Archive for the ‘Telugu’ Category

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.

Nat Geo expands wings with Telugu feed

August 21, 2010

National Geographic, the prominent player in science based and intellectual entertainment space has extended its ambit of offering to the subscribers with launching its Telugu feed. The channel will now facilitate Telugu viewers with the content in their own language.

Currently, Nat Geo possesses a viewership of 5 million in the Andhra Pradesh. The channel is looking forward to extend its reach in more homes across the state by making the content simple to understand in Telugu language. Nat Geo is aiming to achieve at least double number of current viewers.

National Geographic is a joint venture between National Geographic TV and Fox Cable Networks and has its operating office in Washington D.C. The channel currently offers 6 channels from its stable in India. They are NGC Wild, NGC, NGC HD, NGC Wild HD, Nat Geo Music and Nat Geo Adventure.

The channel started with the soft launch on 1st August in the state and has been welcomed whole heartedly by all the cable service providers in the state. The channel will also be available in conventional feeds of Hindi and English on different platforms of DTH and digital cable platforms across the state.

Keerthan Adyanthaya (MD, National Geographic Network) launched the Telugu feed of the channel in the state.

Zee Telugu bets on mega movies

April 21, 2009
Zee Telugu is giving its filmed entertainment content the first big push. The channel, which achieved a break-even status in the second quarter of this fiscal, has lapped up 24 big movies for an undisclosed amount.

In a TV viewing market which is high on movies, Zee’s aggressive move is directed at spiking up ratings. A steep rise in film acquisition costs has not justified advertising revenues and even Sun Network’s Gemini, which leads the pack of Telugu GECs, has kept away from such bids.

“This is the first time we have invested into a bulk of movies. We have taken perpetual rights (all rights for 99 years) for almost the whole lot. And for the few others, we have acquired 12-25 years unlimited telecast rights. It will help boost our reach and ratings,” says Zee Telugu CEO Sanjay Reddy.

The roster includes Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Paandurangadu, Vinayakudu, Krishna, Ashta Chamma, Gorintaku, Bhadradri, Ready, Krishnarjuna, Nenu Meeku Thelusa, Okka Magadu, Bujji Gadu, Ontari, Navavasantham, Sasirekha Parinayam, Swagatham, Bhale Dongalu, Victory, Kantri, Surya S/o Krishnan, Sidhu from Sikakulam, Tulasi, Avakai Biryani and Maisamma IPS.

Zee Telugu , which has seen an upsurge in ratings with mainly its non-fiction programming such as Saregamapa, was weak on movie content as compared to its competiting networks.

The price for the satellite TV rights of a Telugu blockbuster movie is as high as Rs 40 million, making revenue realisation on such content really tough. Zee amortises the movie cost over a period of five years.

“In this market where costs have gone up, movies are not acquired with the pure RoI (return on investment) motive. We use them for tactical reasons and for driving audiences into our fiction and non-fiction properties,” admits Reddy.

Zee 24 Gantalu to go on air from March 30

March 17, 2009

Defying the economic slowdown, Zee News is going ahead with its expansion plans and the listed company is now concentrating on two new launches – a Telugu news channel Zee 24 Gantalu and Zee News UP.

The first launch of the company in 2009, Zee 24 Gantalu, is schedule to roll out from March 30. This will be followed by the launch of a 24-hour news channel exclusively for Uttar Pradesh.

Barun Das, chief executive officer, Zee News, says Zee 24 Gantalu is targeted at males, SEC ABC, in the age group of 25-44 years. Zee also beams Zee Telugu, a Telugu GEC in Hyderabad.

Shailesh Reddy is the business head for Zee 24 Gantalu, who used to head the Hyderabad news bureau of Zee News earlier. He has more than 13 years of experience in journalism and started his career with Eenadu in 1995.

Zee 24 Gantalu will compete with news channels such as ETV, Gemini News, HMTV, HY TV, I News, Local TV, Mahaa TV, Maa News, NTV, Sakshi TV, Sitara, TV5, TV9, among several other news channels in the Telugu space.

Moving ahead, Das avers that “Given the uncertainty, the company is critically reviewing each and every plan. Unless we derive significant benefits, we would naturally wait for the economy to stabilise before going for any further expansion.”

Zee News has reported consolidated revenues of Rs 143 crore in Q3, up 45.4 per cent as compared to Rs 98.32 crore in the corresponding quarter of FY08. Q3 net profit was up 18.4 per cent at Rs 15.13 crore.

On the advertising revenue, Das said that they are trying to beat the recession by offering innovative solutions for advertisers. The company also expects election advertising to give a boost.

Zee News will stay in the Hindi and regional news space. Of the regional channels, the company claims that Zee 24 Gantalu has already broken even, while the Marathi news channel Zee 24 Taas is firmly on the path to break even too. The company has also launched Zee Tamil recently which, they claim, is picking up fast.

According to Das, an investment of Rs 15-20 crore will be spread over a period of a little over one year. The Zee News board has also approved the closure of Zee Gujarati from April 30, 2009.

Recently, leading financial institutions such as Edelweiss, ICICI Securities, Macquarie and Kotak have already rated Zee News as the most preferred media company for investment, even during troubled times.

Asianet launches Telugu entertainment channel Sitara

October 16, 2008

Asianet Television Network has officially launched its Telugu entertainment channel Sitara from today October 09, 2008. The channel began its test signals in the second week of September, 2008.

The new channel has a two-phase roll-out. The first set of programming will have blockbuster movies, in-house content, including general entertainment, cookery shows, travelogues, soaps and live shows, while the second phase will see replacement of prime time movies with game and reality shows.

Speaking to us, Vijay Babu, chief operating officer, Sitara, says, “Sitara will add an new dimension to the Telugu television programming, which is fresh and different. We are sure that our viewers will enjoy the channel thoroughly. The talent shows and realty shows on the channel are informatively conceived and interactively executed, as we are set to redefine the television viewing tastes.”

Movies being popular in the region, most channels in this market bank substantially on Telugu movies for their content. Telugu movies are a crucial part of Sitara too, which has acquired a good enough movie library.

So far, the other content has mostly been generated in-house. The channel has been in the making for some time and hopes to aid the network’s growth.

Asianet will also launch a 24-hour Telugu news channel in the Andhra Pradesh in early 2009. The network also plans to launch a bouquet of channels in 2009 in markets including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Apart from other regions, the network has three prominent channels in the Malayalam market, including Asianet (GEC), Asianet News and Asianet Plus (for the youth).

TTD launches devotional reality show Sudhana Vinodhini

July 16, 2008

If you are bored with the musical reality show, you may now tune into new devotional channel launched by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

The recently launched TTD’s Sri Venkateshwara Bhakti Channel will have a devotional reality show hosted by singer S. P. Balasubramanyam. The one-hour devotional musical reality show titled Sudhana Vinodhini will go on air every Sunday in the evenings. This is the first ever devotional reality show in the country.

“We want to spread devotional music. So we have decided to start a devotional singing competition for youngsters,” the singer said.

The competitions will be held for youngsters between the age group of 16 and 22. The TTD devotional channel already completed its auditions at Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.

Balasubramanyam has been hosting musical shows in a couple of Telugu general entertainment channels.

Maa TV dons new look

March 28, 2008

Maa TV, the Telugu entertainment channel, is growing stronger by adding new innovative programs for its viewers. The channel is changing its logo as the entire spectrum of things has been changing.

There is lots of vibrancy added to the channel. It is no more considered as a movie channel but now a lots of games shows, new serials and comedy shows, have been added to give non stop entertainment to its viewers.

The channel has always shared a very close rapport with the film industry and that’s how the confinement of Cinema Awards 2008. The trophy is customised and designed effectively by a very renowned designer.

Four Telugu news channels coming soon

January 29, 2008

There was a time when watching TV was like a one point programme, almost like a community experience with all of us watching the same programme, at the same place, same time, day after day.

But that was when we ‘watched television’. Before long, however, there was more to choose from and we began to ‘switch channels ‘. Today, with the television industry on a high tide, with more channels than fingers to count on, we are riding on the channel wave which we can now ‘surf’.

So here’s news for channel surfers – T (Telangana) TV, NTV’s women’s special, called Vanitha, the AP chief minister’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy’s unnamed news channel, and Asianet – Telugu will soon be on air.

It is quite literally raining television channels in Andhra Pradesh. A combination of factors has contributed to this surfeit of television channels. The reduction of costs brought about by the digital satellite broadcasting technology has been a big factor.

“Ten years ago a TV channel required an uplink cost of Rs 1.8 crore per month whereas today it’s come down to 60 lakh per annum. This has encouraged many independent players to join the bandwagon,” says Hemanth Apte, a senior TV producer and director.

One can also take a cue from the timing of the launch of these channels with just about a year left for the next elections. According to Dr Padmja Shaw, HOD, dept of Mass Communication and Journalism, Osmania University, there is a rise in public curiosity ahead of elections, creating a market for multiple perspectives.

“In Tamil Nadu both Jayalalitha and Karunanidi have channels of their own and the same is happening here. Even during the last elections we saw some news and current affairs channels that launched around the same time.” Shaw says. Perhaps, this explains the launch of T-TV and Jagan Mohan Reddy’s new channel.

Although the number of channels have increased manifold, the quality of the programmes leaves much to be desired in spite of the increased competition, complains Padma Rajsekhar, a viewer. “There is a severe lack of imagination when it comes to programmes. Hopefully things will change with the increased competition,” says Shaw.

Hemanth Apte, however, thinks that that the future of television is in narrow casting. “Most channels seek to cater to the lowest common denominator among the audience as ad revenues are based on the TRP’s. But niche is the way to go in the future and we will see TV channels catering to target audiences.”

Professor Vasuki Belavadi, reader in the communications department, HCU, believes the increased competition has proven counter productive. “With the market getting more bifurcated with this onslaught it’s becoming tougher to grab attention. The competition has induced a herd mentality among the competitors,” says Prof Vasuki adding, “TV business is very cost intensive and it may take 3-4 years before you break even, therefore one needs to have deep pockets and a clear vision to stay on.”

Arun Sagar, Output editor, TV9, who says that unlike earlier, when players were directly copying formats from national and international channels a benchmark has now been set, and newcomers will have to at least match up to it to stay in business.

“Every news channel will have to balance sensationalism with enough authenticity. But the biggest challenge is to maintain quality in spite of a severe paucity of trained professionals,” says Sagar.

The low salary packages at the entry level are a big deterrent for talented youngsters as there are many lucrative career options available. Closing on a note of caution while also putting things in perspective, Dr Padmaja said, “There is a fantastic plurality of players in the industry here unlike in the West where a hand full of media giants call the shots. Unless the managements concentrate on ensuring quality there is a danger of the same happening here as well.”

Telugu Desam Party launches TDP Radio

December 4, 2007

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has set up a radio station named TDP Radio. All one needs is an Internet connection and a pair of speakers to tune into TD’s version of the happenings in the Andhra Pradesh.

TDP Radio is the brainchild of party president N Chandra babu Naidu, who has a yen for things hi-tech. He wants to disseminate hot news of the state to Telugu speaking people living in foreign countries, with a TD slant of course.

It can be assessed by clicking TD’s official website, Naidu got the idea of having his own radio station after the recent interaction with Telugu-speaking NRI’s in the US, the UK and Canada. A survey conducted by the party showed that about five million Telugu-speaking people were living in about 100 countries.

“The online radio service will not only give news to Telugu’s but will also keep them in touch with our party,” said a senior TD leader.

A website for the Telugu NRI’s for exchange of views on various important topics has also been set up by TD. Telugu’s outside the country can post their views on TDP Radio in the NRI website.

Since TDP Radio is webcast, it can be accessed and heard from anywhere in the globe. TD is perhaps the only political party in the country to have its own online radio station.

Naidu has also set up video links in the party’s official website to enable people to see happenings in TD headquarters NTR Bhavan. Press conferences held at NTR Bhavan are webcast, both in audio and video formats. Now that the State Assembly elections fast approaching, Naidu is also thinking of reviving his party’s mouthpiece, Telugu Desam Weekly, published earlier in Telugu and Urdu.

Disney Telugu

November 17, 2007

Walt Disney Television International will introduce a two-hour Telugu band on its flagship Disney Channel. The channel is currently available in English and Hindi languages.

Walt Disney’s senior Vice-president and managing director, Antoine Villeneuve, said that Disney’s decision to launch the channel in Telugu was based on the success of Jetix in the south. Jetix is the number one children’s channel in the region and is available in both Tamil and Telugu.

He said that while Jetix was leading in the south, Hungama, acquired from UTV last year, was the leader in the Hindi speaking markets. The effort will now be to make Disney more exciting by revamping its packaging as well.