Archive for January, 2010

DD to carry 200 DTH channels, soon

January 23, 2010

Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister has asked Prasar Bharati to pay attention towards the offering of 200 television channels on the country’s only free-to-air direct-to-home (DTH) platform, DD Direct Plus.

In an important step to increase its reach and popularity, public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) would give 200 free-to-air channels on its DTH platform.

“We are discussing the matter with the Prasar Bharati people, and I have asked them to try to increase the number of FTA channels to about 200,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters after releasing the annual India 2010 and Bharat 2010 reference manual brought out by the Publications Division and the Research and Reference Division of her Ministry.

As of now DD Direct Plus already have 57 channels, apart from 21 channels of All India Radio and Doordarshan has a network of more than 1400 transmitters extend all over the country with the signals available to about 90 per cent of the population.

The minister also said that the decision to increase the number of channels on DD DTH was in consonance with the objectives of the Ministry to make the public broadcaster of maximum use to the public.

Earlier this year, Soni had denied in Parliament that any television channels had withdrawn from DD Direct Plus. She said DD Direct Plus signals were available in the entire country except the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Nimbus opts for the telecast rights for Indian cricket till 2014

January 23, 2010

Nimbus Communications has taken the telecast rights for India cricket till 2014. The company said Friday it has issued bank guarantees to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the entire new rights period, cementing their relationship till March 2014.

With this, Nimbus and BCCI have now cemented their relationship till March 2014 and after the agreement Nimbus will have exclusively market various media rights for all international cricket tours staged by the BCCI and 78 days of BCCI domestic cricket events every year.

The agreement is valued at approximately Rs 20 billion and for a minimum of 64 international matches and 312 days of domestic cricket, over a four year period.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar says, “The BCCI is pleased to extend its partnership with Nimbus by entering into this agreement till 2014. Nimbus has been the BCCI’s Global Media Rights partner since 2006 and has, in this period, licensed our events for broadcast to hundreds of millions of cricket fans worldwide.”

Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani says, “The Nations format in cricket has a tradition of over 70 years and is one which remains the pinnacle in the sport, as demonstrated by the viewership ratings of the same globally. This new agreement is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the Nations format and to the Indian National team events.”

Nimbus has been BCCI global media rights partner since 2006 and has over the last 4 years marketed BCCI events to over a 100 countries worldwide on some of the biggest broadcast networks including Sky Sports, Supersport, Echostar, Fox Sports, Geo TV, Astro and StarHub.

France witnesses showcase of Discovery HD

January 23, 2010

January 26 is the date announced by the Discovery Networks for the launching of new channel Discovery HD Showcase on the CanalSat.

Best Shows of Discovery Group including the exclusive content would be offered by the Channel in highly qualitative HD format for the viewers. Some of the major programmes that will be displayed on new channel are Discovery World, Discovery Turbo, Animal Planet, and Discovery Science. The viewers will be able to watch the whole series of Globe Riders along with the channels that do not operate in France.

The Dish and IPTV viewers, who hold a subscription to the CanalSat HD offer, will possess the privilege of viewing Discovery HD.

ET Now, the business channel now streams live on web

January 23, 2010

ET Now, the 24/7 business news channel from the stable of Times Global Broadcasting Company is now expanding its reach to the widespread viewers by making the channel available on the internet platform. ET Now will be available online through live streaming on http://live.indiatimes.com.

The channel, a strong contender in the business news reporting in India, complements the leading daily business newspaper The Economic Times. Besides being available on all DTH platforms throughout the country, availability on the one of the most promising evolving platforms (internet) ET Now has created a new benchmark for itself.

Speaking on the development, Ms. Neeti Chopra, Brand Director, ET Now said, “ET Now has gained considerable appreciation since its launch in June last year. Over the past few months we have strived to increase our reach and viewership and keeping this mind, have made the channel available on the digital medium also. We will aggressively pursue our goal of making ET Now the preferred choice of India Inc.”

“Viewers can now get access to the latest developments in corporate India and global markets online through the indiatimes.com website,” says the release by Company. The channel delivers the latest developments and analysis on the stock markets,business and finance, a distinctive alternative through its credible and differentiated content and skilled personnel.

Global Broadcasting Rights for ‘Restrepo’ Grabbed by Nat Geo

January 23, 2010

The famous opening night documentary ‘Restrepo’ which was showcased at the Sundance Film Festival will be telecasted globally by National Geographic Channel U.S and National Geographic Channels International, as they grabbed its worldwide TV rights for the viewing of Television consumers.

This marvelous creation is the outcome of the dedicated combined efforts by award winning Photo Journalist Tim Hetherington and Author/Journalist Sebastian Junger. This Documentary portrays the deployment of a platoon of US Soldiers at an isolated 15 man outpost Restrepo, situated in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. This place is considered as one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. Army. Current Theatrical Rights of Restrepo are hold by United Talent Agency.

14 Billion To digitize DD & AIR, proposed by I&B

January 23, 2010

14 Billion To digitize DD & AIR, proposed by I&B
14 Billion To digitize DD & AIR, proposed by I&B
January 21, 2010
Source: MM Network
By: Gaurav Maurya
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A Proposal constituting Rs6 Billion to Doordarshan and Rs8 Billion to All India Radio regarding their absolute digitization has been prepared by Information & Broadcasting Ministry. According to a statement from a senior government official, the proposal will be submitted before cabinet very soon for the discussion. The official adds that the government stands firm on completing the digitization process of Electronic Media by the year 2017.

Apart from India, China has set the same deadline of the year 2017, whereas, the US had already failed to meet its 2009 deadline of completing digitization for its Media.

The process for Digitisation has been accelerated by Doordarshan and AIR as both the bodies were beaming terrestrially in order to attain access all over the country. Out of its total budget of Rs.13.69 billion granted in the Fifth Year Plan (2007-2012), Doordarshan solely devoted the large share of Rs. 12.09 Billion only for the digitization of the Channel.

During the whole process, digitization of existing studios, replacement and augmentation of old studios, transmitter & satellite and establishment of digital transmitters will take place. Broadcasting equipment and setting up of HDTV facilities will also be on the priority. The process would benefit the new channels waiting to come in the arena, as the digitization process will create a free space in the spectrum which is used for the transmission of analogue signals. Doordarshan is also likely to use an extra spectrum in a partnership model in order to generate more revenues.

Field Production and Post Production facilities are to be setup in the four Metro Cities, whereas, Delhi and Mumbai are going to have the privilege of acquiring two HDTV Studios. . The HDTV uplink will be set up at Delhi, and HDTV terrestrial transmitters will be installed in four metros. And it’s good news for viewers that they may get the transmission of much awaited Commonwealth Games in HDTV Format.

Out of total 66 Studio centers of Doordarshan, 23 already hold the status of being digitized whereas, 39 of them are partially digitized or analogue. These partially digitized studios will get fully digitized by the year 2012 under the 11th five year plan. Also there are plans to use Digital Satellite News Gathering(DSNG) for the modernization of Satellite Earth Stations.

“What’s On India” Channel rides on DTH platform with Dish TV

January 23, 2010

India’s first and only Consumer TV Guidance Channel is now available on the the country’s first DTH service platform. What’s On India Media Private Limited’s channel “What’s On India” is now available on Dish TV on channel 1000.

The company founded by Atul Phadnis launched the channel “What’s On India” in December 2009 only on the Hathway Cable platform. With its inclusion on the DTH platform Dish TV the channel is expanding its reach to more homes in the sub-continent. What’s-on-India Media is India’s largest Consumer TV Guidance and EPG Company.

The channel aids TV viewers by informing and recommending a wide variety of program choices across multiple TV channels round-the clock. Moreover it also helps viewers to discover the choicest content hidden in the huge clutter of TV channels. “What’s On India” initiated a new trend in the TV viewing experience in India, which is quite popular internationally, and has set a new benchmark.

Dish TV CEO, Salil Kapoor remarks on the tie-up, “Consumer TV Guidance has become a necessity with the number of channels and programs available today. We believe this initiative offers a unique method of TV guidance and convenience in program selection to our viewers and is a value addition for a lot of them who have been waiting for such unique content to be made available to them.”

“When we started out, our vision was to guide TV viewers in their personalized search for TV content. In this journey, we have experienced an overwhelming demand for a TV Guidance Channel. We are pleased to be available on theDISH TV platform. The WHAT’S-ON-INDIA channel will enable discovery of new content to millions of DISH TV viewers round-the-clock,” s ays Atul Phadnis, Founder and CEO of What’s On India.

Looking to address the needs of the Indian TV viewers by constantly presenting viewers with information and recommendations of what TV programs to watch and where to find them, the channel aims to reach 20 million homes by the first quarter of 2010!

NDTV’s loss of Q3 falls to Rs.16.6 million, recovery gradual

January 23, 2010

Good news for NDTV, as its net loss for the third quarter has shown a steep fall and has reduced to Rs.16.6 million. This reduction is a result of the cost efficient policies adopted by the channel and also due to the three percent growth in revenues. Another income of Rs.5.4 million has also made its financial position firm in the market.

NDTV had showed a net loss of Rs. 174.8 million for its third quarter of the fiscal year 2009. The company owns and runs news channels NDTV India (Hindi), NDTV 24X7 (English), NDTV Profit (English Business). Because of its sweating efforts, the company managed to bring down the expenses up to 821.8 million, which is a significant 11.94% less than the previous period.NDTV has registered a considerable elevation of 849.8 million in its income as compared to Rs.824.6 million a year ago.

However, compared to the loss of Rs. 108.6 million, the company posted its operational profit of Rs. 28 million on the basis of its adequate operations. The whole credit for this profit can be given to theNDTV’s four step restructuring policy implemented by the company.

For the third-quarter, the company has posted a net profit of Rs 741 million, as against a net loss of Rs 1.21 billion in the year-ago period. “An undertaking to provide a corporate guarantee given by the company to repay the 40 per cent of the outstanding bonds has ceased to exist upon re-purchase of the bonds. The resulting gain on buy back amounting to Rs 1.28 billion ($ 27.60 million) is included under other income,” the company noted.

NDTV also entered into an agreement with Turner Asia Pacific Ventures for the sale of most of its stake in NDTV Imagine Ltd for a total transaction value of $117 million, involving a sale of 92 per cent of NDTV Imagine on a fully diluted basis for a consideration of $67 million, together with the subscription to fresh shares in Imagine by Turner Asia Pacific Ventures for $50 million.

The total income gained operations are estimated at Rs.1.67 billion, which is 28.78% more as compared to Rs.1.3 billion in the last year. Expenses also registered for the quarter were Rs. 2.2 billion, less than Rs. 2.33 billion a year ago.

The operating loss for the company in the quarter of the earlier fiscal year was Rs. 1.03 billion. Whereas, it came down at Rs. 525.7 million in this quarter. Another gaining of Rs.1.28 billion on the buyback amount has been showed by the company.

The significant reduction in the outstanding borrowings and interest burdens is the outcome of the repurchasing of $100 million Step up Coupon Bonds for just $72.4million. According toNDTV all those restrictions that were attached with bonds freed it from the undertaking of providing $ 40 million guarantee to the holders.

IPL Themes on Colors

January 23, 2010

If you cannot beat them, join them! It seems that the leading Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors has followed this advice and has entered into a three-year entertainment licensing deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL).

During the IPL, viewership of Hindi GECs suffers. Colors from the Viacom18 stable has found a solution to this problem, signing a deal that will enable it to launch a series of new entertainment initiatives to attract more fans into the IPL fold.

Colors will launch a series of entertainment properties around IPL and IPL players that will look to make the T20 cricket event a full year affair. The properties will air not just during the 45-day IPL 2010 Season, but afterwards as well.

One of the IPL themed shows on Colors will be a special IPL edition ‘Fear factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi IPL Special’. Viacom18 COO and Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat says that four to five properties are in the pipeline. This will include showcasing the ‘IPL Awards Night’ which takes place for the first time in April. It will also have 42 ‘IPL Nights’ where one can see parties and fashion shows that will take place after the matches.

The IPL awards show aims to combine elements of the Oscar and the Screen Awards. The event will take place in Mumbai on 23 April 2010.

The Viacom18 channels like MTV will also air some of the IPL entertainment properties.

Says IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi, “The IPL is constantly looking to innovate. The marriage between IPL and Colors was bound to happen. IPL is not just about cricket. It is also about entertainment and adding value for our viewers. The question was how to take the entertainment quotient to the next level. This deal will extend the IPL beyond just 45 days. This unique entertainment proposition will combine our IPL cricketers’ mass appeal and Colors’ flagship format shows to create an unprecedented genre of cricketainment. This deal is part of the Central Execution Programme started by the IPL Governing Council.”

According to actress Preity Zinta, who owns a stake in Kings XI Punjab, the deal fills a need gap. “At fashion shows the work of 50 designers will be showcased. They will be integrated with the players. We will also be doing interactive initiatives like a rockstar contest. This will involve going into the catchment areas,” she says.

As per the deal, the licensing amount from Colors will go to the team franchises.

Modi says the last four matches of the IPL will be shown in 3D. Over a thousand cinema halls across the country will also screen the IPL, he adds.

South Korean channel Tele-Novela HD, first to provide programmes in High Definition

January 23, 2010

Programmes of TV Globo are to be aired in High Definition format by famous Korean Channel Tele-Novela HD in South Korea. With a large gamut of approximately 500,000 subscribers of HD services and around 2 million for the SD channels, Tele-Novela has become the first television channel min the country to facilitate viewers with qualitative high definition services.

Globo mini-series like Maysa: When the Heart Sings, Starting Over Again, Sound and Fury and Internal Affairs, and the telenovelas The Favorite, Two Faces and India: A Love Story and Carnaval will constitute the list of programmes that are going to be telecast in High Definition. These programmes will also carry subtitles in Korean language.

Said Globo TV International director of sales Raphael Corrêa Netto, “To offer programmers content in high-definition is the natural evolution of our business. We know that now, apart from the already recognized quality of our stories, we have another competitive difference. We are optimistic with the prospective of reaching new markets.”