Archive for May, 2010

Twenty20 WC ratings hit new lows

May 13, 2010

It’s been a mixed performance for the Twenty20 World Cup on Star Cricket. While ratings have been lower, the cumulative reach of the match telecast has gone up.

Tam data c&s4+ shows that the average rating for the first 16 matches was 1.8. In the previous editions, the average rating was 2.8 for the same period.

The India versus Australia Super Eight encounter on 7 May got a TVR of 4.7. The India versus South Africa match on 2 May got an average rating of 6.02. No non-India match has reached a TVR of 2. Last year, six non India matches crossed this mark.

The event so far has managed a cummulative reach of 85 million viewers. Last year it was 83 million. In the first year it was 66 million.

Reliance Communications is a sponsor with ESPN Star Sports (ESS) for this event. It is also an International Cricket Council (ICC) partner.

A company spokesperson though notes that the ratings were in line with what was expected. “We expected the India matches to have an average of 4.5- 5 TVR which has been the case. When we did the deal we factored in several things. One is that the Indian Premier League (IPL) finished only five days before the start of the World Cup. So there was bound to be some viewer fatigue which was not there last year.

“The other is that the telecast timing from the West Indies is not as good compared to England and South Africa. In addition this is the vacation season and people travel. We also did the deal expecting that India will only play five matches including three in the Super Eight. So we were protected. Had India progressed to the final it would have been a bonus for us. Having said that there is no doubt that India’s poor performance is having an impact. When the team does not do well many viewers switch off”.

In terms of the ratings for the semi finals and final, viewers could still tune in. That is because it is a World Cup and so carries weight. However, one cannot expect ratings to top 15 which is what happened the first year in 2007 when India beat Pakistan to win. Expect the final rations to be in the region of 4-4.5.

A media buyer says that clients look at different scenarios before doing deals. “There were those who felt that the price was worth it even if India did not progress. Clients also came in due to the perceived value of the tournament.”

Star Plus reports highest GRPs in 94 weeks

May 12, 2010

Wednesday brought good news for Star Plus, the flagship Hindi entertainment channel from the Star India stable. TAM ratings for week 19 showed that it had managed to generate its highest GRPs level in 94 weeks (almost two years).

Star Plus has been involved in a battle for leadership with its two major rivals Colors and Zee TV. For a large part of this year, Colors has been at the forefront with both Zee TV and Star Plus sneaking ahead for a week or so.

But in the week ended 8 May it has taken a giant sized piece away from its rivals by generating GRPs of 337 (HSM C&S 4+), which is 59 points more than its nearest rival Colors.

Colors notched up 278 GRPs which means that it shed 10 points over its week 18 performance. Zee TV shaved off 12 GRPs to close at 267 and ended up at the No 3 spot.

Star Plus on the other hand gained 51 GRPs on the back of a strong weekend performance along with a healthy weekday afternoon band and its movie lineup.

Says a Star spokesperson, “While weekend original programming contributed 33 GRPs (13 in previous week) to the channel, movies attracted an additional 15 GRPs (4 in the previous week).”

Its movies on 2 May De Dhana Dhan and Aladin delivered 1.5 TVRs at 5:30 pm and 0.8 TVRs at 1 pm respectively. What worked well for the channel was its one hour weekend special for its Monday to Friday show Pratigya. The special racked up a 11 per cent growth for the show by generating 5.5 TVRs.

The channel has also garnered the number one spot in the weekday afternoon adding three GRPs to its last week performance of 30. Meanwhile, Colors and Zee remain stable at 17 GRPs each in the slot.

“While Colors is still to gain firm ground in the afternoon slot, Star is already firmly entrenched in that time band. Their strategy to shift their non-performing primetime shows to afternoon seems to have worked well for the channel,” says a media observer.

Colors’ GRPs drop was primarily led by weekend movies (29 GRPs as against 43 GRPs in the previous week), weekday primetime shows (119 GRPs vs 122 GRPs last week), and weekend original programming (11 GRPs vs 14 GRPs last week).

“Weekend movies have always helped Colors bulk up GRPs. This week too, the channel screened five movies. However, they failed to score for it,” says a media observer.

The movies that the Colors aired showed include Munnabhai MBBS, Bhoot Unkle, Yeh Dil, Bhaghban and Toh Baat Pakki.

Chak Dhoom Dhoom (Fri-Sat 9:00 pm) too slid as it averaged three TVRs [3.7 last] in its second week.

Zee TV ruled the week in both fiction and non-fiction with its shows Pavitra Rishta (5.5 TVRs vs 5.4 last week) and DID Li’l Champs (5.2 TVRs vs 6.6 last week) respectively scoring the highest GRPs amongst all GEC channels.

“DID Li’l Champs average viewership fell leading to the GRPs fall. The movie lineup for the week was also weak,” says a media analyst.

The movies on the channel this week included Dhol, Yaadein and Garam Masala.

Sony, the No 4 player (179 GRPs) will really have to take a hard look at its Yash Raj created content. The shows continued to sag with all of them raking up below 0.5 TRPs. Old hand CID contributed 72 GRPs while its new season of Indian Idol (Monday to Thursday 9 pm) was the star performer with 68 GRPs.

A peep at the performance of the other GECs: Imagine clocked 93 GRPs in the week (from earlier week’s 104 GRPs), Sab 78 GRPs (80 GRPs last week) and Star One 34 GRPs (40 GRPs last week).

Sahara One gears up for the GEC fight; sets up team

May 12, 2010

It has been a laggard in the general entertainment channel (GEC) sweepstakes. But with new CEO Avinash Kaul in place, Sahara One, the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) from Sahara One Media & Entertainment Ltd (Somel) is now pressing the accelerator pedal in a bid to move itself to a better position.

Under Kaul, who comes from a now dismantled NDTV Media, the channel has launched a new corporate identity with a new logo and also has set up a team of hand-picked executives to head different operations.

Among the recent appointees are Sheetal Ladha, who has joined as head-programming for Sahara One and is looking after the current shows, while creative director Mushtak Shiekh will oversee new concepts and ideas.

The responsibility of ramping up the distribution is on Nitin Raghuvanshi while the channel has also roped in former Walt Disney executive Kapil Sahani as head-affiliate sales.

Though the channel’s advertising sales is still being taken care of by Raj Nayak (now through Aidem Ventures), Sahara One has roped in Karthik L as head – marketing and international distribution (UK, US and Canada). For the rest of the international distribution, Somel has appointed Pallav Nagar, former Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) head subscription – Asia Pacific. Nagar will take care of South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa region.

For the movie acquisition business, the company has appointed Vikrant Rai as head – syndication. He comes from Select Media Holdings.

Meanwhile, to head the research and planning, Somel has recruited former NDTV Media executive Viral Jani as AVP – research & strategic planning. Also, Puruskar Gupta has joined the company as head – finance. He joins in from Real Global Broadcasting.

On the new team and the road ahead, Kaul said, “In the last three months, we have put together the team and now it’s time to start the show. With the new identity and logo we also have a slew of new shows in the pipeline, but we will launch them in a phased manner.”

The new logo and feel of the channel has been designed in-house by the OAP (on-air promotion) team, headed by Ashish Kapoor.

Sahara One has four shows in the weekday primetime – Ganesh Leela (8.30 pm), Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki (9 pm) Kesariya Balam Aavo Hamare Des (9.30 pm) and Mata Ki Chowki (10.30 pm).

Starting 17 May, the channel will launch Bitto, produced by Contiloe Entertainment, at 8.30 pm. The show focuses on the prevalent caste-based discrimination in the state of Uttar Pradesh through the eyes of the protagonist Bitto.

The channel also announced another show Shor, which is to launch soon. Produced by Jay Productions, Shor is the story of a girl – Kanku – who cannot speak. Based in Gujarat, the show comes with the tagline, Gungi Kanku ki bolti kahaani.
Sources told that the channel has a total of seven shows in the pipeline, which will be rolled out gradually. However, Kaul reiterated that Sahara One is targeting the non-metro based audiences predominantly.

“Our strength is that we are connected to the bottom of the pyramid, the absolute masses, and the Hindi heartland. We are keeping this regional focus, which will be supported with extensive marketing,” Kaul said.

The channel has already begun to run its new packaging since 9 May, Mother’s Day. “We selected Mother’s Day as it is about the new birth of the channel. With the new shows, we are hoping to generate a good response. This is the foundation we are laying, and bit by bit, we will build up the programming,” Shiekh said.

On the marketing plan, Karthik said that the channel has chalked out a robust electronic and outdoor strategy. “We have bought spots for four weeks on different channels – with a total of 800 GRPs (gross rating points). Apart from an extensive outdoor plan in Delhi and Mumbai, every town and city in Uttar Pradesh has hoardings of Bitto. The same will be done for Shor in Gujarat. We also have radio, digital, SMS and on-ground activation strategies devised for promoting the shows,” Karthik said.

Meanwhile, Kaul said that the channel will focus on fiction and not burn cash in non-fiction content, which guzzles more money. “For the next three to six months, we are not looking at doing any reality shows,” Kaul said. “We are trying to identify the gaps in the current programming of other GECs and plugging our content there. We don’t want to launch everything at one go as it will not be easier for viewers even to sample all the shows together.”

Pakistan bans BBC Urdu service news bulletins in the country over FM

May 4, 2010

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned broadcast of BBC Urdu News bulletins over 24 partner FM stations of the BBC.

BBC World Service has been ordered to cease the broadcasting of BBC Urdu service’s news bulletins on 24 out of its 34 FM partner stations in Pakistan. PERMA has mentioned that the decision has been relayed to the broadcaster as per the orders from the government.

The BBC has showed concerns over the action and believes that the 24 FM partner stations completed all the required paperwork for PEMRA last October and calls on the Pakistan authorities to allow the stations to resume BBC Urdu news bulletins so that audiences in Pakistan can have access to the BBC’s impartial and editorially independent news.

In a statement released by the Company, BBC says, “The BBC is concerned that the millions of radio listeners in Pakistan who turn to the BBC for unbiased and objective news and information will be the most affected by this decision.”

The BBC will monitor the situation closely and continue to support its partners in getting BBC programmes back on air. The broadcasts were earlier banned by Pakistan’s television and radio regulator in 2007, but were re-allowed in 2008.

ESPN Star Sports channels back on Digicable after 4 months

May 4, 2010

ESPN Star Sports and Digicable Network (India) have sorted out their commercial disputes, ending a four-month blackout of the three sports channels on the pan-India cable network ahead of the T20 World Cup that kicks off today.

The channels – ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket – were off Digicable’s network due to billing, payment and a host of other issues.

“We had some commercial disputes with ESS and had shut out the channels across all our cable TV networks. But we have resolved them amicably and the channels are back again,” Digicable joint MD Yogesh Shah told Us

ESS has some hot properties during the course of the year including the T20 World Cup, soccer World Cup, Champions League and ICC World Cup, an so Star didn’t have much options rather than to surrender.

DB Corp’s MY FM to be conferred with 2010 International Broadcasting Excellence Award: NAB SHOW 2010

May 4, 2010

India’s Dainik Bhaskar Group’s radio vertical MY FM along with Sri Lanka’s Shree FM will be conferred with the 2010 NAB International Broadcasting Excellence Award at this year’s 2010 NAB Show.

The award by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for America recognizes international broadcasters that have demonstrated excellent leadership and originality in serving their audience through broadcast advancement or remarkable service to the community.

The 94.3 MY FM has been serving the community, dedicating its airwaves to several philanthropic initiatives aimed at helping it’s listening. MY FM is part of one of India’s reputed media organisations Dainik Bhaskar Corporation. With a broadcast network that spans 17 cities and seven states, MY FM successfully coordinated large-scale blood collection drives and clothing donation centers. A 10-day warm clothes drive alone provided clothes to more than 10,000 homes and spanned across three cities. The station also successfully initiated a voter education effort, launching a creative campaign to reach listeners with information on the importance of their vote.

Shree FM, one of the most popular stations in Sri Lanka, has participated in several programs aimed at providing health care assistance to its listening audience. In 2008, Shree FM launched Shree Sathkaraka Rohala (Shree Mobile Medical Camp), which assists citizens living in economically-challenged communities with free health care services. A program solely financed through the radio station, Shree FM provided nearly $200,000 in medical services, assisting more than 57,000 individuals through the initiative.

Broadcasters across the globe consistently touch the lives of viewers and listeners in the towns and cities they serve. The NAB International Broadcasting Excellence Awards was established to help recognize those radio or television stations that demonstrate exceptional leadership and commendable dedication to their surrounding communities and listeners. A complete list of previous award recipients is available here.

The NAB Show will take place 10-15 April, 2010 in Las Vegas. It is the world’s largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums.

WorldSpace Radio now plans to de-orbit its satellites

May 4, 2010

WorldSpace, the operator of the satellite radio which remains in the bankruptcy, has filed an emergency motion with the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to “de-orbit” its two satellites. In a statement WorldSpace has shown urgency towards de-commissioning the satellites that cater to Asian and African region.

WorldSpace plans to either de-orbit or sell ‘AfriStar’ and ‘AsiaStar’ satellites after receiving due to permission from the court. In the filing the company says that the satellites need to be removed immediately from orbit to prevent damage to both the Satellites and equipment in orbit owned and operated by others.

On the other hand Liberty Satellite Radio, a unit of Liberty Media that has been funding the operations of WorldSpace in the state of bankruptcy, has mentioned that it will not provide any more funds to WorldSpace. It has been reported that Liberty has terminated transaction negotiations between the two companies.

Once the approval is sought by the court, WorldSpace will de-orbit the two satellites by disconnecting them and will be sent to a graveyard orbit safe from damaging other satellites. The bankruptcy court judge, Peter Walsh, will hear the application this coming Wednesday, March 24.

Dharm channel to offer religious content with its launch

May 4, 2010

Dharm media venture officially announced the launch religious channel ‘Dharm’. Sabhyata, Sanskriti, Vishwas and Parampara define ‘Dharm’ and that’s the core essence Dharm will follow in the time to come. The channel is dedicated to the religious Jagriti of India to awaken the spirituality of the world. Dharm is promoted by people who have excelled in corporate and media world over the years.

The channel will be available to over 50 million people across the country within 6 months of its launch. The channel is available through local networks in Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Gujrat and parts of Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and will capture a substantial market over a period of next one month.

Dharm will look deep into the ancient Sat Sanatan Dharma, Vedic period and Gurus and Godmen of modern India along with covering sacred temples and festivities throughout the country. Few of the shows going on-air with the launch of Dharm include a classic serial like Ramkrishna Paramhans, along with other documentary based programmes like Bharat ke Mandir, Shaktipeeth, Teerthsthal, Mera Dharm Mera Karam, A day with a Saint, Satsang and Utsav ke Rang to name a few. Weekend specials will include programmes like Dharmyatra, Reeti Rivaj and Vidhi Vidhan along with at least a religious movie every week. Apart from this Pravachan, Panchang, Yoga, Astrology will be part of channels daily shows.

Dharm also will have a unique show Bhajan Sangram that is First ever Talent Hunt Show on religious music in India. Religious music has a very rich cultural heritage in our country and Dharm would showcase new talents of religious music in India. The programming has been conceptualised to ensure positive feeling and energy amongst the viewers by uplifting their spirituality, so that they feel and experience – the true religion – The Dharm.

Govt. to make Prasar Bharti stand on its own feet

May 4, 2010

The government has made all arrangements and plans to make Prasar Bharti stand on its own feet in terms of financial dependency. To make this government regulated body an ‘independently regulated’ one, government has took some important steps. To grant financial aid to Prasar Bharti, central government has decided to give whole price of its assets and properties. Along with it, the restriction on recruitment has also been removed from the Prasar Bharti.

In a recently concluded meeting presided by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, a committee of ministers proceeded that financial amendment plan which was put on back burner when UPA government came in power. First meeting regarding this matter commenced on 16th of April. The effect of Prasar Bharti on this meeting will be displayed in near future. Government wants that the bureaucracy and lazy work culture in Prasar Bharti should come to an end.

After this, Prasar Bharti will have to arrange its own resource for operations. The body will have to extract a minimum of 50% in next five years from its internal and extra budgetary resources. And after the year 2014-15, government will cut down the financial aid to the body. The decision will be implemented in the financial year 2010-2011 and will be reviewed after 5 years.

Along with Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Prithviraj Chavhan and Veerappa Moily are included as the members of this committee. The committee has taken many important decisions regarding Prasar Bharti. According to the decision, government will provide 50% of the total expenditure of Prasar Bharti under a non planned grant.

Also, the government will provide financial aid instead of providing loan for Prasar Bharti’s construction related expenditures. Because, loan has the compulsion to be repaid along with the interest but financial grant doesn’t carry any kind of compulsion.

In 2010, the total revenue of Prasar Bharti was Rs.1050 crores which was less than 50% of its total expenditure. 76% of this revenue came only from its Television network Doordarshan.