The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has completed eight years, and in its eight annual general meeting has announced its office bearers and board members for the 2007-08 term. While Zee Telefilms’ Jawahar Goel has been re-elected the President for the second consecutive year, the other office-bearers include KVL Narayan Rao of NDTV as the Vice-President and I Venkat of Eenadu TV as the Honorary Treasurer.
In his last term as President, Goel saw the IBF face various industry issues on subjects like the proposed Broadcast Bill and the Content Code, as well as the initiatives that the IBF has been involved in, such as the collection from clients and advertising agencies, declaration of cable and satellite (C&S) homes by cable operators, and also take forward the role that the IBF plays in currency monitoring through the erstwhile JIB, or the recent initiative of the Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC).
Speaking on his role again in taking the IBF initiatives forward, Goel said, “The IBF is just eight years old and on various industry related issues, all broadcasters are like a family. My job is to keep everyone together and help the industry to move from a Rs 15,000 crore industry to a Rs 35,000 crore industry in the next couple of years.”
Outlining some initiatives that are impacting the industry’s everyday work, he said, “The IBF has been active in its role of making the industry a smoother work place for broadcasters. Many organisations were facing the problem of hold-up in collection from clients and agencies – some payments are as delayed as five months. The IBF, together with the AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India), has championed this cause and now the client takes a maximum of 70-75 days to pay up. The IBF sub-committee JWC (joint working committee) is in a sense training people to live to their commitments.”
Goel informed that the IBF was also interacting with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to take forward the dialogues that make an impact on the broadcasters. “In India, there are 70 million C&S homes, and cable operators declare 1 per cent to 40 per cent of this, depending on the area. We want to bring some sanctity in that. We are in talks with TRAI and MSOs to create a more level playing field for broadcasters. While one challenge for the IBF is to drive growth in the C&S market, the second challenge is to get a higher declaration,” Goel added.
He also sees the proposed Broadcast Bill and the Content Code as another area that the IBF would be spending time on in the days to come. He explained, “Quite a lot has been exchanged between the industry and the Government on this subject. News channels are talking of self-regulation, there is talk of brining back the Watershed policy in the Cable Act – there are many suggestions.”
“The Government is positive and is looking at converting all policies that it has framed in the last few years into a comprehensive legislation by the next Winter Session. To the best of my knowledge, the Broadcast Bill will be scaled down from its present form, and the controversial elements would be removed,” he further said.
In addition to this, Goel elaborated that the IBF also had industry roles to play through bodies like the BARC. “The IBF members in this body will take care of the broadcasters’ interest. They would keep the IBF informed regularly on the move at the BARC and the idea there really is to give the industry a more robust currency,” he said.
The other board members of the IBF this year are BS Lalli, CEO, Prasar Bharati; Chintamani Rao, CEO, India TV; Deepak Shourie, MD, Discovery India; G Krishnan, CEO & Executive Director, TV Today; Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, SET India; Mahesh Prasad, Council Director, Sahara TV; Markand Adhikari, Vice-Chairman & MD, Shri Adhikari Brothers; RC Venkateish, MD, ESPN Software India; and Uday Shankar, COO, STAR India. The new board members are Haresh Chawla, CEO, Network18; Paritosh Joshi, President, Advertising Sales and Distribution, STAR India; and Siddharth Jain, Vice-President, South Asia, Turner.
Jawahar Goel re-elected IBF chief