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Entertainment biz, Anil Ambani style

06-July-2005
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Entertainment biz, Anil Ambani style

ADAE has drawn up a comprehensive blueprint.

The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Enterprises group has drawn a blueprint for its entertainment business that stretches from development of content, carriage of the content and, finally, its exhibition.

In the process, it will straddle different platforms ranging from film production to broadband Internet TV (also known as IPTV), mobile TV, direct-to-home (DTH), multiplexes and FM radio.

“We want to straddle the entire value chain of the entertainment content and carriage-way business,” Amit Khanna, who is coordinating the business for the ADAE group, told Business Standard.

The acquisition of a controlling 51 per cent stake in Adlabs will give the group state-of-the-art capabilities in producing films. The content developed by Adlabs can be delivered digitally to theatres.

Adlabs already owns five multiplexes across the country. It is expected to add another 13 multiplexes in the near future. Once it has a large network of theatres, experts point out, it is possible for the group to digitally transmit a movie from one centralised location to all the theaters through Reliance Infocomm’s existing fibre optic network.

This will protect producers from piracy, save on costs in producing prints and also offer flexibility for theaters to change shows depending on which film is doing well and which is not.

Also, the group feels there is more that can be done with the content it develops. So it has applied for a DTH licence, so that the content can delivered to homes.

In addition, Reliance Infocomm has a collaboration with Microsoft to look at IPTV. The company is all set to enter consumer homes with broadband Internet through its fibre optic backbone.

The same connectivity can be used to deliver entertainment content like channels, video-on-demand, among other things. Trial runs for broadband TV was already on in some countries and the results were being awaited, Khanna said.

The group is also looking at the possibility of using the music of the films it makes to run FM radio and provide ringtones to is mobile phone customers.

Khanna also did not rule out an entry into the mobile TV space -- a new technology through which consumers can see live TV on their mobile phones while on the move.

Points out Khanna: “It is surely an option depending on government policy. At the moment, there is no policy on digital terrestrial broadcasting. Once that happens, it is surely an option we, being the largest mobile players, will look into.”

Internationally, companies like Nokia are tying up with broadcasters for trial runs for mobile TV.

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