Archive for December, 2008

DTH players plan high definition content

December 6, 2008

Jawahar GoelIn order to break the clutter in the 5-player direct-to-home (DTH) market and to create value-added offerings for the consumers, DTH operators such as Dish TV and Sun Direct are planning to add high-definition (HD) content as a seperate bouquet in the next few months.

This means the consumers will have to pay an additional monthly subscription to get these HD channels. Currently, the popular DTH bouquets (80-120 channels) are available at Rs 150-300 a month across most DTH platforms. The HD bouquet of channels (10-15) may cost 20-30 per cent more than the regular bouquet, sources said.

HD channels simply means television content with high resolution pictures and enhanced sound quality.

Several broadcasters having HD channels like Fox, HBO, ESPN, NGC, Discovery and others are waiting for an opportunity and an addressable platform like DTH or digital cable to launch their channels in India.

While Dish TV will add the HD content once it gets additional transponder space on Protostar satellite next month, Sun Direct is launching its own HD channels on the existing transponder bandwidth. Others like Tata Sky, Big TV and Airtel’s Digital TV are also expected to follow suit, sources said.

“We will add the high-definition content to our offerings once we expand our transponder capacity with the launch of Protostar satellite in January,” Jawahar Goel, MD of Dish TV, country’s largest DTH operator, said. Dish TV currently has over 4.5 million subscribers or a little less than 50 per cent market share in the DTH market.

Sun Direct, the regional DTH service provider, having 1.9 million subscribers, recently ventured into north India and is also looking at adding at least 8-10 high-definition channels to its DTH platform.

Source : BT

Amrita TV to launch ‘Citizen Impact’ on 7 December

December 6, 2008
Amrita TV is set to launch a news-based reality show, Citizen Impact, starting 7 December.

The show, to be aired every Sunday at 10.30 pm, aims to showcase citizens giving a variety of stories and their impact on society.

Citizen Impact follows up the popular Best Citizen Journalist series, which was aired on the channel previously. The show aims to explore the outcome of the stories filed by the citizen journalists of Best Citizen Journalist and take stock of the impact they have made through a detailed feed-back from the figures who played a role in the story.

According to the channel, clippings of the report, whose effects are being explored, will be shown first, followed by incisive interviews from the persons directly or indirectly involved in the case.

Vh1 brings Big Brother to India from 14 December

December 6, 2008

Vh1, the international musicand lifestyle channel from Viacom18 stable, is set to launch the format reality show Big Brother on Indian television.


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After the success of Bigg Boss2 on network channel Colors, Vh1 is bringing the international version of Big Brother for Indian audience starting 14 December. The show will be aired every Sunday-Wednesday at 10 pm.

The season – Till Death Do You Part Season 9 USA – is claimed as the “Most Explosive” Big Brother season of all time, the company said in a release.

The launch episode will see 16 houseguests entering the house to compete for the prize sum of $500,000 and to find their true love.


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Vh1 India associate GM Ferzad Palia said, “We are excited about bringing Big Brother to the Indian screens. Indian audiences have loved Bigg Boss2 on Colors. With the launch of Big Brother on Vh1, we will take reality experience to a newer high.”

Zee Studio adds mini-series to content lineup

December 6, 2008

English movie channel Zee Studio is adding mini-series into its content lineup.

The channel has inked a content deal with BBC Worldwide for this purpose and will be showing television adaptations of classics of English literature.

The mini-series, which airs tonight at 10.30 pm, will include Pride and Prejudice, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Vanity Fair.


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Zee Studio business head Sujoy Kutti notes that the aim is to attract family audiences.

The action kicks off with Pride and Prejudice. The mini-series has six one-hour episodes.


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Next in line is a fresh rendition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, on 26 December. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of Sir Henry Baskerville, hoping to protect him from the terrifying fate that has befallen his family for generations.

In January, viewers can join Becky Sharp in the six one-hour episode Vanity Fair as she schemes to climb the social ladder and attains success by exploiting her guile, good looks and the gullibility of doting males.

Zee Studio will also showcase an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre in four episodes. The adaptation mines Bronte’s novel for every ounce of passion, drama, colour, madness and horror available, bringing to life Jane’s inner world with beauty, humor and at times great sadness.

It will also air an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, the tale of Emma Bovary, her thirst for life and her many lovers who let her down.

NDTV Profit launches Ideas for Change campaign

December 6, 2008

NDTV Profit, the 24-hour business news channel from the house of NDTV Networks, has launched a campaign called Ideas for Change to elicit suggestions on fighting terror. The campaign invites people, especially from corporate India, to share their ideas on how terrorism can be curbed.

The campaign was launched on December 1 through a daily show of the same name on the channel anchored by Shaili Chopra. On the show, which is shot on locations outside the studio, chief executive officers and other people from the business community share their ideas, calling for change.

Shivnath Thukral, managing editor, NDTV Profit, says, “Through this campaign we aim to reach out to one and all and give them a chance to share their constructive ideas, views and suggestion on how to fight terrorism.”

“We want CEOs to use their experience in drafting a blueprint which will help us all to contain this terror. I urge every corporate citizen, every Indian to take a step forward and join us in this campaign.” Thukral says.

The channel will sift through the ideas submitted on the various digital platforms and choose the ones that can be published as a charter. The document will be submitted to the home minister, P Chidambaram, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. The Ideas for Change is being promoted primarily on the NDTV Networks channels.

Zee News, Zee Entertainment form strategic synergies

December 6, 2008

Zee News Ltd (ZNL) has formed a strategic arrangement with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) that will help the two companies boost customer satisfaction by sharing valuable information on viewer preferences and changing customer requirements in today’s dynamic media and entertainment industry.

Laxmi Narain Goel continues in his role of mentorship and stewardship of the company, the senior management team at ZNL, led by its CEO Barun Das, will now report to Punit Goenka, who heads ZEEL.

As part of recommendation of an organisation study conducted by the Hay Group, ZEEL was restructured in October this year and various verticals formed to provide better operational efficiency.

The new pattern at ZEEL has already stabilised and helped integrate various business processes and support systems. With the effective streamlining of day-to-day operations, ZEEL is now better equipped to respond effectively to viewer preferences and ensuring a robust process that facilitates ideation and innovativeness in programming and content.

This new strategic arrangement between ZNL and ZEEL will enable the two companies to share such successes for their mutual benefit while providing a platform to cross-pollinate successful processes, themes and promotions as well as critical market research that will help synergies their approach to obtaining viewer feedback, attain sharper customer focus and thus deliver greater stakeholder value.

Sun TV withdraws two cases against TN government

December 6, 2008

The patch-up among family members of chief minister M Karunanidhi and his grand nephews had an echo in the Madras high court also, with the Sun TV Network withdrawing two cases instituted by the leading broadcaster in South India.

While the first petition was directed against the government, for “unfairly” stopping advertisements to Dinakaran and Tamil Murasu, the second petition alleged that M K Azhagiri-run Royal Cable Vision was illegally tapping and supplying the signals of Sun TV. Both these writ petitions were withdrawn by the television network, which informed the court that the matter had been settled out-of-court.

When the Sumangali Cable Vision-Royal Cable Vision issue came up before justice P R Shiva Kumar, counsel for SCV submitted that he may be permitted to withdraw the petition in view of the fact that an out-of-court settlement had been reached between the parties.

The same case had hogged headlines last week after a law journal published a complete “judgement”, though no such order had been delivered by an earlier judge. The journal has now clarified that the “judgement” was published inadvertently, and that it was given to it by the office of the high court.

In the afternoon of the judgement day, when the advertisement issue came up before justice K Venkataraman, senior counsel Vijay Narayan sought to withdraw the petition. The judge accordingly allowed him to withdraw it, stating that in view of the “changed circumstances” the petitioner is allowed to withdraw it. He, however, gave the petitioner liberty to agitate about the issue, if necessary, in future.

Earlier, this week, the stock markets have also responded positively to the meeting between the promoters of Sun TV and M Karunanidhi with the scrip rising by 14% on the BSE on Tuesday. The Sun TV scrip opened on the BSE at Rs 126.05, moved to an intra-day high of Rs 153, touched a low of Rs 125.8 before closing at Rs 144.1 on that crucial day.

The meeting warmed up the relationship which had gone sour for over a year post the publication of a survey on the successor to the DMK party chief. The turn of events made the Tamil Nadu government decide on launching its own cable TV network.

However, it is unclear as of now as to what happens to the cable TV network given that Kalanidhi Maran, the promoter of Sun TV, runs a bouquet of vernacular channels, the Suryan FM radio channel, publications as well as a direct-to-home (DTH) service christened Sun Direct. Sun TV has also ventured into film production.

Kalanidhi Maran holds 77% of the Sun TV stock while T Rowe Price holds 1.43%. Kalanidhi Maran’s brother Dayanidhi Maran had been the union telecom and IT minister but relinquished the post after the relationship soured.

Zee Tv to launch Chhoti Bahu on 8 December

December 5, 2008

Zee TV is gearing up to new show launches. The channel is launching a fiction-based show, Chhoti Bahu, on 8 December.

Replacing Parivvar, the show will to be aired Monday – Friday at 7.30 pm.

Produced by Tony and Deeya Singh’s DJ Creations, the show focuses on the life of Radhika, the adopted daughter of a temple priest, whose life revolves around her friendship, love and affection for Lord Krishna.

She will do anything for the family that has adopted her, in particular her sister Vishakha, the biological daughter of the priest. But once, just once, she lets her good nature get the better of her as she covers up for her sister and that changes her entire life.

Vh1 brings Laura Critchley to India

December 5, 2008

Viacom18’s international music and lifestyle channel Vh1 is set to bring British songwriter/singer Laura Critchley to India in second leg of Rayban Vh1 Global Music Xpress.

Critchley will kick start her India tour on 10 December in Mumbai and will perform in Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune on the 12, 13 and 14 December respectively.


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Critchley’s début album, ‘Sometimes I,’ was released in November 2007. She has supported artists like the Sugababes and Boyzone on their respective arena tours, and sung duet with Ronan Keating and sung for Robbie Williams. For her last single Today’s Another Day, released in June 2008, she has won the Irish Entertainment Award for best live performance in October 2008.

Critchley said, “I am excited about coming to India and spending a week touring India, as the people of India really appreciate the kind of music we make back home. I look forward to meeting all my fans and friends in India and playing some of my new music and also grooving with the audiences to my latest single Today’s Another Day.”

Vh1 associate GM Ferzad Palia added, “We are partnering with Rayban for the second time for this initiative. Together, it is our aim to present the best musicians and artists to our audiences and make them part of a world-class musical experience. After the successful stint of British R&B artist Jay Sean, we decided to bring down the young and popular British singer Laura Critchley.”

Entertainment channel ratings hit on terror

December 5, 2008

The Mumbai terror attacks coupled with the re-runs of old shows on Hindi entertainment chanels have managed to severly erode the viewership ratings of the general entertainment category by as much as 44 per cent compared to the pre-terror strike period.

This is based on the analysis of data generated by the TV audience measurement agency TAM Media. And because of this, Star Plus—the market leader among the 12-odd Hindi general entertainment channels for a long time—took the biggest hit as it slipped to the number three spot behind Colors and Zee TV for the first time in several years, an analysis of viewership data of TAM media shows.

For the week ending November 29, the gross rating points (GRPs) of Star Plus came down to 98 (112 in previous week), a drop of 12.5 per cent behind Colors (124 GRPs) and Zee TV (102 GRPs).

Overall, the ratings of the Hindi general entertainment category for the week ending November 29 went down by 19 per cent compared to the previous week as the channels together recorded a weekly GRP of 661 compared to 815 registered for the week ending November 22.

This is important because this category attracts nearly half of the total advertising revenue generated on the television channels. It is estimated that television as a medium, generated an ad-revenue of Rs 7,500-Rs 8,000 crore last year.

“This was bound to happen and it is not significant from the advertisers point of view. The terror strike happened and the viewership of news channels went up at the cost of Hindi entertainment channels. Also, we were showing re-runs all through that week and the previous week and it should be looked in that light,” a senior executive from Star India said. However, in the same period, the genre of news channels recorded an over 150 per cent jump in viewership ratings.

The news genre together went up from 252 GRP level in the last 6 weeks to 627 GRPs across the Hindi speaking market for the week ending November 29, the analysis of TAM data said. Accordingly, Hindi news channel Aaj Tak emerged as the leading channel with 122 GRPs followed by Star news (87 GRPs) and India TV (86.6 GRPs).

According to TAM, the viewership on television is broadly divided into 12 categories like English news, English business news, Hindi news, Hindi general entertainment, English movies, Hindi movies among others.