Archive for July, 2009

Murali Raaman joins Polimer Media as CEO

July 19, 2009

Murali Raaman, vice-president, programmes and operations, Jaya TV, has joined as chief executive officer, Polimer Media. He will be reporting to PV Kalyanasundaram, chairman and managing director, Polimer Media.

With Polimer TV, the Polimer Media Group is foraying into the Tamil satellite television space. The channel would go on air towards the end of August, 2009, according to Raaman. Chennai-based Fifth Estate Communications is handling the creative duties for Polimer TV.

In his new role, Raaman’s responsibility would be to see through the launch of the Polimer’s channel besides creating content that can woo audience from the Sun TV and other dominant channels.

Raaman started his career with Sun TV as programming manager in 1992. Later, he had his first stint with Jaya TV in 1994 as programming manager, when he had spent three years with the channel.

Then he moved to Jain Satellite channel. He also had a stint with Ess Pee Associates, New Delhi, where he served as creative director and consultant on a project for Astro Vannavil, Malaysia.

For the record, Polimer Media is one of the largest multi-system operators in Tamil Nadu and is said to be leader in places like Coimbatore and Salem. The company has been successfully running local cable television channels in Salem and Coimbatore for the past several years.

Ajay Vidyasagar joins Sun TV Network as COO

July 1, 2009

After taking a break of two months, Ajay Vidyasagar has joined Sun TV Network as chief operating officer (COO). Vidyasagar has confirmed the development to and says that he has taken over the new role from July 15.

Prior to joining Sun TV, he was associated with Star India as president, content and new media, where he worked for 14 years.

Vidyasagar started his stint with Star India in 1996 and has been a part of the Chennai team of the network. After some time, he shifted to Mumbai, where he was part of the company’s marketing team. During his tenure with Star, he was also the commercial director of Channel [V], the music channel of the network.

In 2000, when Star India acquired Vijay TV, a Tamil general entertainment channel (GEC), Vidyasagar moved down south as head of the group’s regional business, where he was appointed general manager, regional channels, Star India.

In 2004, Vidyasagar went back to Mumbai to head the marketing function of Star India as executive vice-president and was later promoted as president, content and new media, his last designation with the group.

It was during his stint that Star Plus launched the second season of the country’s most popular game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, after a gap of four years. The same year, Star Network also came up with its second GEC, Star One.

Vidyasagar is known to have used several innovative marketing strategies to promote the Star Network’s channels. Also, during his tenure with the group, he headed the licensing and merchandising functions of Star.

As head of Star India’s new media function, he was responsible for the overall operations of the Internet business of the network. He has also dabbled in advertising and was associated with O&M, Bangalore, where he spent about six years; he left the agency as account director.

Amrita TV firms up Saturday programming with two new shows

July 1, 2009

Malayalam entertainment channel Amrita TV is gearing up to launch two new shows on 27 June in a bid to beef up its Saturday programming.

While Business Buzz will be aired at 1.30 pm to provide an overview of the businesses in Kerala, travelogue Ezham Kadalinakkare (across the seven seas) will be telecast at 8.30 pm to capture the sights, sounds and spirit of locales around the world.

Business Buzz is divided into three sections – company profile, young businessman and business news.

‘Company profile’ gives a short summary of the firm and its performance that includes details of its origin, growth graph, product range, long term objectives, profit margins and its full history till date (in brief).

‘Young businessman’ will sketch new entrepreneurs who have taken the plunge into the speculative waters of trade and commerce.

‘Business news’ will bring the top stories from the business world, the latest headlines that haven’t been ‘broken’ by any other media, and exclusive coverage of new product launches.

Zee Marathi launches new reality show

July 1, 2009

General entertainment channel Zee Marathi is set to launch a new quiz-based reality show Hapta Band from 3 July onwards.

The show will be aired every Wednesday-Thursday at 9.30 pm, a slot that has remained vacant since the conclusion of dance reality show Eka Peksha Ek. Zee Marathi has been airing repeats of its show in the same slot.
The show will help winners to clear their debt between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 million.
Hapta Band will be anchored by Aadesh Bandekar, who has been host to the channel’s top rated shows – Home Minister (longest running game show) and Eka Peksha Ek

Sun Direct adds Sahara channels; offers free top up pack

July 1, 2009

Sun Direct, the direct-to-home (DTH) service provider, has added two Hindi channels to its bouquet from the Sahara basket – Sahara One and Sahara Filmy.

The DTH service provider has also rolled out a new option of including one free top up pack with the basic packs – Shine Pack (North, Bengali and Oriya).

As part of the initiative, a customer can choose any one of the top up packs – Marathi top up (ETV Marathi and Zee Marathi), Gujarati top up (ETV Gujarati) and Hindi Movie (Zee Cinema) along with their basic packs at no extra cost.

The two new channels and the free top up packs will be available across the Sun Direct platform from 1 July.

Sony TV taps Balaji movie CEO to head biz ops

July 1, 2009

After the turmoil and the forced exit of many senior executives, Multi Screen Media (formerly Set India) is filling up the positions. The company has tapped Ajit Thakur, the chief executive of Balaji Telefilms’ movie business, to take charge of its flagship Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC).

Thakur will join as Sony Entertainment Television business head from 1 July, a source in the company says. Albert Almeida, who was heading the channel, had to quit the organisation amid a clean-up operation in March.

Thakur will have the tough task of reviving Sony TV which has sunk in ratings to lag way behind rivals Star Plus, Colors and Zee TV in the Hindi GEC space. Sony, in fact, will have to contend with a steadily progressing NDTV Imagine for the fourth spot.

Sony got Gurdip Bhangoo from BBC Asian Network to head the channel’s programming and overhauled its prime time on 25 May. The channel is set to launch British broadcaster ITV’s popular celebrity reality show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here (Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao) to step up its ratings.

Sun Pictures pumps in Rs 2 bn towards movies in FY’09

July 1, 2009

Sun TV Network Ltd. has pumped in Rs 2 billion towards movies, upping its investments at a time when many players are crowding the market in the southern region.
Movie acquisition for telecast rights makes up the bulk of the investments for Sun TV Network which runs a clutch of highly successful channels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam languages.
“We have invested Rs 2 billion towards movies in FY’09. We have a library of 8500 films,” says a source in the company.

On the film production front, Sun TV has an investment plan of Rs 700-800 million for 10-12 movies a year. “We have a pipeline plan and the strategy is to produce small and medium budget movies,” adds the source.

Sun grossed a revenue of Rs 280 million from the few movies that it released last fiscal. “We had a 15-20 per cent RoI (return on investments) from the movies that we released in the fiscal,” says the source.

Sun is producing Endhiran on a budget of Rs 700 million. “The movie will come up by the end of this year or erly next year,” says the source.

Sun TV, which has Rs 3.30 billion of cash on its books, has a capex requirement of between Rs 750 million and Rs 1 billion in FY’10.