Saturday, 30 November 2013

India can achieve 6% growth next fiscal: Montek

Enthused by the improvements expected in macro-economic situation, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, today said that India can achieve 6 per cent economic growth next fiscal and that the second half of this fiscal could be better than the first.
“I would hope that if my judgment, that the second half of the current (fiscal) year shows more than 5 per cent, then it is not unreasonable to expect more than 6 per cent in the next financial year,” he said.

Network1 News and Information Syndicate goes live from metros

Network1 News and Information Syndicate (NNIS), an entrepreneurial venture set up by four media professionals, has announced that its news and feature service subscribers will now have access to live coverage from its news bureau network from the metros.
Simultaneously, NNIS has enhanced its focus to news breaking from the Congress and BJP headquarters in Delhi to capture real-time developments during the ongoing Assembly Elections as also the ensuing General Elections.

Virgin TV Anywhere is now available on Android with new addition of 9 channels

Virgin Media has launched a new app giving Android users the opportunity to access its internet-based Virgin TV Anywhere.
Mobile and tablet users can now watch content from 67 channels on the go, with nine more added to the service this week to mark the introduction of the Android app.

Universal releases 'first-ever digital box set' app with “The Who”

Universal Music Catalogue is hailing the release this week of 'the world’s first-ever digital box set' available on tablets and smartphones – a special 2013 edition of The Who’s 1969 album, Tommy.
UMC has collaborated with developers MODO to produce this brand new iPad digital box set application, to complement the recently-released deluxe and super Deluxe editions of Tommy.

BSNL launches ‘Bharat Phone’ range with Pantel Technologies for the common man

BSNL in association with Pantel Technologies Private Limited (PTPL), a pioneer in the affordable tablet PC(s) market in India, today launched he next generation of Smart Devices - the “Bharat Phone” PF300, the Penta Smart models – PS501 & PS650 and the next generation Penta T-Pad WS707C respectively.
 The ‘SaareJahan Se Acha’ Bharat Phone will dramatically alter the Indian Feature Phone Industry with the device being especially optimized for Internet Access. At an affordable price of Rs.1,799, this device will deliver the power of the Internet in the hands of the common man.

Thai Film industry looking for Indian movies to be produced in Thailand

The lead actor of the Thai film, ‘Only God Forgives’ Vithaya Pansringarm said that Thailand has a great opportunity for production of Indian movies. He said that Thailand, being a film destination for Hollywood/International movies, production of Indian films is also possible there.
In a media interaction at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panjim, Goa today, he said that Indian movies are liked in his country and DVDs and films with Thai subtitles are also available in the Thai market.

Ministers’ group wants 3G spectrum put up for auction

The Empowered Group of Ministers has directed the telecom department and the Ministry of Defence to look at the possibility of releasing additional spectrum for third generation mobile services.
The Ministers’ group, in its meeting held last week, wants at least 5 MHz of spectrum from the 2100 MHz band to be sold in the next round of auction.

TDSAT ad cap: All arguments done

After a long duration of three weeks of hearings at Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal in the ad cap case between the News Broadcasters Association and other channels versus the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), arguments have finally come to an end.
The last day saw the music channels, Polimer Media and TRAI give their rejoinders. Polimer Media’s rejoinder was that Article 19 1 a of the Constitution does not apply in this case since it is not a writ petition. It also said that pay channels and FTA channels cannot be treated the same.

Either self regulate or face ‘external corrective measures: Hamid Ansari to media

Vice-President Hamid Ansari said there was a need for “self-regulation" of the media or "external corrective" measures.
"Regulation is a code of ethics. And, as every aspect in our lives needs regulation, why should one branch (media) of life should not be regulated that it boasts should remain unregulated"? Ansari said.

TRAI directs MSOs to start gross billing from December

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) directed Multi-System Operators (MSOs) to start gross (consumer) billing for Phase I cities from December and complete the process of customer application form (CAF) collection in Phase II cities by 15 December.
According to a source, the MSOs wanted an extension of four weeks to complete the collection of CAF. However, TRAI Principal Advisor N Parameswaran, who chaired the meeting attended by the CEOs of national MSOs, was in no mood to relent. But he finally yielded by agreeing to have a forbearance till 15 December to allow the MSOs to sort out the issue of CAF collection. 

PIL on TV channel regulation: SC issues notices to govt, media bodies

The Supreme Court on 29 November 2013 issued notices to the government and media regulatory bodies on a petition seeking regulation of television channels.
A bench headed by chief justice P. Sathasivam issued notices to the ministries of information and broadcasting, law and justice, and information technology in response to an item of public interest litigation (PIL) that sought the court’s intervention to bring TV channels under a regulatory framework.

Telecom Commission approves setting up Wi-fi hotspots in 2.5 lakh panchayats

Telecom Commission approved in-principle a proposal to set-up high-speed wireless Internet (Wi-fi) hotspots across 2.5 lakh gram panchayats.
The project, entailing capital expenditure of Rs 3,750 crore and operational expenditure Rs 1,860 crore, will be undertaken as part of the ongoing Rs 20,000 crore national optical fibre project (NOFN), official sources said.

Friday, 29 November 2013

CBFC gets CEO in Railways' Rakesh Kumar

The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has finally found its CEO.  Rakesh Kumar, who is currently a senior Divisional Personnel Officer in the Indian Railways Personnel Service (IRPS) in Vadodara has been chosen as the new CEO for three years. He steps into the shoes of former CEO Pankaja Thakur, who completed her three year term on 20 September 2013.
Press Information Bureau (PIB) Mumbai director Manish Desai had been given additional responsibility as CEO following Thakur's departure. The CBFC had been CEO-less for almost a decade and had been run by its chairpersons until Thakur joined in 2010.

Ramesh Sharma promoted as Executive Editor of Tehelka

Close on the heels of Shoma Chaudhury quitting as Tehelka’s Managing Editor, Ramesh Sharma has been elevated to acting Executive Editor of the magazine. Prior to this, Sharma was Deputy Editor of Tehelka and has been associated with the magazine since 2009.
Sharma had begun his journalism career with The Times of India in 1988 after graduating from The Times School of Journalism (TRF, Institute for Social Sciences, Research & Education) in New Delhi. 

Telecom panel’s nod sought for ‘rank-based’ spectrum allocation

The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) set to finalise spectrum auction rules has sought the telecom commission's approval on a 'rank-based' system for allocating contiguous (continuous without a break) radiowaves to operators in the January auctions.
The IMC has asked the commission whether bidders may be given priority to allocate contiguous spectrum ahead of other successful bidders, based on certain ranking parameters. These parameters include price, the number of times the bidder has submitted the bid in a particular circle, total bid expenditure across all service areas, the previous highest bid, and/or a random index number.

Amazon brings instant video service to Japan

Amazon has started to offer its online video distribution service in Japan, allowing customers to purchase or rent films and TV shows from a selection of more than 26,000 titles.
Shochiku and Toho as well as major broadcasters NHK, TBS and Fuji TV are among the content producers for Amazon Instant Video in Japan. The service offers video downloads for around 100 yen ($1) for rental and 1,000 yen ($10) for purchase.

TDSAT-TRAI ad cap: NBA finishes rejoinder

News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on 28 November submitted its rejoinders in the hearings on the proposed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ad cap regulation. NBA counsel Anup Bhambhani clarified that it was untrue that channels had tried to suppress documents, as everything related to teleport licence is in the public domain and hence easily accessible to the regulator. Channels had individual teleport licences while others were uplinking through Bharti Airtel or Essel Shyam which made them the licensees and not the channels.
The counsel also pointed out that the TRAI had not informed the TDSAT that ads are of three types- commercial, social and programme promos. Not every ad is a paid ad and DAVP ad rates are also low. And the number of minutes of advertising does not take into consideration any of these facts; and hence is not reflected in these categories. He stated that the TRAI had gone overboard in describing the type, length and look of the adverts, in a consultation paper issued in 2012. And even though it was later dropped, it never had any mention of section 7 11 of the Cable TV Networks Regulation (CTN) act. Also, the proposed 10+2 regulation finally did not mention that TRAI was using section 11 of the TRAI act in order to enforce section 7 (11) of the Cable TV Act.

TRAI summons MSOs over DAS implementation

Rahul Khullar, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is on a war path implement digitisation in Cable TV. Dissatisfied by the response of MSO on his numerous warnings to operationalise their SMS systems feeding in consumer data from CAF, he has convened a meeting of top executives from leading multi-system operators (MSOs) to take stock of the implementation of digital addressable system (DAS) in Phase I and II cities. 
The meeting, which will take place tomorrow at TRAI headquarters in New Delhi, will see the TRAI chairman pose some tough questions to the CEOs and MDs of cable TV companies on issues pertaining to customer application form (CAF) collection, implementation of the subscriber management system (SMS), and consumer billing aspects for Phase I and II notified areas covering 41 cities excluding Chennai. 

Kolkata MSO’s MD and director arrested for service tax default

Two top officials of Kolkata Cable & Broadband Pariseva Ltd, a city-based multi-system-operator (MSO), were arrested on 28 November by the service tax cell of the Central Revenue Department. 
The officials, managing director Bijoy Kumar Agarwal and director Prasun Kumar Das, are charged for non-payment of service tax to the tune of Rs. 5.52 crore ( Rs. 55.2 million). 

LCOs group to set up a new headends in DAS cities

LMOs (last mile operators) or LCOs are unhappy with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruling on consumer application forms (CAF) and billing, which according to them, makes multi system operators (MSOs) the owners of consumers.
Last week, Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) along with many state Cable TV Operator Associations and independent MSOs met the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Technology in New Delhi to put forth their views on the subject.

Rahul Sood to join Fox International Channels quitting NDTV

NDTV head of distribution Rahul Sood has quit and will be joining Fox International Channels (FIC) Asia in a newly created position as Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Commercial. 
Rahul Sood will take up his new role with effect from 9 December. He will operate out of Singapore and will be responsible for FIC’s sales and channel development of new markets across the region, with emphasis on newly emerging markets. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Total shipments for STBs in India 1.4 million units in CY Q3 2013

Total shipments for set-top boxes (STBs) in India amounted to 1.4 million units in CY Q3 2013; a drastic decline of 75 percent to the previous 5.6 million Unit Shipments of CY Q2 2013.
Skyworth endured its market leadership followed by COSHIP and Cisco. Slow uptake of STBs and excess of stock in the CY Q2 2013, delay in the collection of CAF (Cable Applicable Form) from Cable TV subscribers as well as slow intake of revenues in the system are some of the major factors resulting in the decline of total Unit Shipments in the current quarter.

Viacom18 gives digital push to Nick with ‘Nickworld App’

Viacom18 Media has launched a digital app named ‘Nickworld’ that will offer the best of shows aired on Nick, Sonic and Nick Jr./Teen Nick. 
The app is available on the Android platform for free and with a fee of Rs. 55 on iOS for an ad-free experience. 

Endemol partners Fox Star Studios for maiden Bollywood film

Leading television content production company Endemol India has partnered with Fox Star Studios for its maiden Bollywood film ‘Traffic’. 
The emotional thriller starring Manoj Bajpai and Jimmy Shergill in the lead roles will be produced under the banner of Eyedentity Motion Pictures, the motion picture arm of Endemol India. 

TRAI finalises recommendations on priority routing of emergency calls

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) finalised on 27 November its recommendations on ‘Telecom network failures during emergencies/ disasters – priority routing of calls of persons engaged in response and recovery’.
It said a priority call routing (PCR) scheme should be instituted to ensure that calls of personnel responsible for ‘response and recovery’ during disasters are routed in priority.

TRAI prescribes tariff for service data-based mobile banking

Aiming to promote the use of mobile banking services across India, the telecom regulator TRAI has come out with guidelines and tariff on unstructured supplementary service data (USSD)-based mobile banking services.
USSD technology is used by telecom operators to send alerts to their users. It can be used for pre-paid call-back services, location-based content services and menu-based information services.

Eros offloads 16% stake to Temasek for $40.7 mn

Eros International Plc. has offloaded 16 per cent stake to Fullerton Fund Management Company, an investment arm of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte. 
Eros, the leading distributor of Indian movies in overseas markets, has raised $40.7 million ( Rs. 253.3 crore) through this stake dilution.With this deal, Eros International gets valued at $253.41 million. 

Zee’s mega push in Europe

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) has got Europe on its radar. India’s largest private international broadcaster is looking at launching a wellness channel Veria Living in the UK; mulling a Russian launch for it; studying the prospects for an English language factual entertainment brand; and partnering with a European OTT service provider Voddler.
This was disclosed by company chairman Subhash Chandra to Digital TV Europe. Chandra said the Indian market is ripe for healthcare content programming. "We should be launching in the coming early summer - maybe an April, May, June kind of timeframe," he told Digital TV Europe.

DCMS’s Miller welcomes local TV launch

Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has welcomed the November 26th afternoon of launch of the UK’s first local TV channel – Estuary TV- in the northern coastal town of Grimsby. She said that local television was an important part of a connected society. “Viewers consistently say they want local TV services grounded in their communities – and the new network which we have commissioned seeks to address this gap,” she said in a message to a launch event in London.
She added that Comux UK, the community-owned business selected by regulator Ofcom to build, operate and manage the local TV multiplex, had done “an excellent job” to get to the launch of the first channel. “As more and more local TV channels go live across the country, I look forward to seeing the excitement they cause and impact they have on local communities.”

Pakistan’s I&B minister proposes to ban Indian shows on Pak TV

Pakistan’s Information and Broadcast ministry has said that the Indian dramas on local TVs should be banned immediately as the language was influencing the children in an alarming way.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman explained the committee that a policy directive issued in 2006 allowed 10% foreign content, including 6% from Indian channels, on local TV channels.

LCOs demand access to SMS from MSOs

The process of shifting from analogue to digital feed is not without its share of problems; a key issue being the resultant tug-of-war between local cable operators (LCOs) and multi system operators (MSOs) over access to the subscriber management system (SMS).
The Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS) requires MSOs to establish a subscriber management system (SMS), where details of all subscribers, along with their choice of services including channels and bouquets, are maintained.

Nasik collectorate temporarily suspends LCO licences for not providing joint affidavit

The district administration of Nasik has temporarily suspended licences of around 30-35 local cable operators (LCOs) for failing to provide joint affidavit with multi-system operators (MSOs) to pay their entertainment tax. 
The Nasik collectorate’s office has also asked the MSOs to switch off signals to these LCOs. However, the MSOs have not complied with the district administration’s diktat, a cable operator from Nasik said on condition of anonymity. 

Fight between Digicable management and former senior executive turns nasty

A veteran cable TV executive, Nag received a setback as his anticipatory bail plea in a criminal case filed by Digicable got rejected by the Supreme Court. 
Nag had moved Supreme Court following Calcutta High Court Division Bench’s dismissal of his anticipatory bail plea. He had moved an anticipatory bail plea before the High Court apprehending arrest from Kolkata police. 

PCI asks media houses to set up internal panels to tackle harassment cases

The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked all media organisations to set up internal committees to prevent and redress cases of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
The direction for setting up internal complaints committees comes in the backdrop of sexual harassment charges against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal by a female journalist.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

YES Bank inks multi-year sponsorship deal with Hockey India League

Indian Premier League (IPL) associate sponsor YES Bank has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the Hockey India League (HIL) commencing with the 2014 season. YES Bank joins HIL’s other leading sponsor Hero MotoCorp and Airtel. 
HIL chairman Dr Narinder Batra said, “This is a fantastic, long-term partnership for the League. We look forward to our association with YES Bank to mobilise sports innovation and infuse positive energy into Hockey.” 

TDSAT-Ad cap: Amicus curiae No 2 takes over

The TRAI ad cap hearing has entered its final stages at the TDSAT even as the second amicus curiae Aman Ahluwalia came up spoke forth, following the completion of first amicus curiae Madhavi Divan's arguments.
Divan had opined that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has authority because duration of TV commercials is not content and quality of service is not a technical point. So the TRAI had the right to mandate any ad regulation under section 11 of the TRAI Act.

Journalist organisations come together against harassment of female media employees

Various journalist bodies and unions have come together against the harassment of the female media employees and sexual violence. 
Joining hands, International Federation of Journalists, Delhi Union of Journalists, Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and All India Newspaper Employees Federation called for a “no-tolerance” stance on sexual violence against female media workers. 

Viacom18 & Vh1 to launch rhythm based mobile game ‘Game of Tunes’

Viacom18 and Vh1 are all set to launch a rhythm based mobile game for its fans, which they claim as one of the first for any music channel in the country. To be available on Apple and Android phones and tablets, the gaming app will be launched early next year and will feature fresh, never heard before pieces of music that would play in the background and add power to the game. Making their fans an integral part in the development of this new app, Vh1 will be conducting a contest – ‘Game of Tunes’.
The leading English music channel is calling out to some of the most talented independent DJs and musicians in the country who have worked on some original compositions in the electronic music genre, to be a part of this app. Fr0m all entries received, some artists and independent musicians will be selected to be a part of the game. Their music will power the game and the best bit; they will retain all rights to their music and will be credited for the same. The selected contestant’s original piece of music featured in the game would reach out to all gamers across the globe. Starting fr0m November 23rd 2013, the ‘Game of Tunes’ will run for a 14 days, after which all the entries will be evaluated and the winners will be intimated for the further proceedings.

DoT to issue fresh show-cause to Vodafone in Matrix deal

The Department of Telecom is readying a fresh show-cause notice against Vodafone for its distribution deal with Matrix Cellular in 2007.
According to the DoT, Matrix Cellular took bulk connections from Vodafone and then resold them to individuals with its own tariff plan, billing and without verifying the subscribers.

Intel wants $500 million for Internet TV service: Report

Intel Corp is trying to sell its yet-to-launch Internet television service for $500 million and wants to complete a deal by year-end, Bloomberg reported on 25 November.
Verizon Communications (VZ.N), one of the suitors, has spoken with content providers about a streaming television service, Bloomberg also said, citing unnamed sources.

Triple-play revenues to reach $144bn by 2018

Telcos and cable operators are investing heavily in their networks to upgrade their subscribers to bundles (triple-play or double-play). These operators will reap the rewards of this investment as total subscription revenues (pay TV (including on-demand), broadband and fixed-line telephony) will increase by 65 per cent fr0m $124 billion in 2012 to $205 billion in 2018, according to the Triple-Play Forecasts report fr0m Digital TV Research.
Covering 97 countries, triple-play subscription revenues will reach $144 billion in 2018, up by $80 billion on the 2012 total. Triple-play revenues will command 70 per cent of total subscription revenues by 2018, up fr0m 52 per cent in 2012 and 36 per cent in 2008.

Rupert Murdoch clashes with Tony Blair over his 'relationship' with ex Wendi Deng

Sources close to Mr Murdoch in London say staff at his home in California claim Mr Blair and Ms Deng stayed there overnight at the same time on weekends in October 2012 and April this year, without the 82-year-old’s knowledge.
The ex-PM, whose New Labour forged an unlikely flirtation with Mr Murdoch, has always maintained his friendship with Ms Deng is purely platonic.

Industry Professionals Can Catch a Glimpse of Latest Technological Leaps in Sportscasting at BroadcastAsia2014

Increasing popularity and greater airplay of sports such as soccer, golf, tennis, badminton, table tennis and athletics across the region signal a growing appetite among consumers for sports-based programming. To ensure high quality and timely delivery of sports content, businesses are actively exploring broadcasting technologies such as 4K/Ultra HD (UHD), file-based management systems, multi-screen experiences, multi-platform streaming, Nextgen broadcasting, Over-The-Top (OTT) to cater to the burgeoning sports industry in the Asia Pacific region.
Sportscasting will take centre-stage at BroadcastAsia, where the latest cutting edge technologies and solutions related to sportscasting, from acquisition to production to delivery will come to light. With the use of connected devices on the rise, especially in the Asian region, broadcasters and broadcasting technology companies are looking to gain bigger audience share by enhancing the viewer experience.

Kolkata cable ops to meet FM

With cable operators liable to pay 12.36 per cent of the subscription amount collected per month from customers as service tax to the government, 12 cable ops met the finance minister P Chidambaram in the city today to talk on Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES).
This, despite the government having introduced the VCES on 10 May. VCES is a one-time amnesty scheme for paying service tax dues for the said five-year period from 1 October 2007 to 31 December, 2012, without any interest or penalty.

TRAI releases Recommendations on ‘Monopoly/Market dominance in cable TV services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released on 26 November its recommendations on ‘Monopoly/Market dominance in Cable TV services’.
In order to break the cable monopolies that have cropped up in several states, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that no multi-system operator (MSO) can have more than 50 per cent market share in any state and any merger & acquisition (M&A) activity will require the sector regulator’s prior approval. 

Mindshare and Shazam Entertainment launch ‘Audio+’

Mindshare Worldwide has announced a tie up with Shazam Entertainment to launch Audio+, a program to help brands audit, map and capitalise on sound-based elements of their global advertising campaigns.
 The companies will work with Mindshare clients to drive consumer interactions via mobile devices using the Shazam App. The App uses proprietary audio content recognition (ACR) technology to identify a brand’s audio assets from TV, radio and in-store adverts, and connects the consumer to a tailored mobile experience for the campaign.

Harris Broadcast Delivers Custom Automated Graphics Solution to TVSN for Expansion into New Zealand

Harris Broadcast, a market share leader of content management and network infrastructure solutions serving the global broadcast, communication service provider, government and enterprise markets, announced that TVSN, a leading home shopping channel for Australia and New Zealand, has selected Harris Broadcast’s cutting-edge graphics automation solution. Deployed with the launch of TVSN’s localized New Zealand channel in August, the custom graphics automation solution interfaces with TVSN’s enterprise resource planning system to serve multiple master control facilities with a single graphics operator.
“By enhancing our existing Harris Broadcast graphics solution, we are able to develop the competitive edge necessary to expand into New Zealand,” said Nick Pigot, general manager television, TVSN. “By working closely with the Harris Broadcast team, we have deployed a custom, comprehensive automation solution that improves operational efficiency and integrates closely with our existing systems. The result is a boost in productivity, allowing a single operator to manage multiple markets fr0m one console and to focus on TVSN’s production and commercial goals.”

Videocon d2h launches the first large volume ZigBee deployment in India with GreenPeak silicon

GreenPeak Technologies, a leading low power RF-semiconductor company announced its collaboration with Videocon d2h, the fastest growing satellite operator in India, to bring GreenPeak ZigBee silicon solutions for wireless communication to the Indian market and to help Videocon d2h achieve successful new service offerings.
Videocon d2h, who’s company mission is to be a path-breaking DTH innovator (acronym for ‘Direct to Home’ service) with most advanced satellite broadcasting products and services on televisions, offers many new features and interactive services, providing superband interactive services to consumers.

US to phase out STBs by 2015

The year 2013 was a big year for the Indian cable TV industry. The country that was till now running on analogue signals opened up to digitization, even if it was in few regions. While we can celebrate this achievement as we enter into 2014 and also gear up for the phase III and phase IV of digitisation, there is some food for thought coming from the US cable industry for the Indian cable TV industry. 
According to the CEO of TV Predictions, Inc Phillip Swann, the Americans will see phasing out of cable TV set top boxes (STBs) by 2015 and witness an upsurge in USB dongle or CableCard like products that can be connected to a TV and signals can be received from the operator’s facility. And all this to reduce the expenses incurred due to huge sums paid to the box manufacturers.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AAP files defamation case against web portal, television channel

The Aam Aadmi Party has filed a defamation case against web portal ‘Media Sarkar’ and TV channel ‘India News’ for carrying what the party said was a fake and malafide sting operation.
AAP leaders will also meet Delhi’s chief electoral officer on 26 November over the issue.

BJP against ban on Indian movies in Pakistan

The Bharatiya Janata Party is concerned over news reports from across the border that a Pakistani Court has imposed restrictions on screening of Indian Hindi films all across Pakistan.
This comes close after Pakistan electronic media regulator recently slapped fines worth Rs 10 million on 10 entertainment Pakistan channels for airing excessive Indian films and TV serials, but BJP Convener for Overseas  Affairs said Indian films have always strengthened bilateral relations between the two nations.

Harmonic Strengthens Sales Team With Two New Senior Management Appointments

Harmonic the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure announced the appointment of Frank Montalto as the company's regional vice president for North American cable and telco and the appointment of Spencer Hodson as the company's vice president of sales strategy, operations and enablement.
"Both Spencer and Frank have industry experience that is essential for implementing our strategy for driving additional revenue opportunities within the broadcast, cable, satellite, telco, and media markets," said George Stromeyer, senior vice president, worldwide sales at Harmonic. "Frank has demonstrated the ability to generate creative strategies for the successful and significant scaling of businesses, and he is known as a highly effective leader in driving that growth. Spencer brings energy, critical thinking, and a breadth of business understanding to his role at Harmonic. He will be a strong partner and advocate for the worldwide sales organization as we embark on a new growth phase."

Rostelcom looks to satellite pay-TV

Russian telco Rostelcom says it is looking to buy a satellite pay-TV operator. News agency Itar-TASS quotes Rostelcom as saying that it wishes to expand its current pay-TV subscriber base (6.6 million as at December 2012) by moving into the satellite-based pay-TV business and the fastest way to do this would be to acquire a satellite player.
Itar-TASS says the news emerged as part of Rostelcom’s draft strategy document which says that it wants to grow its pay-TV business by 22-25 per cent over the next 5 years.

MAIT in talks with State Govts to improve e-waste collection

For India’s mounting e-waste issue, collection is the need of the hour. About 98 recycling units in the country are running much below installed capacities.
Sensing this urgency, the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) has urged every municipal authority in the country to speed up e-waste collection.

Prime Focus eyes a slice in TV production

With the broadcasters looking at investing top dollars in fiction programming, Prime Focus, the media and entertainment company that provides end-to-end creative and technical services, is now gearing up to do pre and post-production work on TV shows as well. 
So far, Prime Focus was more involved with projects related to films and commercials. The company works on visual effects, stereo 3D conversion, animation, video/audio post-production, digital content management and distribution. 

TV channels to get Rs. 780 mn of ad revenue from government’s Bharat Nirman campaign

The Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has earmarked an advertising expenditure of Rs. 78.01 crore (Rs 780.1 million) for television channels to promote its rural development policy ‘Bharat Nirman’. 
Four English news channels – Times Now, NDTV, Headlines Today and CNN IBN – have garnered Rs. 9.6 million of ad revenue spilled over seven months, as per information provided by the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP). 

LCOs, independent MSOs unhappy with digitisation

Back in 2012, when India kicked-off the process of digitisation, local cable operators (LCOs) were an unhappy lot; approaching state high courts for respite from what they perceived as a threat to their business.
Today, one would imagine cable ops to be happy, considering the first two phases of DAS are almost complete and India is on the threshold of the final phases (III and IV) of the big switch (analogue to digital feed).

TDSAT grants TRAI time to file reply on LCOs’ billing petition till January 23

The Telecom Disputes Redressal and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has granted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) more time to file its reply on a petition challenging the authority’s decision to grant multi-system operators (MSOs) the right to bill subscribers directly. 
The tribunal had given the sector regulator time till 22 November to file its replies. However, when the D-Day finally arrived, the TRAI counsel requested TDSAT to grant some more time to file its replies. So now the sector regulator is given time till 23 January, 2013.

Bharti cancels to sell stake from its DTH business

India's largest telecoms operator, Bharti Airtel, has shelved plans to sell a large stake in its direct-to-home (DTH) business Airtel Digital TV after talks failed with financial and strategic investors, according to sources directly familiar with the matter.
Sunil Mittal-led Bharti was negotiating to sell at least 25% in the DTH unit valuing it about $1.5 billion, however, the telecoms-to-retail group was unable to get the desired valuation from prospective buyers, which included Los Angeles-based investment firm Saban Capital, PE firm Carlyle and Liberty Media.

Monday, 25 November 2013

India to gain in importance as Sony Pictures shifts focus from films to TV

Sony Pictures will shift its focus from films to the high-margin TV sector, a clear indication that India will stand to gain in importance. 
Sony has been witnessing a revenue growth of 24% from its global portfolio of 127 channels serving 150 countries during the last 10 years. In India, Sony Pictures has a subsidiary, Multi Screen Media, which runs a clutch of entertainment channels including Sony Entertainment Television and SAB. It also has a sports channel, Sony Six. 

ABC gains 25 million audience boost with expansion into India

Australia’s international television channel, the Australia Network, is expanding into India and commemorating its launch into the territory with a special broadcast of Q&A from Delhi.
The ABC said that the expansion will see its programming reach an additional 25 million viewers.

MCOF seminar aims to LMOs must become digital service providers

The Maharashtra Cable Operators’ Federation (MCOF), organized on 23 November its education seminar in Mumbai.
Held in Hindi and English, around 400 Last Mile Operators (LMOs) travelled from neighboring states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka for it.

BSNL, Power Grid & RailTel will be paid Rs 2,700 crore for laying optic fibre

The telecom department will shortly move a Cabinet note for payout of Rs 2,700 crore as administrative charges to Bharat Sanchar Nigam, PowerGrid and RailTel, who have been mandated to handle cable laying and trenching responsibilites of the national broadband venture in the 70:15:15 ratio. 
 Cable laying and trenching is the most expensive piece of the communications ministry's ambitious Rs 21,000-crore national broadband rollout, popularly known as the national optic fibre network or 'NOFN' project, that will take high-speed internet to the hinterlands.

Sun TV in talks with Arasu to increase payouts

Sun TV Network Ltd. is in talks with Tamil Nadu state-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation to renew its subscription deal on fresh commercial terms. 
Sun TV’s one-year deal with Arasu Cable, inked mid-2012, has expired. 

Aadhaar leak: EPFO discontinues services provided through Common Service Centre

Following fear of Aadhaar data leak, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on May 2 said it has discontinued services provided t...