Archive for July, 2010

ABC News 24 to debut on 22nd July in Australia

July 14, 2010

Australian Broadcasting Corporation which announced to bring its 24 hours news channel earlier in January this year to compete with Sky News is going to make it soon. The media company is all set to launch ‘ABC News 24’ on 22nd of July. The announcement has been made public by Managing Director Mark Scott in an e-mail to his staff. He has also twitted about the same.

The company has chosen an apt time for the launch, when federal elections are round the corner. This is the best opportunity for this new media entity to prove its mettle in the very beginning.

“I am pleased to advise that ABC News 24, our new digital television channel, will launch on Thursday 22nd July.” said Mark Scott. Further in his mail, he said, “The launch of News 24 is the culmination of many months of hard work by teams across the ABC, particularly in the News, Television, Resources and Technology divisions.”

“This eagerly awaited event required a number of things to fall into place. We needed to build Media Hub and move our existing channels over to the new play-out centre. We needed to build new facilities like the Chester Wilmot studio on the ground floor of Ultimo.”

“We needed to install new digital equipment that allows us to broadcast news around-the-clock. And we needed to recruit and train production teams to deliver a range of new programs.”

“It is not every day that the ABC creates a new channel. In preparing to launch big ventures like this, you often feel you could do with more time. But we are keen to get on air and provide what I am sure will be outstanding coverage of the 2010 Federal Election campaign on News 24.”

“A 24/7 news channel is a significant challenge and doubtlessly we will face intense scrutiny from our competitors, but we are looking to make a strong start and to get better every day.”

“I know our audiences are going to appreciate having the great work of ABC journalists in Australia and around the world, available free of charge, at all times – on television, online and on mobile.”

The channel is set to replace the existing ABC High Definition simulcast of ABC1. The channel will provide live continuous news coverage of major breaking stories from Australia and around the world. New programs are also being developed specifically for the channel, focusing on world news, national politics and business. Many of the ABC’s existing television news and current affairs programs will also be featured.

ABC News 24’s output will consist of a mix of live bulletins, time shifted repeats of existing ABC News and Current Affairs output, coverage of the Federal Parliament’s Question Time, documentaries and factual & arts programming.

Zee to bring dedicated Cricket and Golf channels

July 14, 2010

According to the media reports, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited holds plans of bringing sports channels dedicated solely to the games of Cricket and Golf. With these channels, the company is trying to explore business opportunities in this genre of broadcasting.

Indiantelevision.com reports through its sources that the channel considering the success of Neo Cricket and Star Cricket is looking forward to extract some business possibilities from the segment. Moreover, with a dedicated golf channel, the company is all set to woo the elegant section of audiences.

According to the sources close to the reporting website, considering great revenue possibilities from a dedicated cricket channel, Zee has sought for permission from I&B Ministry regarding the same.

Taj TV Limited Mauritius and Taj Television from the Bukhatir Group have almost been completely acquired by Zee earlier this year. This acquisition has enabled Zee with the access to telecast rights for over 100 days of International Cricket from controlling boards of different countries. Thus, the group has decided to utilize Ten Sports as its main flagship entity, to broadcast all sports such as Cricket, Soccer, Tennis and Wrestling etc.

The prominent force which is driving Zee to launch these channels is the freedom to price them to the pay-TV subscribers. The company is looking forward to boost its revenues with these new channels as there is a price restriction imposed by TRAI on its existing channels.

Zee Cafe to debut in UK from 15th July on Sky platform

July 14, 2010

Zee Cafe, the popular general entertainment English Channel from Zee Company is all set for a launch in UK in a different format from 15th of July. The channel will cater to the entertainment requirements of male community from South Asia. Sky will provide the channel on its platform in the country.

The channel is the fifth from bouquet of Zee in UK. For initial three days the channel will be made available free to the viewers from Sky.

As far as the content is considered, the channel will offer a blend of content such as current affairs, business shows, Bengali and Marathi shows, sports, news etc. to its viewers.

The channel carries the tagline of ‘Entertainment beyond Boundaries’, will pave the way of greater viewership for other Zee channels in the country.

Some of the shows that are lined up with Zee Cafe for telecast are Agni Pariksha, Devdas, Kohna, Dance Bangla Dance for Indian and Bangladeshi community. However, for Marathi community the programmes will be Kunku, Kulvudu and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Marathi. All regional fiction shows will be sub-titled in English.

Sun, Network18 to launch TV distribution entity

July 14, 2010

Sun Television Network and the Delhi-based Network18 Group today announced an alliance to launch a pan-India distribution entity, to be called Sun18. The aim is to make this new entity a dominant presence over the next two years in the Rs 16,000-crore pay television subscription market.

Two media powerhouses – the Network18 Group and (Kalanidhi Maran’s) the Sun Network – have formed a joint venture called Sun18, for the distribution of a total of 33 channels across multiple carriage platforms across India, including Cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS (Wireless Cable). This also means that the distribution of Network18 channels is now going to be done by a single entity (details of how things have changed below), giving it more bargaining power; remember that Network18 recently announced plans to consolidate its TV channel businesses into a single entity (TV18). For the Sun18 alliance, two new companies will be formed:

This also marks the entry of Network18, presently the country’s largest news network, into TV distribution. Two new companies are being formed — Sun18 Media Services North Co, to be operated by Network18 to manage the non-South Indian markets, and Sun18 Media Services South Co, to be operated by the Sun Network to manage the South Indian market.

Sun18 North will be headed by Haresh Chawla (Group CEO of Network18 and Viacom18) as its CEO & Director. Rajesh Kamat (Group COO of Viacom18 & CEO – COLORS), will be the COO of Sun18 North. Sun18 South will be headed by Tony D’Silva as its CEO.

Sun18 will distribute 33 channels across all platforms in India via all networks including cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS, via the Sun Network, those of Network18 and Viacom18 and the Disney India Network.

The Sun18 bouquet, claimed the two partners, would be the the highest GRP (a measure of viewing audience) delivering bouquet in Indian television space. “The option to aggregate third party channels is also one of the opportunities this venture will seek to explore.”

Sun18 will end Network18’s deal with STARDEN, as its group channels — CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, CNBC-Awaaz, IBN-7 and IBN-Lokmat — will be distributed by Sun18.

The distribution JV also ends Viacom18’s deal with TheOneAlliance, the Sony-Discovery joint venture which distributes channels. Sun18 also gets to distribute the Viacom18 channels — Colors, MTV, Nick and Vh1. The new JV will also handle the Disney channels — Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama TV.

Sun18 will have India’s largest multilingual network comprising Sun TV, KTV, Sun News, Sun Music, Chutti TV, Adithya, Gemini TV, Teja TV, Gemini News, Gemini Music, Navvulu TV, Kushi TV, Surya TV, Kiran TV, Udaya TV, Udaya Movies, U2, Udaya Varthegalu, Ushe TV and Chintu TV.

Said Raghav Bahl, founder-head of the Network18 group: “In Sun TV, we’ve found a partner that not only complements our own strengths, but is also as ambitious to change the landscape of the Indian broadcasting industry.”

Said Kalanithi Maran, chairman & managing Director, of Sun: “This is being created to leverage our very successful television brands across the country…the (alliance) will enable us to continue to thrive in an ever-changing media landscape.”

Sun has 20 TV channels, with an estimated reach of 95 million households in India, besides viewership in 27 other countries. It also operates 45 FM radio stations, four magazines and two mass circulation Tamil dailies. Network18 has interests in TV, print, internet, filmed entertainment and mobile content, among other businesses. Its channels are in more than one language. It also recently launched Forbes India, the first local edition of a foreign news magazine title.

Said Haresh Chawla: “This unique alliance will bridge one of the widest gaps that has existed in the Indian television space for long – the gap between the South and the rest-of-India markets.”

A Mumbai-based media analyst said the JV will allow both Sun Network and Network18 to have more clarity over the distribution of their channels and it is a positive for both companies. In intra-day trading, Network18 and Sun Network shares jumped 7.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) after the companies made the announcement. Network18 and Sun finally closed up 4.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively, on the BSE.

Network18 boards to discuss restructuring

July 4, 2010

In a statement, big media players from the Network18 group have declared about their proposed meeting on 7th date of current month. Boards of Television Eighteen Limited, IBN18 Broadcast and Network18 Media are going to share the table for discussions on the issue of restructuring. However, no further details have been provided regarding the matter.

Network 18 owns business channels like CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz under the banner of Television 18. The company also possesses general news channels CNN-IBN, IBN7 and IBN Lokmat under the banner of IBN 18.

Times Now & zoOM expands reach to Australia and New Zealand

July 4, 2010

Times Global Broadcasting has rolled out two of its popular channels, Times Now and zoOm in Australia and New Zealand.

Starting today, 1st July 2010, India’s premier English News channel and leading Bollywood channel will be available on the platform of Vision Asia in the two nations.

Vision Asia is the independent multi-channel pay television platform servicing the news and current affairs, cultural and entertainment needs of the South Asian community living in Australia and New Zealand.

While TIMES NOW will be delivering the latest news and happenings from India to the South Asian community in Australia and New Zealand, zoOm will entertain them with the latest news, events, celebrity snapshots, interviews, movie reviews and new music from Bollywood.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Vineet Jain, Managing Director, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd says, “In line with our efforts to build our Television Network offerings into Global brands, we are pleased to partner with the leading DTH platform in Australia and New Zealand, VisionAsia. TIMES NOW and zoOm are both leading sources of information and entertainment and it is our endeavour to take the channels to the Indian Diaspora across the globe”.

Expanding to the new markets, TIMES NOW and zoOm now also provide an opportunity to Indian advertisers and those based in Australia and New Zealand to address consumers in these markets with targeted local advertising.

Sameer Goswami, CEO, Vision Asia says “We are excited about the launch of TIMES NOW & zoOm on Vision Asia Platform. TIMES NOW is the no.1 news channel in India and zoOm is India’s premier specialty entertainment channel built around it’s key passion- Bollywood. Both are perfect fits with our bouquet and in line with our philosophy of bringing the best from back home, everyday. I am sure that with its in-depth coverage & quality analysis of news around the world TIMES NOW will be well liked by our customers in ANZ. zoOm will fulfil the unlimited thirst for the glamour and glitter of Bollywood.”

Fox International Channels adds 7 new channels for the Indian audience

July 4, 2010

Fox International Channels (FIC), News Corporation’s international multi-media business, leverages its offering for the Indian audience. The Company has announced the launch seven new channels in the market which would be made available to the consumers across the country through multiple platforms like DTH, Digital and Analog.

The seven new channels that would expand the reach of FIC in India are FX, National Geographic HD, NG Wild, Fox Crime, NG Adventure, NG Music and Baby TV. These add up to the existing line up of channels beamed by FIC in India, National Geographic Channel (NGC) and Fox History and Entertainment.

Announcing the launch of the channels, Keertan Adyanthaya, Managing Director, FOX International Channels India, remarked, “As a part of Fox International Channels, India, we believe that introducing channels like FX, Fox Crime, Baby TV, NG Adventure, NG HD, NG Wild & NG Music on the DTH platform will give us the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience base and keep our viewers enthralled by compelling content ranging from crime to comedy, from adventure to music and from fiction to factual shows.”

All the new channels are global brands of the company equipped to deliver specialised content targeting niche audience.

While, Fox Crime will be an entertainment channel dedicated to crime and investigation, FX will have a mix of quality, character-driven and unconventional drama and comedy. The NG HD is high-definition (HD) version of the NGC which will offer extraordinary experience to TV viewers with nature, history, science, culture and adventure programming.

‘Nat Geo Adventure’ will unleash the spirited adventurer in the audience; ‘Nat Geo Wild’ will allow the audience to get closer to the most powerful wildlife encounters ever seen on television and ‘Nat Geo Music’ will follow seasoned artistes whose anthems have bridged borders and emerging talents now revolutionalizing the music scene to give viewers an authentic sound that is rich in diversity.

One of the most striking of all the new channels, ‘Baby TV’ embarks upon a new concept in the Indian TV diaspora. It is a first of its kind channel for infants and toddlers under three years, the channel is geared to promote learning, development and activity for children in a fun environment. It has been created with experts in child development and lays emphasis on parent-baby interactions.

All the seven channels would be paid channels. “Depending on the response to the new channels among the Indian audience, FIC, a subsidiary of the Fox Entertainment Group which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media conglomerate News Corporation, would introduce a few more channels in India from its bouquet of international channels,” added Adyanthaya.