Archive for the ‘Bengali’ Category

US gets Star Majha and Star Ananda on Globosat platform

September 11, 2010

star Logo

Facilitating the Bengali and Marathi diaspora of India residing in the United States with GECs of their own language, Media Content and Communications Services has launched Star Majha and Star Ananda there.

MCCS, the company which regulates channels of Star bouquet in India has identified Globosat Entertainment (GEN-I) as the official distributor for these two channels in Canada and US.

“We are happy to launch Star Ananda and Star Majha in the US through our associates GEN-I. Both the channels have always been ambitious, innovative, and trend setters and after consolidating the leadership in India, we have decided to take the brands to the world. The US has a sizeable Bengali and Marathi population who want to be in regular touch with their roots. Star Ananda and Star Majha will definitely be able to fill this gap,” said MCCS CEO Ashok Venkatramani.

Both Star Ananda and Star Majha will be available on Dish Network across USA. “Star Ananda, the 67th South Asian channel in our bouquet, further entrenches us as the leader in South Asian television entertainment space”, said Dish Network VP, international programming Chris Kuelling.

Sony’s Bengali movie channel launches in North America

August 3, 2010

Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) has launched its Bengali movie channel Aath in North America. The channel will be available on Dish Network

Channel Aath is the first and only dedicated Bengali movies channel in India that has a collection of over 1,000 contemporary and classic movies and telefilms .The genre mix includes romantic, action, crime, comedy, drama, horror and literature.

Said channel Aath VP – international business and head of operations for North America Jaideep Janakiram, “We are happy to bring this Bengali movie channel to our North American audience. It is a significant addition to SEN, which strengthens the position of it.”

Added Dish Network VP international programming Chris Kuelling, “We are happy to announce the introduction of the channel Aath on Dish. Its inclusion is a valuable part of our new Prabasi Bengali package offer.”

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.

Sony to buy Bangla Entertainment for Rs 60 crore

February 1, 2009


Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has zeroed in on buying Bangla Entertainment, which runs a Bengali TV channel called Channel 8 Talkies, for about Rs 60 crore.

The deal, if it goes through, will help the Japanese electronics and entertainment firm Sony to compete with the likes of Star India and Zee Entertainment in Indian regional entertainment space.

SPE and its entities currently own 62 per cent in Multi Screen Media (MSM) India, which was earlier known as Sony Entertainment Television India. This company operates channels like SET India, Pix, AXN and Sab TV among others. 

SPE is now looking at buying into Bangla Entertainment through its investment subsidiaries, South Asian Regional Investment Singapore and South Asia Regional Investments Singapore II.

SPE has sought clearance from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal body for clearing foreign investment in India, for acquiring the stake. But the proposal is yet to get a green signal as the I&B ministry is looking at the transaction. As per Indian regulations, 100 per cent FDI is permitted in non-news TV channels.

Run by Kolkata-based entrepreneur Ashoke Surana, Bangla Entertainment owns the Bengali movie channel, Channel 8 Talkies. Its shareholders include Highlight Commodeal, Indra Barter, Eshita Surana, Rahul Surana and Surana Brothers.

The owners have been looking to sell the firm for the past few months as they were unable to generate enough ad revenues, said a senior executive with a cable company, who didn’t wish to be identified.

Neither Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO, SPE, nor Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, MSM India, could be contacted at the time of filing this report.

Zee plans to launch Bengali movie channel

March 9, 2008
After rolling out Zee Talkies to address the Marathi market, Zee Entertainment and Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) is planning to launch a Bengali movie channel.


“We are thinking of launching a Bengali movie channel. This will help us create a wider bouquet in that local market,” says a senior executive in Zeel.

In the regional space outside the southern belt, Marathi and Bengali are two large markets.


Zee’s strategy is to pack the main regional language markets with a GEC (general entertainment channel), a news and a movie channel. “We have created such a combination in the Marathi market. We are planning to repeat this in the Bengali market,” says the executive.

Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Network has adopted such a strategy in the southern states, adding GEC, movie, news and music to the list. But Zee is not thinking of language music channels. “We don’t see music channels being viable in these markets,” the executive adds.


Time for Cable TV to shift to other delivery platforms

January 29, 2008

Nearly two million homes in the Kolkata city that currently view pay channels through conventional cable connections will have to shift to an alternative delivery platforms.

The new platforms include conditional access system (CAS), direct-to-home (DTH), head-end in the sky (HITS) or Internet protocol television (IPTV) in a couple of years. That’s the deadline watchdog agency Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set for switch from analog to digital transmission.

“There is no option but to shift to digital transmission. Those who don’t will be driven out of business. If multi service operators don’t adopt CAS, they will be driven out of business by DTH, HITS and IPTV,” TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra said.

At the subscriber end, a device like the set top box used in CAS and DTH is required to convert the digital signals to analog for viewing on conventional televisions. Only high definition televisions that comprise a minuscule fraction of television sets in the country is compatible to digital transmission and does not require a converter.

Till date, less than 5% of 2 million cable homes in the city have opted for either CAS or DTH. Numbers would have been higher but for the delay in roll-out of CAS beyond the first zone.

Kolkata TV set for revival under Jain group

December 13, 2007
Company to launch three more channels this financial year, on sports, entertainment and music.
Kolkata-based Jain Group of Industries, which has a presence is realty, infrastructure, steel and energy sectors, has diversified into entertainment business through acquisition of 80 per cent stake in Kolkata TV, the 24-hour Bengali news channel.
Manoj Jain, chairman, Jain Group of Industries, has purchased controlling stake in Kolkata TV and will assume managerial control, said Jain group sources.
“The terms of agreement were decided last week. We will sign the final agreement on December 13,” official sources said.
Following the investment in Kolkata TV, the channel management would initiate negotiations to make the channel available on the direct-to-home (DTH) platforms by January 1, 2008, so as to push up viewership of the channel further.
Sources in Kolkata TV, one of five Bengali news channels now, confirmed the development though some formalities remained to be completed.
Star Ananda is the Bengali news channel market leader now in terms of viewership.
The other news channels are NE Bangla, 24-Ghanta and Tara News.
According to sources at Jain Group, the entertainment industry is one of the highest growth sectors in India at present, and this was the reason why the group decided to diversify into entertainment business.
Post the acquisition of Kolkata TV, Jain Group also plans to launch three more channels this financial year on sports, entertainment and music.
Funds will be raised through internal accruals and surplus from other group companies, confirmed Jain group sources.
When contacted, Bhaswati Dutta, business development manager of Jain Group, confirmed the development but refused to divulge further investment details.
According to estimates provided by TAM Peoplemeter System, Star Ananda currently is the market leader in West Bengal at 40.5 per cent share among Bengali news channels, with 24 Ghanta second with 33.3 per cent share, while Kolkata TV with 13.5 per cent was third, followed by Tara Newz with 12.6 per cent share.
According to Siddhartha Mukherjee, vice-president-communications of TAM Media Research, news channels currently represent approximately 10 per cent of overall television viewership, up from 1 per cent share three years ago.
Growth in news channels viewership is driven by superior news presentation and diversified content.
Kolkata TV was launched on March 27, 2006, backed by strategic partnerships with APTN, ANI and Reuters, with Sumon Chattopadhyay, formerly of ABP/Star Ananda, as editor, and film personality Aparna Sen as creative director. It was promoted by the Xenitis group but the promoters had problems with Chattopadhyay and Sen and both quit.
By then, it had become the Bengali news channel market leader.
Subsequently, Xenitis itself split, and Kolkata TV fell to the share of Tathagatha Datta, former managing director of the undivided Xenitis Group, as proprietor of SST Media, but financial problems eroded content quality and reach, hitting viewership.