Archive for January, 2007

New DTH players scramble for scarce transponders

January 30, 2007

NEW DELHI, JAN 29: The DTH war in the country, which ranks as the world’s third largest television market, is heading for the stars. India’s new DTH ventures are scrambling for precious transponder space as satellite scarcity looms large.

 

Reliance’s Blue Magic, Bharti, Doordarshan’s DD Direct and Sun TV’s Sun Direct are in the race to acquire as many as possible of the 24 Ku-band transponders on Insat 4B and Insat 4CR, to be launched in March-April, 2007 and July-Aug, 2007, respectively.

 

Considering that each one is expected to offer around 120 channels, they need at least 7-10 transponders each. There aren’t that many available till the end of 2007, at least.

 

Each transponder is capable of providing between 15 and 30 channels depending on its frequency capacity.

 

Currently, there are only two satellites with a pan-India footprint capable of providing the Ku band required for DTH services—Insat 4A and the Netherlands-based SES Global-owned NSS6. Both booked between TataSky (all 12 on 4A) and DD Direct (5 on NSS6) and Dish TV (7 on NSS6). NSS6 is an international satellite with a pan-Asia presence and consists of 50 Ku band transponders.

 

Sources within Dish TV said, each transponder is capable of providing around 25 channels and the cost of renting a transponder is around a million dollars a year.

 

Due to the exorbitant international satellite transponders cost and few Indian satellites with Ku band capability there is a severe scramble for satellite transponders over Indian skies.

 

Unconfirmed reports suggest that communication and information technology minister Dayanidhi Maran’s brother Kalanithi Maran’s Sun TV has divided Insat 4B’s 12 available transponders with DD.

 

ISRO sources said, Insat 4B is identical to the 2005-launched Insat 4A and will be followed by the launch of Insat 4CR in August. Insat 4CR is a downgraded version Insat 4C which failed on launch in June 10, 2006. It has lesser number of transponders than Insat 4A.

 

With new players like Reliance with its blue magic brand of DTH services and Bharti gearing up to enter the DTH arena and the limited number of transponders available at present, one can only wait to see what happens next.

 

Source: financialexpress.com

Google; future for newspapers

January 30, 2007

Founders of Google Larry Page and Sergey Brin say that the internet will not be the cause of newspapers’ downfall. “I think that newspapers have a good future,” said Page.

They offered practical reasons for newspapers remaining a viable medium for yet some time.

“It will be a long time before displays [online] will be as good as paper. A laptop runs out of battery and you can’t tuck it under your arm,” said Page at the World Economic Forum.

While it should sound like good news that Google’s founders view the newspaper business favorably, they aren’t regular readers themselves.

Source: editorsweblog.org, telegraph.co.uk

US: School teachers and students desert newspapers

January 30, 2007

A study revealed that newspapers are losing ground in schools and education – even their online editions – as teachers prefer to study using international online news sites.

The study was based on a survey of 1262 teachers from grades five through 12, and was released by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education.

57% of teachers use online based news somewhat frequently, compared to 31% who use national television news and 28% who use daily newspapers.

“Students do not relate to newspapers at all, any more than they would to vinyl records,” said one of teachers in the study.

Source: editorsweblog.org

Blackstone to invest $ 275 million in Ramoji

January 30, 2007

29 January 2007, MUMBAI: In the single-largest investment in Indian media, global private investment firm Blackstone Group has announced it will be pumping in $ 275 million (approximately Rs 12.38 billion) to acquire a stake in Ushodaya Enterprises Limited (UEL), the holding company that manages Ramoji Rao’s media assets.

While yesterday’s announcement gave no details on the quantum of the stake that Blackstone would be taking in the south Indian media baron’s closely held company, media reports have put it at 26 per cent. This would put UEL’s enterprise valuation at $1.06 billion.
Source: Indiantelevision.com

Star to form JV with Balaji for Telugu channel

January 30, 2007

29 January 2007, MUMBAI: Television content production house Balaji Telefilms Ltd. will get into broadcasting through a joint venture with Star Group. The two companies will be launching a Telugu channel with Star as a majority partner.

“We will be partnering with Balaji for the Telugu channel. We will have majority stake in the joint venture,” Star India advertising, sales and distribution president Paritosh Joshi tells Indiantelevision.com.

Source: Indiantelevision.com

Set-top boxes for Rs 1,000 soon

January 30, 2007

New Delhi January 29, 2007: A digital set-top box can be yours at one-third the price you pay now. Indian manufacturers like Bharat Electronics, and TVS are likely to manufacture set-top boxes for less than Rs 1,000.

A digital set-top box is a technology interface required for encrypted television signals for conditional access system (CAS) and direct-to-home (DTH) services.

Currently, the bulk of set-top boxes being supplied in India for CAS or DTH services are being imported and cost Rs 2,800-3,300. However, the government is planning various incentives to encourage Indian companies to manufacture them.

The government is expected to re-impose Customs duty on imported set-top boxes and slash the 13 per cent countervailing duty currently being charged on all components required in a set-top box could be slashed by less than half.

Source: business-standard.com

Should Zee Entertainment launch a second GEC?

January 30, 2007

January 29, 07: Zee Entertainment is planning to add one more general entertainment channel (GEC) to its bouquet. As of now, there is an internal discussion on this plan. Joy Chakraborthy, EVP, Sales, Zee Entertainment Ltd, said, “We are still evaluating this idea. It is strong on our radar. We are looking at the cost benefit analysis and then will take a decision on this.”

What is the media opinion on a flanking channel strategy? We have seen STAR India launch STAR One in November 2004. Today STAR One has arguably worked or not worked depending on what the media discussion is about. Sure enough, the channel created a brand for itself and some shows like ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ and ‘Nach Baliye’ delivered good numbers for the channel. Today, there are weeks when the channel beats Sahara One and Sony Entertainment Television also in the Hindi GEC space.

Source: exchange4media.com

CFO, the new hero of media and entertainment industry

January 30, 2007

Mumbai, Jan 23: The changing content and distribution models as well as mobile entertainment devices would be the key change drivers for the Industry, An Ernst & Young survey on the emerging global media and entertainment (M&E) industry, has projected.

The findings of the survey, ‘Center Stage: CFOs and Finance Executives in The Spotlight Of An Industry In Transition”, were released here yesterday by Mr John Nendick, Global Head – Media & Entertainment Practice.

Advances in mobile technologies and increasing public expectations mean that the ‘consumer is king’ in the marketplace, according to the survey of more than 200 finance executives, which includes views of 46 CFOs, 6 from India and 140 online participants from major media and entertainment companies around the globe.

Source: news.oneindia.in

Broadband should be defined as 2 mbps, says Dayanindhi Maran

January 19, 2007

India Digital Summit

January 19, 2007: The year 2007, which has been declared as the Year of the Broadband is set to witness a new revolution in this field. Setting the tone, Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Communications and IT, said, “Broadband should be defined as 2mbps.” He was speaking at the India Digital Summit organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in association with CII at the Capital on January 18.

Broadband coverage for all secondary and higher secondary schools, public health care centers and all gram panchayats are some of the targets that Ministry of Communications and IT intends to achieve in this year.

Source: exchange4media.com

‘Is the online world as important to Internet users as the real world?’

January 19, 2007

India Digital Summit

January 19, 2007: The two-day India Digital Summit organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) commenced in the Capital on January 18. The focus this year is on two distinct areas: Internet and related issues of current and future policies, communication tools, and commerce, and mobile devices and mobile VAS.

The first day’s session began with Prof Jeffrey Cole, Director of Centre for the Digital Future and Research Professor USC posing a tantalising question “Is the online world as important to Internet users as the real world?” He posed this question while delivering the theme address on convergence, communication, content and commerce.

Source: exchange4media.com