Archive for June, 2008

Camaraderie emerging between Jayalalithaa and Maran’s

June 28, 2008

There is a new but quiet camaraderie emerging between foes, AIADMK leader, J Jayalalithaa, and brothers Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran.

While Karunanidhi’s family’s members are busy in a cable war with the Maran brothers, Jayalalithaa has quietly found her way into the newsrooms of Sun TV channel and Dinakaran, a Tamil Daily from the Maran stable.

Jayalalithaa’s smiling visage routinely pops up on Sun TV news channel these days and news editors of Dinakaran have stopped trashing her daily missives against the DMK government. Her anti-Karunanidhi statements are not only given prominent coverage but are always accompanied by her photographs. The Sun news channel, too, telecasts her photograph and carefully lists the main points in her statements, mostly targeting the DMK government.

At the peak of Dayanidhi Maran’s brief, high profile political career, Jayalalithaa’s name barely found mention in the newspaper or the channel, except when she came under Karunanidhi’s attack. These days, her scathing criticism against the DMK regime is an almost daily item on Sun news. In contrast, the DMK sponsored Kalaignar TV blacks out Jayalalithaa’s statements, just as Jaya TV stays mum on DMK news.

Last week, the Sun channels surprised viewers by telecasting advertisements for the MDMK’s zonal conference held in the city. MDMK leader Vaiko, an electoral ally of the AIADMK, was shown in various poses and attires, inviting party cadres for the rally.

AIADMK officials say the generous Sun coverage for Jayalalithaa began soon after she gave them big business by permitting her party men to advertise in Dinakaran on her birthday earlier this year. On February 24, the Maran-owned newspaper liberally splashed nearly all its pages with more than 20 advertisements of AIADMK men greeting their leader on her 60th birthday.

Sun TV officials had then dismissed rumours of Jayalalithaa and the Maran brothers warming up, saying it was “purely business.” Newspapers that normally published AIADMK advertisements had displeased Jayalalithaa in the current regime by taking a blatant pro-DMK stand and hence her benevolence to the Maran brothers, they said.

Sources close to Maran had also insisted that the group had tried to be ‘neutral’ when it took over the Dinakaran newspaper from the family of a veteran DMK leader about three years ago. But following protests from DMK leaders, the newspaper had decided not to carry any statement or report from the AIADMK that even remotely bordered on personal attack.

But that was before all attempts to patch up with their grand uncle proved futile. Now, clearly equations have changed and so too the political atmosphere in the Sun Group’s newsrooms.

Vh1 bets high for its Dance 101 initiative

June 27, 2008

Vh1, the 24-hour music and lifestyle channel from Viacom 18, has announced that its Dance 101’s first initiative in India brings the Ministry of Sound – on tour. This tour consists of three events back-to-back in Hyderabad (Bottles & Chimney), Kolkata (Tantra) and Delhi (Elevate) on July 2, 4 and 5 respectively.

The Ministry of Sound, which was established in 1991, has now grown from a famous nightclub in London, to becoming a big dance brand. With live events, nightclubs, record sales across the world and thousands of people tuning into Ministry of Sound Radio and TV, it is the home of dance music.

Vh1 Dance 101’s vision, which coincides with that of the Ministry of Sound, is to enable dance music fans access to the music they are passionate about and the DJ’s that play and produce it. Vh1 Dance 101 is getting two of the top DJs of the Ministry of Sound – Paul Jackson and Paul Deighton.

Ferzad Palia, associate general manager, Vh1 India, says, “Vh1 is the only lifestyle and entertainment channel that goes beyond the norms and creates experiential activities that give the audience a first hand experience of enjoying music they love. Vh1 Dance 101’s first event ever, is your ticket to great music, international DJ’s and a party that you’ll never forget.”

The channel is also coming up with Vh1 Divas, which would showcase the powerful women of music. The show would be aired every weeknight at 8 pm throughout July. Vh1 is also mulling a tech show that aims to showcase the best guitarist, drummer, saxophone player, etc.

Zee Muzic to launch Unplugged & Salt and Pepper shows

June 27, 2008

Zee Muzic, the 24-hour music channel from Zee Entertainment Enterprises, will launch two shows – Unplugged, and Salt and Pepper.

Unplugged from June 29 will hit the TV screens every Sunday at 7.30 pm. While, Salt and Pepper, debuts June 30, running through Monday to Thursday at 7.30 pm. The channel has roped in Paras Tomar as the anchor for the shows.

Unplugged gives an insightful glance into the lives of singers minus the gloss and glamour, providing unadulterated music. Unplugged will showcase most of the music stars, who will talk about their success and failures, hopes and despairs, insecurities and shortcomings and how they make music.

Salt and Pepper will have mix of news, views, reviews and gossips with Page 3 parties, events, celebrities, fashions, and controversies of tinsel town.

Irshwin Balwani, business head, Zee Muzic, said, “With both the shows, we are confident we will be able to make a mark with our young viewers. Unplugged is unadulterated music and Salt and Pepper is full of off stage lives of the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry.”

Radio Mirchi is an clear leader in Thiruvananthapuram

June 27, 2008

A survey conducted in Thiruvananthapuram by Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) to gauge radio listenership has found that Radio Mirchi has emerged as the clear leader among the five operating FM stations in the city.

The Car Tracks survey conducted by IMRB on June 4, across various busy traffic signals, during the drive times showed 32% listenership for Radio Mirchi followed by 25% for Club FM, 19% for S FM, 18% for Big FM and 6% for Ananthapuri FM.

Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, the FM radio network of the Times of India Group, was launched in Thiruvananthapuram on January 18. With a clear positioning of Malayalam music for Malayalees and young, edgy jock-talk, Radio Mirchi has managed to become a friend next-door for every citizen.

Zee Kannada enters the Limca Book of World Records

June 27, 2008

Zee Kannada has entered the Limca Book of World Records for its unique handkerchief campaign in support of the Indian team in the Cricket World Cup 2007. The channel’s record breaking feat is mentioned under The Biggest and the Smallest section.

Zee Kannada is the first Kannada channel to enter the record books. The campaign, launched in February 2007, saw the channel’s team travel across the state to over 50 schools, 25 colleges, IT companies, NGOs, media houses, malls, institutions, shops, and succeeded in collecting over 55,000 hankies, thus creating the world’s longest chain of signed handkerchiefs.

Anup Chandrasekharan, business head, Zee Kannada, said, “We at Zee Kannada strive to do things differently and do the best. Records and awards are definitely materialistic recognition for such efforts. This is entirely a team effort and would not have been possible otherwise. The team is ecstatic to be a part of the prestigious Limca Book of World Records.”

The chain extended over 17 km in distance. The record was created amidst a lot of fanfare at an event, which was inaugurated by Mysore royal family scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar at Palace Grounds, Bangalore. The event also witnessed the record of maximum number of signed handkerchiefs collected (55,000) and the biggest handkerchief with signatures (measuring 48 ft x 52.5 ft).

The campaign had received an overwhelming response not only from the people of Karnataka, but from the entire country. Prominent signatories included Subhash Chandra, chairman, Essel Group, signing the first handkerchief; followed by the then chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy; the then deputy CM, BS Yediyurappa; and various personalities like former home minister, MP Prakash; member of the board and director HR, Infosys, Mohandas Pai; Chenraj Jain, chairman, Jain Group of Institutions; artiste Umashree; swimmer Nisha Millet; and music director Hamsalekha, among many others.

Raj TV Network launches Tamil news channel Raj News

June 27, 2008

Raj Television Network has launched its first 24-hour free to air Tamil news channel Raj News. M Karunanidhi, chief minister, Tamil Nadu, inaugurated the channel at a function in Chennai on June 23.

Apart from Raj News, Raj TV Network channel includes Raj TV, Raj Digital, Raj Musix, and a Telugu channel Vissa. The network plans to air a Telugu news channel by the year end.

Raj News’ bouquet of programmes include Hello Sandhai and Sandhai Neram on stock markets on all weekdays during trading hours. Raj News is the first Tamil channel to provide live stock market updates. Close to four hours of commodity and stock movement will be tracked on a daily basis. Raj News has bureaus in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

The channel’s FPC also boasts of a feature programme on industries called Thozhil Munai, an auto show titled Top Gear, and a weekly business show Raj Vaniga Ulagam, Parimanam, a show on gadgets and gizmos, Sutrula, a programme on travel, Dr Solgirar, Suya Thozhil, and Ennna Padikalam, among others.

M Raveendran, director, Raj Television Network, said, “We are delighted to launch Raj News24x7, a news channel covering a wide range of programmes – from stock markets, business and current affairs to health, food, education, career, etc. We feel that there is enough scope and opportunities for another Tamil news channel, which will not only provide instant and regular news updates, but at the same time be informative and useful to the viewers.”

During the launch, conveying his gratitude to Raj TV for standing by him during a family crisis last year, Karunanidhi said he would actively support the channel’s growth.

“Although, I do not conduct my public life on the basis of gratitude, these brothers (referring to M Raveendran and M Raajhendhran) stood by me on many occasions, and extended support to me. At a time when no channel was willing to come forward to telecast news pertaining to our party, Raj TV was there for us.” the minister said.

The Raj TV proprietors had come forward with the offer to help launch the Kalaignar TV from their platform when Karunanidhi fell out with his grand-nephews, the Maran brothers. “I will encourage and support Raj TV if its growth helps this government and if these benefits could be passed on to the people,” Karunanidhi said.

There need not be any confusion over his declaration of support for Raj TV since he was also ‘associated’ with another channel named after him, Karunanidhi said cryptically, adding: “It is my duty to encourage all television channels.” However, he warned that their growth be “beneficial both to the government and the people.”

INX Media channels to launch in Middle East

June 18, 2008

INX Media will launch its three channels – 9X, the general entertainment channel; 9XM, the music channel; and NewsX, the English news channel, in the Middle East.

INX Media has appointed Dubai-based media company Media Solutions to spearhead its push into the GCC and other Middle Eastern countries. Media Solutions is headed by Altaf Alimohamed, who until very recently was executive vice-president, Star TV based in Dubai.

Peter Mukerjea, chairman and chief strategy officer, INX Media, said, “I am extremely proud to be working with Altaf. He is one of the most professional and knowledgeable television executives across the entire Middle East, and I know this first hand from my days at Star when Altaf was running the Middle East region. I am confident that Altaf and Media Solutions will help us take the popular programming of 9X and 9XM to millions of TV viewers in the Middle East.”

Altaf Alimohamed, managing director, Media Solutions, said, “We are delighted to partner with INX Media for the launch of their popular channels 9X and 9XM. INX Media has made a huge impact in the Indian television industry in a very short span of time, and both 9X and 9XM provide contemporary and world-class entertainment.”

Malayalam channel Jai Hind TV starts Gulf operations

June 13, 2008

As part of it global expansion move, Congress backed Malayalam channel Jai Hind TV has kick-started its Middle East operations to cater to the large expatriate Malayali population across the region.

The channel will air Gulf-related programmes such as daily news bulletins, a weekly news-based programme called ‘Gulf Around’, business programme ‘Gulf Souq’ and travelogue ‘Arabia’. The programmes will be aired everyday till 9 pm.

The Middle East office of the channel is located in Dubai Studio City.

Jai Hind TV was launched in August last year as a 24-hour channel with emphasis on news and current affairs programmes.

It is a joint venture between Bharath Broadcasting Network (BBN) and Jai Hind Communications (JHC), both headed by Dubai-based Keralites, and the Congress party.

Salman Khan’s ‘Dum’ pulls Sony to third spot

June 13, 2008

10 Ka Dum, which brings Salman Khan to the small screen for the first time, has worked wonders for Sony Entertainment Television (Set).

With a debut TVR of 3.35 (according to Tam C&S, 4+), the one-hour game show has pulled Set forward to the third spot in the Hindi general channel (GEC) space.

According to the latest Tam data, Set has fetched 101 GRPs (gross rating points) week 23 ending 7 June. Sony was fourth among the GECs in week 22 ending 31 May with a TVR of 89.

Set AVP marketing Danish Khan says, “We have got a very good start with the show. Sony became the number one channel in that particular hour with a peak rating of 5.4 TVR. We had around 16 million viewers sampling the show.”

The show, however, lost its grip somewhat on the following day (7 June) with a 2.75 TVR.

“There is always a variation of ratings in the reality show. But we will keep the hype alive with our upcoming promotional plans,” added Khan.

Khan explains that in its debut week, the show has managed to provide stickiness to the channel’s other shows comedy Circus and CID which follow 10 Ka Dum.

“It is because of 10 ka Dum that ratings of Comedy Circus and CID which are aired at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, have doubled. We have locked in considerable people over the weekends and the show is working like an umbrella brand for the channel,” Khan adds further.

Produced by Synergy Adlabs, the show has roped in Vodafone, LG, Garnier, Johnson and Johnson aand P&G for Gillete as sponsors.

Apart from that, IBN 7, CNN IBN, IBN Lokmat have been signed as TV partners while Big FM is their official radio partner.

On the other side of the curve, Shah Rukh Khan’s show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain? on GEC leader Star Plus(aired on 6 and 7 June at 8 pm) garnered 1.97 TVR and 3.29 TVR respectively.

Looking at all the other shows which placed its bet on the weekend after the finals of IPL, Star One’s The Great Indian Laughter Challenge IV has raked in 1.46 and 1.24 TVRs on 6 and 7 June respectively.

NDTV Imagine, which had lost GRPs during IPL, also launched a musical competition-based show Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhane Ka on the same day at 8:30 pm. The show, which has Hrithik Roshan as its goodwill ambassador, has obtained ratings of 0.82 and 0.59.

Al Jazeera English news show wins award at Monte Carlo TV Fest

June 13, 2008

Al Jazeera English (AJE) has won the award for ‘Best 24 Hour News Program’ at the 48th Monte Carlo Television Festival.

The channel beats entries from BBC News, Sky News, Lisboa TV and the Phoenix Satellite Television Company.

Among the specific reports highlighted at the festival were Nour Odeh’s reports from Gaza, where she brought the suffering of the Gazan people, when she was caught in the middle of a violent street battle between Hamas and Fatah. Following the broadcast of the fighting on AJE, both sides in the Gaza battles agreed to a ceasefire.

In addition to ‘Best 24 Hour News Program’, AJE received nominations in every news category at the awards show, including ‘Best TV Item’ for James Bays’ Taliban Embedded, which was awarded a second place prize, and ‘Best News Documentary’ for Tony Birtley’s Inside Myanmar – The Crackdown.

AJE’s MD Tony Burman said, ” For me, the award demonstrates the commitment of AJE’s staff to giving a voice to the voiceless, of telling vital stories that are not on the agenda of the western news networks.”

AJE was launched in November 2006 with broadcast centers in Kuala Lumpur, Doha, London and Washington DC.