Archive for March, 2011

Al Jazeera to launch Children’s Channel in English

March 27, 2011

The Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC) is planning to introduce an English-language station for broadcast outside the Arab world and will be available by the end of next year.

Mahmoud Bouneb, the executive general manager of JCC said that, they had an ambition to create an international feed for JCC that would benefit other markets, such as Asia and North America.

JCC also broadcasts Baraem TV a pre-school station owned by Qatar Foundation. The Arabic-language stations are accessible via the Arabsat, Nilesat and Hot Bird satellites across the Middle East and parts of Europe.

The Qatar Foundation owns a 90 per cent stake in JCC, while the news broadcaster Al Jazeera holds a small stake. The Qatar Foundation owns 100 per cent of Baraem TV.

Mahmoud Bouneb further said that, they were thinking probably by the end of 2012 because it takes a long time to prepare and to penetrate the market. They had so many requests from Asian countries to bring Al Jazeera in Arabic and to be dubbed in English.

Mr Bouneb added, The English-language version would mean greater content acquisition costs and if they add the English probably they had to pay three or four times more to acquire content. But he thought it was worth to try. Qatar Foundation was investing around US$110 million [Dh404m] to $120m a year.

BBC Worldwide: Coming Soon in New Zealand

March 27, 2011

A recent deal between BBC Worldwide and Prime Television, TVNZ and TV3 has paved� ways for British drama, comedy and natural history to come into the television arena of New Zealand. In a deal that delivers over 20 hours, BBC Worldwide has licensed the reimagining of Upstairs Downstairs, the detective drama DCI Banks and natural history programmes Human Planet and Polar Bear – Spy on the Ice to Prime Television.

As a part of a deal with TVNZ over eight hours of drama and comedy content will come on air to the viewers of New Zealand. TVNZ has also acquired comedy series Live at the Apollo series 6 and Michael McIntyre’s – Live & Laughing which will air later this year.
Moreover, a separate deal with TV3, Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and David Walliams will entertain the audiences, with ‘Come Fly With Me’ in coming times.

BBC Worldwide Australia’s Sales Manager, New Zealand Robyn Campbell commented that these deals demonstrated the demand for British content at present and he assured that it would grow more in future.

UK Govt gives green signal to News Corp for BSkyB takeover

March 27, 2011

Media baron, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has taken a huge step forward. The UK government has cleared the way for the company to fully acquire satellite television company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSkyB). The government gave the signal after accepting News Corp’s undertakings on media plurality concerns.

News Corp, which is the world’s third-largest media conglomerate and owns Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox movie studios, The Wall Street Journal, The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, had earlier in June 2010 announced its intentions to take over Britain’s largest pay TV operator BSkyB completely.

News Corp currently owns around 39 per cent of BSkyB and plans to buy the remaining 61-per cent stake for a sum of almost £7.8 billion ($12.7 billion).

The government has also issued a notice of consultation seeking views as to whether News Corp’s undertakings are sufficient after considering that it is likely to draw heavy criticism from the public on media plurality raised by the merger. The closing date for responses is fixed as 21 March.

News Corp has offered to distribute the shares in the company amongst the existing shareholders of BSkyB in line with their shareholdings, with News Corp retaining a 39 per cent stake.

ESS joints up with LiveShare By Cooliris for World Cup 2011

March 27, 2011

Now cricket fans can enjoy behind-the-scenes look at the World’s biggest sporting event World Cup 2011 by using LiveShare by Cooliris, as ESPN Star Sport (ESS) and Cooliris have announced a partnership.

LiveShare allows fans worldwide to follow ESS’ official World Cup photo stream in real-time featuring exclusive and never-seen-before behind-the-cameras coverage of the event and is the first in Asia to allow their fans to experience the key highlights of the action around the sport.

Fans can share the live stream with their groups of friends via, Facebook, Twitter and email or create their own streams with the LiveShare application.

LiveShare by Cooliris will be featured online alongside all major games and will be available for free to consumers at, as well as via the LiveShare mobile app, which is available at the iTunes App Store, the Android Marketplace, and the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Major US entertainment brands such as Ozzy Osbourne, the Stanford Cardinal and Michael Bublé already use LiveShare to engage directly with fans.

Big CBS now available on Videocaon d2h

March 27, 2011

Big CBS Networks has signed a distribution deal with Videocon d2h to expand its channel’s reach further.

Big CBS Networks is a joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International. It currently has its presence on Sun Direct and Reliance Digital.

Big Broadcasting COO Ashutosh said that the deal was perfectly timed. He also added that the company wished that it would strengthen its DTH distribution platform through the alliance.

Videocon Group Director Saurabh Dhoot said that with the new channel on board, Videocon d2h customers could now get the best of choice content of some of the biggest US based shows, direct into their living room.

NDTV eyes investors to pull out MetroNation Chennai

March 2, 2011

NDTV Ltd. has decided to get strategic investors for its joint venture company, MetroNation Chennai Television Limited. The company which was launched in 2009, operates a news cum infotainment channel and has been making losses recently.

NDTV has a 51 per cent share while Kasturi and Sons (Hindu Group) the remaining 49 per cent in the company. The company has incurred losses amounting to Rs. 275.1 million.

NDTV Group chief executive officer KVL Narayan Rao confirmed that NDTV is considering getting strategic investment in MetroNation Chennai Television. He also added that they would be increasing the Tamil content in the channel.

The company has a total of Rs. 208.7 million in investment, loans and reaceivables. This was carried off by NDTV at book values since the management expects to be able to realise these assets in full.

The amount of capital and its possible investor however are yet unknown as Rao refused from revealing any knowledge regarding the same.

Ofcom raps Sky Sports for breaching Broadcast Code

March 2, 2011

Media regulator Ofcom pulled up Sky Sports after it received complaints of “blatant” and “irrelevant” logos for technology partner EA Sports appearing on Sky Sports 2 match facts graphics.

The incident occurred during the live coverage of the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United last year on September 11.

The logo for the video games manufacturer appeared for a total of 14 times during the games pre- and post-match comment, graphic on-screen displays of statistics and match facts.

This made a viewer complain that the logos inclusion was “irrelevant”, “unnecessary” and “blatant”.

Following the complaint, Ofcom asked for information on EA’s role in connection with the match data and any contractual arrangements that related to the appearance of the on-screen branding.

Sky Sports however confirmed that the branding was not linked to any programme sponsorship arrangements with EA.

According to Sky Sports’ explanation, EA was contracted to the Premier League as the “Official Sports Technology Partner” and the broadcaster understood that this arrangement included sponsorship of the league itself, a sponsor presence at matches, and in other Premier League-controlled properties, including the overseas broadcast feed.

The broadcaster also explained that, as part of its agreement with the Premier League for the live broadcast of certain matches, it is required, subject to applicable laws and the Ofcom codes, to provide an on-screen credit for the “Official Technology Partner”.

It stated that its editorial control was independent throughout, including where credits were given for EA or any other Premier League sponsor and that “no specific product or service was mentioned” and that no “sales messages” were present as part of the EA Sports logos, but that, “on this occasion, the application of the EA on-screen credit should have been subject to greater editorial judgement given the high-scoring nature of this particular game, which meant the credit was displayed on a higher than normal number of occasions”.

Sky accepted that its editorial policy in that respect should be “clarified”.

In reply, Ofcom noted that “sports coverage is a genre in which branding and general commercial exposure can be expected” and that “audiences generally accept and understand that branding”.

Ofcom also stated that the 14 repeated appearances of the logo was a breach of Rule 10.3 of the Broadcast Code by the broadcaster, which prohibits undue prominence of a product in programming.

Adding that no further action would be taken against Sky Sports, Ofcom said that all broadcasters must comply with the current Broadcast Code.

Maurya TV celebrates its first birthday

March 2, 2011

‘Maurya’ completed first year of its meaningful journey on the highly volatile terrain of television news and entertainment, specially in Bihar and Jharkhand, on 2nd February, 2011. Exactly a year back the channel was launched by Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, in presence of star cast of the super hit film ‘Rajneeti’, like Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Vajpai. In light of the glittering and esteemed presence of numerous illustrious personalities from film and politics, it was an event on the scale that Patna had seldom seen. Main reason for the grand show was that the brain behind ‘Maurya’ was a leading light of hindi film and entertainment industry, Prakash Jha.

Many eyebrows were raised, as it was the first TV channel to be launched completely from Patna. All speculations and doubts were put to rest when ‘Maurya’ created history by reaching the number one spot in Bihar and Jharkhand in five months flat, more specifically on 14th July. That it was no flash in a pan was proved when it remained on the number one position for the next 11 out of 15 months. Director of the channel, Manish Jha attributes its success to its solid and credible content. Mr Jha underlined the fact that ‘Maurya’ purposely avoided sensationalism and banked on hardcore news.

Many of the shows on ‘Maurya’ have been super duper hits during last one year. ‘Rajneeti Khel Satta Ka’, ‘Satta Sangram’, ‘Baal Kee Khal’, ‘Saas Kee Chhaunk Bahu Ka Tarka’, ‘Jurm Ka Jaal’, ‘Law and Order’, ‘Patna Fighters’, ‘Total Filmy’, ‘Patna Live’, ‘Jyotish Live’, ‘Ranbhumi’, ‘Dil Kee Baat Prakash Ke Saath’, ‘Khas Mulaqat’, ‘Chalte Chalte’, ‘Baat Bolegi’, ‘Bihar Reporter’, ‘Jharkhand Reporter’, ‘Khabren Khatakhat’ etc… are among a series of popular programmes, which made the viewers crazy about ‘Maurya’ since 2nd February, 2010.

The ups and downs of TRPs are a fact of life in television industry, and ‘Maurya’ has had its share of both; yet the committed team of ‘Maurya’ continues to be full of life and enthusiasm. New shows are being churned out on regular basis. Executive Editor, Kumar Raajesh of Aaj Tak fame is leading its editorial team towards strengthening its content, with active support from Navendu, the Political Editor and another senior journalist Amitabh Srivastava. While Sunil Pandey, the Output Head and Prem Kumar, the Input Head is actively contributing towards taking ‘Maurya’ to greater heights, Kumar Raajesh, himself is leading the Anchoring team as well along with Wesal Azam. Having had his fruitful innings in Sahara Samay and News 11, Manoj Srivastava is now leading the ‘Maurya’ team to glory in Jharkhand.

On occasion of its first birthday ‘Maurya’ management organized a grand gala celebration of its entire enthusiastic team in Hotel Patliputra Ashoka on Wednesday, the 2nd February 2011. Lots of music, dance, fun and mouth watering food were available on platter during that celebration.

Maa TV adds to more channels to its fold

March 2, 2011

Maa TV Network launched two new channels on Friday. The channels launched by the Hyderabad based Telegu TV network included a movie and kids channel titled Maa Movies and Maa Junior respectively.

The addition of these two new channels increased the network’s number of channels to four. Previous channels include entertainment channel Maa TV and music channel Maa Music.

Describing the launch as a major step, Maa TV Network Chairman, N Prasad said that Maa TV’s vision was to be recognized worldwide as a network that delivered pleasant and wholesome entertainment.

On the hiring of Tollywood actor, Ram Charan, as a director on the network’s board, Prasad stated that as an icon of the new generation, Charan would add value to the network’s brand and contribute his innovative thoughts on entertainment programming.

Al Jazeera to expand reach to Turkey

March 2, 2011

Al Jazeera has decided to expand its reach further to Turkey by launching a Turkish news channel. Al Jazeera has offered Cine 5 television channel a whooping amount of $21 million to acquire the Turkish news channel.

On Monday, the bid by Al Jazeera was the only bid for Cine 5 television channel which had previously been seized by the government. It was the fifth time that the channel was auctioned yet Al Jazeera’s offer was just above half the appraisal rate of $40 million, decided by the Savings Deposit and Insurance Fund (SDIF) said a report in the Hurriyet Daily News.