not have regional channels.
On the other hand, Discovery has made inroads into different regions through multi-language feeds. While it operates English and Hindi feeds nationally, it also has a separate channel in Tamil. Additionally, the network's content is available in Telegu and Bengali as well. Discovery now runs 11 channels.
Incidentally, MSM Discovery is the last of the distribution JVs distributing channels of different broadcasters. Others including MediaPro and Indiacast UTV have already been dissolved.