Archive for January, 2008

Vir Sanghvi quits INX, to announce new news channel ‘very soon’

January 27, 2008

Vir Sanghvi, CEO of INX News and editorial head of the group’s upcoming news channelNews X, has finally left the INX group and is slated to announce the opening of another news channel very soon.

A source very close to Sanghvi, who has also left the group, confirmed the developments to us, adding that equity driven issues and that of accountability was what ‘finally broke the camel’s back’.

It is worth noting that it was us that had first put out a report categorically stating that rumblings within Indrani and Peter Mukerjea’s news broadcast arm INX News Pvt Ltd had come to a head and that Sanghvi was on his way out of the company.
Neither of the Mukerjeas were available for comment at the time of filing this report.

As for who might be replacing Sanghvi, while no confirmation is still available from the company, the buzz remains that the head of a leading Hindi news channel might be taking charge in due course.

DishTV to access huge retail market in new alliance with Future Group

January 27, 2008

DishTV and the Future Group today announced a marketing alliance that will give the DTH giant outreach to a huge market through its established footprint of Future Groups’ retail formats Big Bazaar, Pantaloon and E-Zone. DishTV said that consumers shopping in these retail outlets can buy their connection at an “unimaginable subsidised price.”

A statement from DishTV says this move is the next level of the engagement between the organisations after the equity investment announced two months ago.

“The financial tie-up now stands exemplified through the market alliance where the strengths of both the organisations will stand extended to 100-plus outlets and unimaginable footfalls.

“Not only this, the strategic alliance ensures DishTV’s exclusivity in all the retail stores of the group including E-zone and Pantaloon,” the statement emphasises.

The first activity for this new alliance starts with Big Bazaar’s biggest promotion of the year “Sabse Saste 3 Din” starting 25 January, when consumers will see “some of the most mind-boggling” consumer offers, discounts and schemes.

One of the key offers will be a DishTV connection at just Rs 999 on a ticket size purchase of Rs 3,500.

Talking on the occasion, DishTV CEO Arun Kapoor said, “We are extremely pleased to join hands with the Future Group that marks DishTV’s exclusive presence in all their retail outlets.”

Kapoor said that with growing awareness and brand recall, the aspirations for owning DishTV have grown manifold, and this tie-up with the Future Group stores will enable thousands more to take up DishTV connections.

“This marks yet another landmark in our pioneering journey in the DTH category, by not just making the product affordable for the masses but getting it retailed through such large format organised stores that command huge footfalls,” Kapoor says.

Big Bazaar CEO Rajan Malhotra added, “Future Group has always striven to provide innovative products and a unique shopping proposition for its discerning customers.”

Malhotra feels that with this strategic alliance, DishTV can offer to the Indian masses yet another value-for-money proposition from the company’s basket, with a product that is today very top-of-mind and desirable.

“We are confident that with our reach and value proposition, the tie-up is going to be huge success and it’s only a prelude to many more such initiatives,” Malhotra added.

During the Big Bazaar promotion campaign, DishTV connections will be available on all its 80 stores across 45 cities.

The company reasons that the benefit to the consumer will be obvious, as the existing market price for a connection is Rs 3,150, but the Big Bazaar price comes at merely Rs 999, i.e. less than about 30 per cent.

This includes installation cost too, the company informs.

However, the consumer will have to buy the subscription package separately in order to activate the box, after a week’s free preview.

Dish Tv subscriber base at 2.7 million; Q3 net loss Rs 1.16

January 27, 2008

Subhash Chandra’s direct-to-home (DTH) service DishTV has posted a net loss of Rs 1.16 billion for the quarter ended 31 December 2007.

DishTV added 297,000 new subscribers during Q3, up from 278,000 additions in Q2, an increase of 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Its gross subscriber base stood at 2.7 million as on 31 December 2007.

During the period, Dish TV’s operating revenue was up 48 per cent at Rs 1.12 billion as compared to Rs 755.01 million in the previous quarter. Subscription revenues were up 26 per cent.

The company’s operating loss stood at Rs 641.61 million, from Rs 472.32 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Expenditure in the third quarter touched Rs 1.76 billion, 43 per cent higher than in the corresponding quarter of the previous quarter. Rs 1.05 billion was spent on costs of goods and services, which is 46 per cent of the total expenditure; 14 per cent expenditure went on advertisement (Rs 306.20 million), while 11 per cent on distribution (Rs 253.18 million).

Dish TV chairman Subhash Chandra said, “This quarter has seen sustained emphasis on subscriber acquisition and improvement in the quality of subscriber base, through aggressive marketing initiatives. This is reflecting in a healthy 26 per cent increase in subscription revenue. Going forward, the company will continue with a strategy that focuses both on subscriber growth and revenue enhancement.

“In the last few months, focus on process improvement and efficiencies has also resulted in improvement in operating margins and cost ratios across key expense heads. We are also glad to have entered into a distribution alliance with Future Group to provide consumers with unparalleled quality of digital television services directly to their homes. We are confident that DishTV would deliver long term value to all its stakeholders.”

The company claims to have expanded its front end service network to 90 towns. It is available in 4,400 towns through 38,000 dealers and over 575 distributors. It has 180 channels in its bouquet.

Dish TV CEO Arun Kumar Kapoor said, “Today, we have subscribers in over 4,400 towns, which are covered through 575 Distributors and over 38,000 retail outlets. Moreover, our alliance with a leading consumer durable brand (Future Group) has strengthened our presence at many exclusive brand stores, thus enabling DishTV to reach the premium consumers.

“December also saw the entry of another DTH player, Sun Direct, in the four southern states. However, we continue to show robust growth in this territory, due to a combination of our superior regional languages offering and some aggressive marketing initiatives.”

The period saw Dish TV diluting 4.9 per cent stake to Indivision Capital, the private equity arm of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group.

Commenting on the tie-up with Future Group, Kapoor said: “This exclusive distribution tie-up would give a further boost to the brand image and availability of our products across all Future Group outlets in India. We will continue to develop this relationship further for building long term brand salience.

“Further, our brand salience has grown tremendously and placed us at a vantage position in the consumers’ mind. Apart from mass media, our retail visibility has also grown significantly, thereby helping in higher recall and conversions. This growth trend has been reflected across all market segments and we see great potential in the smaller cities whose contribution to our sales has been growing steadily.”

Dish TV uses the platform of NSS-6 satellite, which is suitable for use in ITU K and N rain zones.

Raj TV’s entry into the South East Asian Market

January 27, 2008

Raj Television Network Ltd has announced that the Company has signed an agreement with the Singapore Government owned TV 12 for exporting content to TV12’s Vasantham Central, a popular Channel airing programmes for the Indian community in Singapore. The agreement will be for a period of two years. This agreement is to share content of Raj TV’s popular bouquet of programmes, which will include Movies, Serials, Soaps, Game shows, Realty shows, News and other variety of programmes. The agreement is part of the Company’s plans to export its content to various overseas markets. Raj TV conservatively expects revenue of over Rs 300 Lacs per year from this arrangement. The agreement entitles Vasantham Central to air a total of 1500 hours of Raj TV’s content to its viewers.

Vasantham Central has very strong viewership among the Indians, especially Tamilians, predominant in Singapore’s population. Mr M. Raveendran, Director – Operations, of the Company said, “Vansantham Central, part of the Mediaeorp Group, is a highly popular channel in Singapore. The Channel caters to the Indian population in Singapore, with a variety of Indian content, including Tamil programmes. The channel takes utmost importance in offering its viewers some of the best quality content from across the world.

Through this tie-up Raj TV will now enter the high potential Singapore market. We will offer Vasantham central, some of our past, present and future content and based on the response we plan to launch our entire bouquet of channels in Singapore shortly. We are looking at overseas markets aggressively for content export, especially countries like Malaysia, Europe, Africa and US which have high potential for growth apart from launching our channels in these markets.” Vasantham Central, the Government owned channel is one of the biggest Indian Television stations outside of India. The channel is free to air and boasts a viewership of a million.

The channel has also won international recognition for some of its programmes. Mediacorp, the leading broadcaster in Singapore has a total experience of about 100 years in TV and Radio broadcast business. This is the Raj TV’s first entry into the South East Asian Market. It plans to use the Singapore entry to evaluate and understand the local market and also get an insight into what kind of programmes will be liked in that region. Singapore and Malaysia provide a huge market and growth potential for the channel and would like to leverage on their past, present and future contents.

Raj TV already has content syndication arrangements with the popular Srilankan Channel Roopavahini, besides the UK-based Tamil channels, Deepam TV and CIEE Television. Raj TV will look at leveraging on this tie-up, by understanding the demands and taste of the Indian population in Singapore, and conceptualizing its own Independent programmes which will have a local flavour and touch. The strategy would be to use the experience gained through this association to launch an exclusive channel in South East Asia

Sun TV Q3 net rises 71.16% in Dec`07 qtr

January 25, 2008

Sun TV Network, a television broadcasting company based in South India, registered 71.16% rise in net profit to Rs 1,023.00 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007 where as the same was at Rs 597.70 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006.


Total income surged 85.56% to Rs 2,319.90 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007 where as the same was at Rs 1,250.20 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006.


Quarterly results (Rs in mn)
As at December 2007(3) December 2006(3) %Change
Net Sales 2,177.80 1,140.20 91
Net Profit 1023 597.70 71.16
EPS 2.60 8.68 (70.05)

Net sales of the company zoomed 91% to Rs 2,177.80 million in the December 2007 quarter as compared with Rs 1,140.20 million in the corresponding quarter, last year.


The basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS), after extraordinary items, dropped 70.05% to Rs 2.60 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007 as compared with Rs 8.68 last year.   


The petition for amalgamation of the erstwhile Gemini TV (`GTPL`) and the Satellite Television business of Udaya TV (`UTPL`) was sanctioned by the high court of judicature at Madras, on Mar. 29, 2007, with an appointed dale of Apr. 01, 2006.


Accordingly, the financial results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007 and year ended Mar. 31, 2007 include the results of GTPL and the Demerged Undertaking of UTPL and are therefore, not comparable with corresponding quarter and nine months period of the previous year, which does not include the figures of erstwhile GTPL and the demerged undertaking of UTPL. Previous periods / years figures have been regrouped / reclassified wherever necessary to conform to current period`s classification, the company said in a release.

Sun TV Network (SUNTV) is a television broadcasting company based in South India. Formerly known as Sun TV, it was incorporated on Dec. 18, 1985 as a private limited company. It went public in December 2005 and got its current name after the merger with Gemini and Udaya on Apr. 24, 2007. 

The SunTV Network originally began as a Tamil satellite channel. It has expanded with other channels in other languages including Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. The channels offered are SunTV, KTV, Sun Music, Sun News, Chutti TV, SuryaTV, GeminiTV, Teja News, Gemini News, Gemini Music, Gemini Cable Vision, UdayaTV, Udaya Movies, Udaya News, etc.

Shares of the company gained Rs 37.35, or 12.55%, to trade at Rs 335. The total volume of shares traded was 9,853 at the BSE. (12.16 p.m., Wednesday)

Ten Sports to telecast world horseracing action

January 23, 2008

MUMBAI: Taj TV group’s Ten Sports will broadcast live some of the world’s biggest horseracing action from around the globe and all corners of India.

Ten Sports’ racing bouquet for the season will include the $10 million Dubai World Cup scheduled for 29 March, all the classics from the UK and all the major races in India from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata, including the Indian Turf Invitation Trophy.


Taj Television Ltd CEO Chris McDonald said, “Horseracing’s popularity is rapidly growing throughout India. We are certain, both passionate and even casual racing fans will love our new line-up of events.”

Ten Sports telecasts a weekly show called The Winning Post, allowing the viewers to see Indian horse racing in all parts of the world including the Indian sub-continent, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, UAE and the whole of Middle East.

Fever and Big FM hits air

January 23, 2008

MUMBAI: HT Media and Entertainment’s Fever FM has launched its fourth FM station in Kolkata, completing the launch of all the stations that the company has licence for. Fever FM is already operational in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.


Fever 104 FM business head S Keerthivasan said, “The FM radio space in India is showing tremendous promise. I am very happy with the progress that Fever 104 FM has made. Virgin and HT Media have worked together successfully to create a differentiated and compelling brand and business in Fever 104 FM. With the launch of Kolkata operations, we have completed the first phase of implementation of radio operations in the four metros.”

Reliance ADAG’s Big FM has launched in Rourkela taking the total number of stations to 43 all over the country. The FM station will launch two more stations to complete the launch of 45 stations in India.

Big FM regional head east Soumen Ghosh Choudhury said, “We are the first private radio station in the region to do so. The programming mix of the station with programmes like Aradhana, Big Chai, Hello Zindagi, Ring Road 927, Thoda Gyan Thoda Masti, Evening Masala and Direct Dil Se have been put together after much research and understanding of local requirements.”

Star launches second Chinese movie channel

January 23, 2008

Pan Asian broadcaster Star has launched Star Chinese Movies 2. It will show Chinese films from the 1970s to 1990s. Stars who will feature include Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Stephen Chow and Chow Yun Fat, and filmmakers such as John Woo, Johnny To and Tsui Hark.


The channel will debut in Singapore on StarHub Digital Cable on 25 January and will be available for audiences in North America on KyLinTV’s IPTV platform on 1 February.

The channel has access to a contemporary Chinese film library with more than 600 titles.

Times Now business channel sibling to launch in 2008 2nd half

January 23, 2008
MUMBAI: After rolling out English news channels, it has been a trend for broadcasters to follow it up with a business channel. Joining the bandwagon is Times Global Broadcasting.  
After tasting success with its English news channel Times Now, Times Global Broadcasting has firmed up plans for a business news channel. The English language business news channel is expected to beam some time in the second half of the year

Confirming the plans for a business news channel, Times Global Broadcasting CEO Sunil Lulla says, “Times Global Broadcasting will be rolling out its business channel in the second half of the year. We are working out the logistics.”

However, when asked if Reuters Service will have a stake in the upcoming business channel, Lulla refused to divulge anything more.


My FM stakes presence in new media territory

January 21, 2008

The Bhaskar Group’s FM venture, My FM launched its online portal to complete with podcast of popular shows across its stations.


The exponentially increase in Internet penetration in smaller cities where My FM is operational, is one of the main reasons for the group to make its online foray, say My FM officials. My FM becomes the second FM venture after Big FM, to start podcast of its shows on the Net.

Says My FM’s national programming head Viplove Gupte, “We will definitely promote our website on air through RJ links and other in house promotion products. We also plan to use print media for the same so that the awareness about the website increases.”

The company also plans to use the portal for potential clients, advertisers and job seekers. Gupte elaborates, “People always refer to internet to find more about the product/ idea/ service or company. Online presence is also required so that googlers from across the globe who want information about MY FM may get it just by visiting the portal.”