Archive for September, 2010

Star India Plus rolled out on America’s Verizon FiOS TV

September 28, 2010

Star India’s flagship Hindi General Entertainment Channel, Star Plus has been rolled out on the network of Verizon FiOS TV for the viewers across America.

Verizon FiOS TV has a bouquet of nearly 40 other international channels covering more than 20 languages, to bring people of South Asian origin a choice fare in the US.

The channel began launching on FiOS TV this week and will be in all markets by Monday. It will be available in the South Asian Package which comprise of other popular channels such as Zee TV, TV Asia and SET Asia.

“The addition of STAR India PLUS to the FiOS TV channel line-up further enhances our overall multicultural offering with new content that includes favourite dramas, game shows and more,” said Terry Denson, Vice President of Content Strategy and Acquisition for Verizon.

David Wisnia, Star’s Senior Vice President of Distribution, Sales and Marketing and Head of Star’s North American office, said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled to be making Star India Plus available to FiOS TV subscribers.”

MGM not interested in Sahara’s bid; rejects proposal

September 28, 2010

Despite its poor financial condition, MGM Studio (English movie channel) has rejected Sahara India Pariwar’s bid of $2 billion for a possible acquisition. The foreign counterpart in this matter is said to have a requirement of double of the amount proposed by Sahara.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor is now looking for some substitute to get rid off the current credit that is burdening on channel’s shoulders.

The company’s chairman Subrata Roy Sahara had a conference call with the studio’s creditors on Tuesday. He later said that his offer was rejected within hours of his talk with creditors.

Prior to this, several news items floated in the media that Metro Goldwyn Mayer Inc. was being valued approximately $2bn entity by Sahara India Pariwar in a bid.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., or MGM, is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures.

It is notable that the MGM Studio is a popular channel focusing on classic Hollywood movies for long but is unable to make profits to sustain.

DD cuts ad revenue target to Rs. 100 crores during CWG; faces competition from India-Australia Test Series

September 27, 2010

Already fighting with the shortage of advertisers during the telecast of Commonwealth games, the national broadcaster DoorDarshan is set to suffer from upcoming India-Australia Test Cricket Series as the prominent advertisers are heading towards Neo Sports, the official broadcaster of the Test Series.

The proposed Indian-Australia Cricket Series is slated to start from 1st of October, which is just 2 days earlier the CWG. Being a cricket fanatic nation, the much awaited series is expected to fascinate more viewers than the CWG.

In such scenario, where Neo Sports has set the advertising revenue target of Rs. 200 crores during the Series, DD has disappointingly curb down its targeted ad revenue to Rs. 100 crores only.

The pubcaster DD felt compelled to slash down its ad revenue estimate to Rs. 100 crores from earlier expected Rs. 200 crores because of changing circumstances, criticism and advertisers pulling the investments back from CWG.

Actually, DD holds all its revenue expectations from PSUs (Public Service Unit). The government last week directed Public Oil Companies to buy an advertisement space of Rs. 10 crores each during the Commonwealth Games.

However, justifying DD’s position Aruna Sharma (Director General, Doordarshan) said, “We are on the right trackand will able to provide all details by the end of this month.”

Disney brings live telecast of cricket matches on its kids’ channels

September 12, 2010

Embarking a new trend for the Kids Entertainment channels in India, Disney has entered in an association with ESPN Star Sports, the most popular sports network in India, to Live Telecast the cricket excitement of Airtel Champions League T20. This would be the first time live simulcast of a cricket match on a kid’s channel.

From live matches, to exclusive interviews, special opening tosses and more, the Disney Network with ESPN Star Sports is pulling out all the stops to give its young viewers and their families an unforgettable and unprecedented sports experience.

The association has been sought for a few matches only. Beginning Friday, September 10, 2010 young cricket fans from across the country can tune into Disney Channel and Disney XD to support the Mumbai Indians live as they battle the Highveld Lions in the first match of the CL T20 to be aired at 9:00pm. The excitement continues with Chennai Super Kings v/s the Central Stags telecasting on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 9:00pm and Royal Challengers Bangalore v/s Guyana Cricket Board telecasting on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:00pm.

This first ever special programming event on a kid’s channel will also feature exclusive quotes from world’s best cricketers during the matches with Disney Channel’s popular host – Murtuza from Big Bada Boom. From interviews with cricketers, all the on-ground excitement with the ESPN Star Sports commentators and hosts of Airtel Champions League T20, the excitement for the audience would be taken to newer heights.

“We are really excited to partner with ESS on the telecast of the Airtel Champions League T20 on Disney XD and Disney Channel. This will be an unprecedented sports programming event in the kid’s genre and a special treat for our young cricket fans to be enjoyed with their families!” said Natasha Malhotra VP and GM, Walt Disney Television India.

Speaking on the occasion, Anurag Dahiya, Vice President – Strategy, Business Development and Cricket Rights, ESPN STAR Sports said, “We are delighted to share the live telecast of three matches from the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 with the Disney network in India. All the young fans of the Disney network will have an opportunity to see champion T20 teams from top cricketing nations battle it out for the title of – Champion of Champions. I am sure that the top quality cricketing action will be enjoyed by one and all in this blockbuster event being held in South Africa from September 10-26.”

Authorities grant more air time to Tamil programs in Malaysia

September 11, 2010

Acquiring more flexible approach towards audience of Indian origin, Malaysian authorities have allowed more air time to the Tamil programs on TV and Radio channels. This decision will facilitate 1.7 million ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s information, communication, arts and culture ministry agreed to allocate more screening time for Tamil programmes on Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) from next year.

RTM is the state-run broadcaster that also operates TV1 and TV2 networks.

The plea for more time for Tamil programmes was pursued by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), Tamil Nesan newspaper reported.

MIC Youth Information Chief S. Subramaniam met RTM’s broadcasting deputy director Nor Hayati Ismail in this regard. In this meeting, it was decided that at least three hours a day would be reserved for Tamil programs.

Ten Action: the new name of Zee Sports

September 11, 2010

If media reports are to be believed, Zee Sports, the sports broadcasting entity of Zee Group is going to have a new name Ten Action. The revamped channel will be dedicated to the events and happenings focusing on Soccer.

We leaked the news relying on its sources that Zee Sports will be rebrabded as Ten Action by the end of this month. The major development according to the website is cornered due to the upcoming European Soccer season.

Ten Action will showcase leagues such as La Liga, Serie A, Scottish, Dutch football, the Uefa Europa and Uefa Champions League. It will also air the Coca-Cola Championship.

Iran launches iFilm channel in Arabic

September 11, 2010

iFilm the entertainment channel, a broadcast entity of Iranian government will be available to people in Arabic language from now onwards. Iran has launched this 24hour satellite television entertainment channel to broadcast serials and films to audiences in the Arab world.

The channel will broadcast programs dubbed into Arabic for viewers in Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. It will show documentaries on making of films, film reviews, feature films, and short films. The announcement was made by Iran’s English-language Press TV, adding that the channel will be broadcast via the Arabsat and Nilesat satellites.

The channel’s launch comes three years after the start of Press TV, which the Islamic republic says is a bid to break the ‘stranglehold’ of the West over the world media.

Iran’s state-run broadcaster already operates Al-Alam, a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel whose slick programming has won a loyal following from Shiite Muslims in Lebanon and Iraq.

The state broadcaster also runs Jam-e Jam, which airs Farsi programs for Iranians living abroad, and the Arabic Al-Kawthar which broadcasts a mix of news, religious talk shows and Iranian soap operas dubbed into Arabic.

Although Tehran uses satellites to broadcast its programming abroad, it is still illegal to have satellite receivers inside the country, where officials frequently denounce the ‘cultural decadence’ spread by foreign channels.

ESPN Star Sports partners with GlobeCast for Airtel Champions League Twenty20

September 11, 2010

Fresh from the West Indies ICC World Twenty20 Cricket, Asia’s No. 1 sports content provider, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) and GlobeCast are partnering again to deliver the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 from South Africa from 10-26 September.

ESPN STAR Sports will tap into the GlobeCast Backbone Network (GCBN) which offers a secure and diverse fiber path for delivery of the worldwide transmission. GlobeCast will be transmitting 23 (including 2 Semis and 1 Final) matches playing in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Centurion for ESS, the global television production partner and exclusive commercial rights partner for the Champions League T20.

GlobeCast is providing ground facilities, a 24-hour satellite booking centre and worldwide distribution of the HD World Feed via Intelsat and Asiasat’s satellites for ESPN STAR Sports.

For the World Feed in HD, GlobeCast will uplink from various sites in South Africa to the Intelsat-10 satellite for downlink and turnaround to AsiaSat-5 and Intelsat-805 for worldwide distribution. In addition, GlobeCast will provide one SD unilateral link for ESS.

The Airtel Champions League Twenty20 is an initiative of three founding members – the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa and it marks the grand finale of the T20 cricket where T20 champion teams from various countries across the world including India, South Africa, England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka, battle for the ultimate honor – to be adjudged as the Champion of Champions. This year’s edition features Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador and is being extensively promoted across media.

ITV Studios launches Granada TV in Hong Kong

September 11, 2010

Granada TV, the popular GEC of UK based ITV Studios Global Entertainment has forayed in the broadcasting space of Hong Kong on platform of PCCW’s Now TV. With this, the TV viewers of Hong Kong will get to see the qualitative programming of Granada TV which is produced by internationally established production facilities of its parent company ITV.

The channel covers vast genres of programming serving drama, comedy, reality based programs, talk shows and many others. Programs available to Now TV viewers include Dancing on Ice; I’m A Celebrity…Get Me out Of Here! and Popstar to Operastar.

ITV Studios global entertainment regional director Asia James Ross says, “This latest launch cements Granada TV’s reputation as the fastest growing entertainment channel in Asia. Hong Kong has always been a priority market for Granada TV.”

PCCW executive VP of TV and new media Janice Lee says, “Now TV strives to deliver the most diversified and entertaining programming in Hong Kong. The addition of Granada TV aligns with our strategy to continuously offer more choices in quality content to viewers and to escalate the level of enjoyment.”

Granada Television produces hard-hitting documentary series, Granada was producing programmes for an international audience, such as The Stars Look Down (1974), Laurence Olivier Presents (1976–78), Brideshead Revisited (1981), the multi-award-winning Disappearing World series (between 1969 and 1993) and, from 1984 on, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

M J Akbar to launch India News’ Bihar-Jharkhand channel

September 11, 2010

According to the media reports, eminent journalist M. J. Akbar has taken the responsibility of launching of a new channel of India News in Bihar and Jharkhand. Akbar has been given the position of Editor-in-Chief for the new vertical and he is said to be finalizing the team for the same.

Akbar is indulged in taking interviews of candidates in Patna for the new channel. However, no particular name has been declared for the supreme position of this regional channel.

Bhadas4media reports that Kartikeya Sharma (Managing Director) and M.J. Akbar are taking every decision related to the project.

Considering the slated elections in Bihar, media houses are eyeing the hefty amount of revenues that is going to be spent on advertisements by the politicians. Hence, there is a complete list of channels which are planning to launch in coming months.