e4m Conclave 2016: I can assure you not softer but louder news - Arnab Goswami

At the exchange4media Conclave 2016, renowned journalist and TV anchor Arnab Goswami spoke about how disruption is the name of the game and what Indian journalism is capable of

exchange4media News Service 17-November-2016

e4m Conclave 2016: I can assure you not softer but louder news - Arnab Goswami

Renowned journalist Arnab Goswami’s resignation from Times Group on November 1 had turned out to be a breaking story in the broadcasting news space. The former President-News and Editor-in-Chief, Times Now and ET Now left many people in shock after his resignation. exchange4media Conclave, presented by Dainik Jagran and powered by Zee Entertainment, is Goswami’s first outing since the move where he spoke about how disruption is the name of the game and what Indian journalism is capable of.

His session gave us some flashback from his past when he came to Mumbai to seek refuge in 2004, six months after he was just about to quit journalism, frustrated with Delhi’s journalism scenario. He recalled, “Journalism was lost. There was not one scam reported. Everybody knew that the country has become corrupt and co-opted. But nobody in my great profession of journalism dared to stand up against the system and get accounted.”

The audience got a taste of his success right from his struggle in his initials days of launching the channel which according to him was turning out to be ‘the biggest failure’ to the exhilarating moments of breaking important stories like Commonwealth Games Scam and others. “When Suresh Kalmadi was arrested after a year we broke Commonwealth Games, it was a big moment in our lives. It opened up the system. Several scams were broken after that. That was demanding of accountability. In our lives we have never distinguished stories based upon who impacts and who it negatively affects. In pursuit of truth we will criticize whoever is in power whether it’s BJP or Congress.”

His passion for journalism can be made out when he spoke about questioning religions, “We disrupted the news because we challenged everybody. No country in the world questioned religion. This year we challenged religion. We questioned Shani Shingnapur, Haji Ali, right to pray movement and Sabarimala right to the day when Mumbai High Court and Supreme Court of India within weeks of our breaking story and making them public campaign, are making them subject matter on the direction of policy that court should follow.”

Goswami’s pride in the groundbreaking work he and his company Times Now has accomplished in journalism is apparent. “We broke the stories. We were scrutinized. Eventually we were proven right. Where in the world you have journalist who question both the biggest corporate in the country as well as those people who pass off superstition, chauvinism and misogyny? Only in India. I am very proud of what we have done. I am satisfied with what we have achieved.”

The journalist went on to talk about taking this disruption ahead. “I often ask questions as to how I can disrupt once again in terms of redefining the scale of what I have been doing. We have shaken the system in terms of thinking. In future we will challenge, redefine, and rewrite the scale of journalistic disruption and tools that we use.”

At this point he offered five ‘what if’ situations that have exponential potential to change the dynamics of journalism. The first one taps on the use of technology where he raised important questions. “What if we use technology as a different factor? When I look at the tools at our disposal I think of how we are sitting on ridiculous amount of potential that’s waiting in the wings to be realized. When I look at a digital space for a TV platform there is a sense we are extremely similar in terms of content. Isn’t the digital space in India in the context of news getting crowded with the same content that you are giving your viewer on television? News is the only area where you touch and feel with a consumer on a pull not a push. With time we need to explore the digital space, move away from replication of what’s happening on television or other news medium and redefine the ecosystem in a different way.”

In the second scenario he throws open the suggestion of linking digital and television, “What if we actually link TV and digital. Consider the world of opportunities we have to swim through if we explore a simple idea of funneling digital and TV, the most progressive path of promising consumer habits of tomorrow’s world. It’s not been done. No one can stop us from doing it. Nobody controls distribution. Old monopolies of distribution of legacy mediums will die and collapse in the next few years in single digits. You cannot force your content on the television. You cannot buy your way into anybody’s house or heart. Media monopoly will die. Consumer will be the king. We are entering a new era of disruptionist democracy, the kind of disruptionist democracy through the medium which actually falls directly in line with journalism that I do.”

In the third point he strongly favours Mumbai to be the India’s journalism’s centre point. “What if we uproot the capital of Indian media from the national capital? We owe it to this country. Indian media will never be independent if it centres from Lutyens’ Delhi. It denies, prohibits. I don’t believe the media of Lutyens’ Delhi. We will challenge it. What is so exclusive of working in a newsroom out of Noida given the fact that not even one major news story of national consequences or a major scam was broken out of Lutyens’ Delhi for decades in this country? This is very important. Why shouldn’t Mumbai be the capital of journalism? What holds us back? We broke the 2G scam and Commonwealth Game scam, among others sitting here. We, Mumbai media, gave India the CWG scam while Lutyan media gave it the Radia tapes. What should we choose? We compromise no more. Young journalists want to see the birth of a new movement. That birth of a new media will never happen from national capital. As I think of future I have great faith in the disruption that will take geographical focus of news to where the story is not where the politicians are.”

In the fourth ‘what if’ Goswami puts forward a scenario of content guys leading news organization. “What If content guys and leaders are the same? Why does nobody from the world of content run a news organization? We do the graphics, production, anchor the news report, pick up the cameras, run behind politicians, type everything on the channel, newspaper and digital. What if we have a new system where the product and leaders are not isolated islands? Why can’t the curators of the content lead, define, ideate, and market the product because they know how it’s created. It’s a question to ask. I am surprised that no one has asked this before. I have worked with the best brains in the business, collaborated with them and this collaboration was written between people who represent content and non content side of business. This discrimination was stopped. Together, you and I will break down the wall. When that happens new ideas will come. A person from the world of technology, business and even journalism can head a newsroom. Make it talent specific. Unleash the talent. The beauty of news media business is money can buy infrastructure but it can never buy or replace good content especially in the cluttered news space that we are in the midst of. It cannot be a differentiator. Money cannot stop anything not even me.”

The renowned journalist concluded the fifth point where he felt Indian news space had it in them to take over the world by competing with the likes of BBC, “What if we think about taking the imbibed-studied-fearless and resolved DNA of disruptionist Swadeshi Indian, Make in India journalism to the world? When you want to watch world news why do you have to go to BBC? How often have we seen a BBC or CNN send its reporter on a daily basis running with the camera behind the story to break a story and seek accountability? How often the Western media have through their campaign challenged the religious traditions directly with clerics and other religions and other leaders. This is what defines us. I believe this is going to be this identity that will disrupt India on a scale never before. And I am not talking long term. I am saying with belief in my heart and optimism in my soul that we will shake up the global new system in the next 3-5 years only. We will provide from New Delhi or (for that matter) Mumbai, Bangalore or Guwahati or Trivandrum an alternative narrative to the world. It is possible and time for that has come. With your support I hope we can make it together.”

He summed up the session by promising more breaking stories and sought support for his future endeavor, “I know the news love the ‘knews’. I promise you that I will do a 1000 times over again because we are in the dotted pursuit of putting equal in this beautiful republic first. For me it has been a magical journey in Indian broadcast journalism for the sheer challenge it has brought. I am openly seeking your support and your viewership is your greatest support. I am today armed for more pain, 100 more threats and thousand more sleepless nights in the newsroom through coffee cups because I am not good at working in the midst of status quo. With that I can assure you not softer but louder news. I can certainly assure that we will ask for independence and answerability to no one but ourselves.” 


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Regional TV: Viewership soaring, but not ad rates

Industry insiders say that while the boost in viewership in the regional genre has definitely led to a hike in ad volumes, ad rates leave much to be desired.

Sonam Saini 12 minutes ago


Regional is the new national is something that everyone is talking about. Language channels are making their presence felt and the buzz is that they will drive the next wave of growth in television. But while the regional success story has become the talk of the town and opened up new opportunities for broadcasters and advertisers, there is a general feeling that ad rates in the segment have not really matched up with the growth.

Industry insiders say that while the boost in viewership has definitely led to a hike in ad volumes, ad rates leave much to be desired.

Ravish Kumar, Head - Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, contends that regional TV is showing all positive signs and ad rates are going up for channels depending on the market and the growth in viewership.“Regional will definitely drive the growth. If given a choice, people would chose to watch quality content in their language,” he says.

“It's really great to have BARC as it helps bring advertisers’ interest. But monetization is a turf fight among advertisers, broadcasters and agencies and this battle will never end. However, if at the end of the day, you are delivering high ratings, you are much more cost-effective. So yes, ad rates are going up depending on the market and year-on-year growth in viewership,” adds Kumar.

Amit Shah, Cluster Head - Regional Hindi Speaking Markets (RHSM), ZEEL, feels that if broadcasters deliver on their promises made to viewers and advertisers, ad rates for them will start to grow. “The regional space is promising. We already have seven channels in Hindi speaking regional space and they are doing well. All the trends are moving in right direction and my belief is that if a broadcaster is delivering on the promise it made to the viewers and therefore the advertisers, the rates will also start to grow up. It is moving in the right direction,” says Shah.

Putting a number to the argument, Spatial Access CEO Vineet Sodhani says that while ad volumes have moved up in the range of 20-40 per, ad rates have gone up by mere 10-12 per cent.

“Not only regional GECs, there is a lot of traction in regional movies, music and news as well and ad volumes have moved up. But ad rates are not moving in similar fashion. I can say that ad volumes have gone up in the range of 20-40 per cent across genres, but ad rates have grown by only 10-12 per cent,” says Sodhani.

Even this 10 per cent growth in ad rates is not for all, says a senior media planner. It is limited to few top channels who are in the position to command such as hike.

“Rates are not really increasing in regional markets. Some individual vendors may have taken the increase. The rates might have moved up by 5-10 per cent, but it is only for the top players,” the planner said.


There are several factors that decide the ad rate that a channel would command. It is not simply decided by agencies or advertisers or broadcasters. Ad rates depend on certain benchmarks such as CPRPs (cost per rating points), ERs (effective rates) or the competition in the market.

Explaining the dynamics, Sujata Dwibedy, Executive Vice President, Carat India, Dentsu Aegis Network, says, “With each market having multiple channels, the rates are not set by the agencies or advertisers, but by the benchmarks-- CPRPs (cost per rating points) or ERs (effective rates), competition in a market and the contribution of a particular market to the overall India market. Other factors such as GRPs (gross rating points) also play a role,” says Dwibedy.

So, with so many factors at play, Dwibedy feels that there is little scope for a newly launched channel to beat the ratings of the existing channels immediately and command a good ad rate. She advises, “New channels must initially price its slots slightly lower than other channels in that space. This will ensure that they figure in the plan of the advertisers. Once established, they can ask for an increase in ad rates.”

But she cautions, “However, the market benchmarks get stabilised and set for the advertisers, so it is very rare that channels can demand anything higher. While audiences may be happy watching the content, agencies and advertisers don’t believe in breaking benchmarks. And so new channels have to go through the full cycle of establishing itself and carving its niche to at least demand what the leaders in the market charge. It is rare that they would be able to charge very high rates in the beginning.”

Nevertheless, it might not be completely impossible for a new channel to command better than average ad rates. According to Neel Kamal Sharma, COO-Buying, Madison World, if programmes of a new channel become top shows of that market, it is likely that the channel can get better average ad rates.

“When a new channel is launched in any market, both broadcaster and advertisers expect it to attract new viewers due to differentiated content, which could possibly lead to an increase in the total viewer base in that market. That’s why apart from new content, these launches are backed by huge multi-media marketing plans. If the new channel adds significant new viewers to the total viewer base of that market and some of its programmes become top shows of that market, it is likely that the channel can get better average ad rates as compared to other existing channels,” says Sharma.

“Given a choice, people would chose to watch quality content in their language,” as pointed out by Ravish Kumar. Also, television in India has the highest reach. And from a CPT (cost per thousands) perspective, it is the cheapest media. These reasons fuel the interest of broadcasters and advertisers in the regional genre and probably explain the recent spurt in the launch of several new channels such as Sony Marathi, Zee Malyalam and Colors Kannada.

The launch of new channels and a wave of popular reality shows being adapted for regional audiences has led to a 32 per cent increase in language viewership in 2017. The Star TV network re-launched its Telugu bouquet of channels in June 2017 under the Star Maa umbrella, with fresh branding and shows. The increasing demand for regional content was further affirmed by Star deciding to telecast the regional feeds of IPL in 2018. The result was a 22 per cent increase in the viewership of IPL in regional markets in 2018.

According to BARC India data, regional language viewership has witnessed a massive boost over the last two years. Bhojpuri witnessed 134 per cent increase, followed by 125 per cent for Assamese, 89 per cent for Oriya, 81 per cent for Gujarati, 68 per cent for Marathi, 55 per cent for Bengali, 52 per cent for Kannada, 34 per cent for Punjabi, 23 per cent for Hindi, 18 per cent for Telugu and 17 per cent for Tamil.

Also, advertising on regional language channels has witnessed an increase this year compared to the last year. The number of insertions in Bhojpuri channels increased by 54 per cent, followed by Bangla channels which saw a growth of 39 per cent, and Tamil channels with 22 per cent increase.  


In February 2018, Viacom 18 entered the Tamil GEC market with Colors Tamil. At the time of the launch, the channel was available across 11 million households in Tamil Nadu and had 22 hours of weekly original content. Later, the network also announced the launch of a movie channel for the Kannada market.

In FY’18, regional and Hindi GECs continued to be the leading genres in terms of advertisement expenditure. However, AdEx on Hindi GECs declined by 9 per cent in FY18 as compared to an increase of 5.4 per cent in the AdEx on regional channels, outlining the overall growth of the regional market in India.

Partha Dey, COO, Dishum Broadcasting Pvt Ltd (a free to air Bhojpuri GEC), says, “Ad rates are definitely going up and we can see the spike. In markets like Bihar and Jharkhand, the rates are improving by each passing day. Also, if you are a national broadcaster and are ranked among the top few, you can demand higher rates from national advertisers. The rates are also based on your operational year in the market.”

Krishna Kumar, Consultant at Kerala Vision, adds, “Various factors such as content of the channel, positioning of the channel in the market and placement in the network decide the rates. Ad rates also vary from market to market. Many regional channels, especially in the south, is based on a combination of perception and relationship than numbers. But for the same channels, revenue from the national market is more on the basis of numbers such as GRP vs CPRP, reach, programme performance, etc. 

“An increase in the ad rate is possible with a better channel/ programme performance and the perception of the channel,” he added.

Principal Correspondent, exchange4media, Mumbai Sonam reports on the broadcast media and Out of Home (OOH) industry. She has worked across television and cable industry, and in the past has written for travel and lifestyle magazines.


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Asianet News communicates news in sign language for hearing impaired

As part of International Day of Sign Languages on 23rd September, Asianet News had introduced sign language anchoring in selected Bulletins

exchange4media News Service 13 hours ago


About one per cent of our population is hearing/speech impaired, which denies them accessibility to television, especially news channels where the audio elements are significant. Asianet News has collaborated with the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISM) to introduce sign language specialists as news anchors.

As part of International Day of Sign Languages on 23rd September, and for the rest of week, Asianet News has introduced sign language anchoring in selected Bulletins. From 23rd to 27th of September, sign language specialists co-anchored the bulletins during 8:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. These anchors handled the live bulletins without interruption and carried them out effortlessly.

Unlike the regular anchors, they didn't have any teleprompter support and had to interpret it live. The telecast with sign language news anchors went live on 23rd September after altering much of the graphical and visual patterns. Asianet decided to give up on the commercial pop-ups which occupied a lot of space which was also had an impact on revenue for the channel. However, when the program went live, it was highly appreciated by the viewers and civil society at large.

Speaking on the initiative, Frank P Thomas, Director and Group CFO, Asianet News Network, said, “We wanted hearing and speech impaired citizens to experience our news and we approached National Institute of Speech and Hearing, which is an established institution based out of Aakulam, Thiruvananthapuram for hearing and speech impaired students while offering several higher-level courses for students. The sign language experts that they provided were flawless and carried out the anchoring with ease. This is a new experience for us and it was well accepted and appreciated by our viewers.”


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RIL announces strategic investment in Den Networks, Hathway Cable and Datacom

Transaction to accelerate JioGigaFiber rollout to 50 million homes across 1,100 cities

exchange4media News Service 13 hours ago

Reliance Industries Limited (“RIL) has announced the following strategic investments:

(a) Primary investment of Rs. 2,045 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI regulations and secondary purchase of Rs. 245 crore from the existing promoters for a 66% stake in Den Networks Limited (“DEN”)

(b) Primary investment of Rs. 2,940 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI  regulations for a 51.3% stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited (“Hathway”) RIL would also make open offers in DEN and Hathway as well as for the following companies as required under SEBI Takeover Regulations:

(a) GTPL Hathway Limited, a company jointly controlled by Hathway with 37.3% stake

(b) Hathway Bhawani Cabletel and Datacomm Limited, a subsidiary of Hathway

Reliance is privileged to partner with the Rajan Raheja Group, one of the most respected business houses in India, and Shri Sameer Manchanda, a first generation entrepreneur, who have created strong businesses through their business acumen and perseverance. Reliance has the highest regard for the management teams in the respective companies and will work with them to further strengthen and improve business operations.

These strategic investments are in furtherance of Reliance’s mission of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere – always at the highest quality and the most affordable price and transforming India’s digital landscape. After having taken India to the top position in the mobile broadband space, Reliance is now committed to taking India from a global rank of 135th to among the top-3 countries in the world on wireline digital connectivity.

These investments and partnerships will create a win-win outcome for the Local Cable Operators (LCOs), Consumers, Content providers, and overall eco-system.

Local Cable Operators: Over the last 25 years, India has connected about 175 million homes with basic coaxial cable technology. This has been made possible because of the efforts of hundreds of thousands of LCOs, who operate in every neighborhood of our country. However, the LCOs have been steadily losing market share because of increasing competition from alternate technologies like Direct-To-Home (“DTH”). In fact, DTH operators have weaned away over 60 million homes from cable operators who have remained basic TV service providers. With this trend, both the LCO business model and the MSOs are under stress.

Through this transaction, Reliance and Jio will be strengthening the 27,000 LCOs that are aligned with DEN and Hathway to enable them to participate in the digital transformation of India through (a) access to superior back-end infrastructure; (b) tie-ups with content producers; (c) access to latest business platforms to improve business efficiencies and deliver customer experience; and (d) investment in digital infrastructure for connecting customers. And the LCOs will continue to do what they do best – provide localized, intimate, people-friendly and ultra-fast customer services. This will create multiple future opportunities for LCOs as Jio rolls out new services and platforms.

Consumers: In developed countries, more than 95% of homes having a TV also enjoy a fixed-line broadband Internet connection. And fixed-line connectivity in advanced nations is increasingly based on fiber optics. Reliance is committed to bringing similar infrastructure and connectivity for every Indian home, working with all participants in the ecosystem including the large and entrepreneurial LCO, content producers and broadcasters.

Jio shall bring JioGigaFiber to more than 50 million homes across 1,100 Indian cities and towns, in the shortest possible time. JioGigaFiber will offer:

a) Ultra High Definition Entertainment on large screen TVs

b) Multi-Party Video Conferencing from the comfort of everyone’s living room

c) Artificial Intelligence, in the form of voice-activated virtual assistants, who obey every command of the consumer

d) Virtual Reality Gaming and Digital Shopping in a magical universe of immersive experiences

e) Smart-Home Solutions, where hundreds of devices like security cameras, home appliances, even lights, and switches, can be securely controlled by their owners, from both inside and outside their homes

f) Fixed Mobile Convergence, to offer end-to-end services on an integrated network

Consumers in India will have access to best-in-class services at par with the rest of the world. Content Providers: These investments and the creation of the digital eco-system will open up new channels for content monetization. This will lead to exponential growth for the content producers and broadcasters.

Eco-system: These investments will help in accelerating the march towards Digital India. Reliance will ensure compliance with all the regulatory and statutory requirements at all times and works towards the systematic growth of the sector. Jio has already started work on connecting 50 million homes across 1,100 cities. It will work together with Hathway and DEN and all the LCOs to offer a quick and affordable upgrade to a world-class lineup of JioGigaFiber and Jio Smart-Home Solutions to the 24 million existing cable connected homes of these companies across 750 cities. This will accelerate Jio’s commitment to connect 50 million homes with JioGigaFiber in the shortest possible Time.

Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, RIL commented, “We are glad to join hands with Shri Rajan Raheja and Shri Sameer Manchanda, two of the pioneers in the MSO industry. Our investments in DEN and Hathway create a win-win-win outcome for the LCOs, customers, content producers, and the eco-system. With Local Cable Operators now as part of the Jio ecosystem, we look forward to bringing Jio’s advanced JioGigaFiber and Smart Home Solutions to more Indian homes, even quicker. We look forward to welcoming other MSOs and LCOs to be part of this partnership. This will result in growing wireline data connectivity in India and making state-of-the-art high-speed affordable internet and digital services accessible to the widest population in the shortest possible time.”



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ZEEL launches new Malayalam GEC - Zee Keralam

With 38 domestic channels and 39 international channels under the ZEEL umbrella, the launch of Zee Keralam will consolidate the southern market for the network with a total of five channels

exchange4media News Service 16 hours ago

Zee Keralam

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has announced the launch of its fifth channel in the Southern region, Zee Keralam. The channel was unveiled by the ZEEL leadership team comprising Punit Misra, CEO, ZEEL; Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, ZEEL and Deepti Sivan Pillay, Business Head, Zee Keralam in Kochi. 

With 38 domestic channels and 39 international channels under the ZEEL umbrella, the launch of Zee Keralam will consolidate the southern market for the network with a total of five channels. 

With the brand promise, ‘Neithedukkam Jeevitha Vismayangal’ which means ‘Let’s weave wonders in life’, Zee Keralam aims to inspire the people of Kerala, to rise above their circumstances and craft their own destiny. The channel will stand for progressive content that will bring together generations through endearing stories of ordinary people who are creating an extraordinary destiny.

Commenting on the launch, Prabhakaran said, “The South Cluster has been growing exponentially for Zee as a network in the last few years and with the launch of Zee Keralam, we are certain that the region will continue to perform at a high growth rate. We set foot in the South with our first GEC – Zee Telugu in 2005, followed by Zee Kannada, Zee Tamil and Zee Cinemalu. Ever since, we have emerged as market leaders in every State, winning the hearts of millions our South Indian viewers across the world. We hope to continue the upward growth trend with the launch of Zee Keralam.” 

“Zee Keralam aspires to reflect the beliefs, ideas and attitudes of every middle-class Malayali today. With a well-balanced programming mix based on consumer insights, the aim is to ignite a sense of self-transformation among our audiences to achieve the extraordinary. With inspiring stories of a girl whose nakshatram and physical appearance doesn’t limit her from taking charge of her life in ‘Swathi Nakshatram Chothi’ to ZEE’s most popular dance format ‘Dance Kerala Dance’ where we blur the lines between aspiration and stardom, we believe that Zee Keralam will be a platform for every Malayali to be inspired to weave wonders in their lives,” said Pillay.    

Zee Keralam will be on-air from November 2018 along with its HD feed and is set to enter the market with a robust and complete package of content that is family inclusive and culturally rooted to Kerala that will bring together generations. The programming line-up includes seven fiction shows, three non-fiction shows and one morning show. The channel also has a strong movie line-up that includes blockbusters including ‘Mohanlal’, ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Aami and Madhuraraja’ to name a few. 

The channel is set to launch with an extensive multimedia campaign covering all major districts of Kerala and will also target complete reach and accessibility throughout all distribution platforms. 


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ZMCL, Vedic Broadcasting and Disney Broadcast India get new TV licences

ZMCL got four licences, Baba Ramdev-owned Vedic Broadcasting got three and Disney India received one

exchange4media News Service 17 hours ago


Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL), Vedic Broadcasting and Disney Broadcasting India were awarded TV channel licences from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in September.

ZMCL received four licences in the names of 1 Chennai, 1 Mumbai, 1 Kolkata and 1 Delhi; whereas Baba Ramdev-owned Vedic Broadcasting got three licences --Aastha Tamil, Aastha Telugu and Aastha Kannada. Disney India received licence for one channel, UTV HD.

So far, the ministry has granted permission to 1,116 private satellite TV channels in India, out of which 247 permissions were later cancelled. Thus, the total number of private satellite TV channels having valid permission in India today stands at 869-- 386 news and 483 non-news channels.


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#MeToo allegations: Kwan asks Anirban Blah to 'step aside' from his duties

The decision followed a report published in an English daily on October 16

exchange4media News Service 1 day ago


Kwan has asked Founder Anirban Blah to “step aside from his duties, activities and responsibilities” at Kwan, its subsidiaries and affiliates with immediate effect after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against him under the #MeToo campaign.

The decision followed a report published in an English daily on October 16. Kwan, in a statement issued after the report, stated, “We fully support the #MeToo movement and deprecate and condemn those who have exploited women in any form.”


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Yash Raj Films fires Ashish Patil amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Patil, Vice President, Brand and Talent Management & Business and Creative Head at Yash Raj Films has been dismissed from his position after allegations of sexual misconduct

exchange4media News Service 1 day ago


Ashish Patil, Vice President, Brand and Talent Management & Business and Creative Head at Yash Raj Films, has been dismissed from his position, pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation by an anonymous aspiring actress and model.

A tweet from Yash Raj Films' Twitter handle said:












Following the allegations against Patil Yash Raj Films issued a statement, emphasising that it does not tolerate any forms of sexual harassment or exploitation of women and that it would thoroughly investigate the matter. It has been reported that the woman is cooperating with the Internal Complaints Committee for the investigation.

The allegation against Patil is one of the latest to have emerged in the #MeToo wave which has swept the nation, thus revealing how pervasive the issue of sexual harassment is, particularly in the media industry.


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Zee Keralam will go live in the third quarter: Siju Prabhakaran

Eyeing Rs 650-700 crore Kerala market, Zee is all set to launch new GEC, Zee Keralam. This will be the network’s fifth channel in the region.

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago

Siju Prabhakaran

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) is all set to make its presence stronger in the southern region. The network will expand its footprint by entering the Kerala market with a GEC, Zee Keralam. This will be ZEEL’s fifth channel in the region.

Explaining the reasons behind the decision to expand in the southern market, Prathyusha Agarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, ZEEL, said, “South GECs is a larger universe with larger audience. It actually contributes 33 per cent viewership of the network and 23 per cent of the adex share. Hence, there is a scope to grow there.” The total adex in the Kerala market is estimated to be Rs 650-700 crore.

On average, South India spends over four hours on TV every day and a recent survey by BARC shows that 95 per cent homes in the region have a TV set. The number of TV-owning individuals in the five southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala has seen a growth of 8 per cent (compared to 2016) to stand at 259 million. Over the years, the southern market has witnessed a robust growth and has seen several national channels setting foot in the market with regional content catering to this burgeoning television audience.

Recognizing the potential early on, ZEEL entered the Southern region in May 2005 with Zee Telugu, followed by Zee Kannada in 2006 and Zee Tamil in 2008.  Over the years, ZEE as a network has witnessed a 19.1 % viewership share (CY 18 YTD), and today boasts of being the fastest growing network in the Southern region, standing at a 31.8% growth over the last fiscal year.

Talking about Zee Keralam, Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, ZEEL, said that the channel will go live in the third quarter of the financial year.

According to Prabhakaran, Kerala is more accepting than other regional markets.

“Lot of exciting stuff is happening down south. We are on the journey of building of a lot of good channels and content. There will be challenges in any market that you enter because of competition from existing players, but the kind of content you put out makes the difference. Like, in the Tamil market, we grew from 4 per cent to 20 per cent. Compared to the Tamil market, Kerala is much more accepting. We feel we are now in a strong position to increase our portfolio of channels and going forward, we will be having more channel launches in Kannada and Telugu market also.”

He added, “Kerala contributes 3.70 per cent of national viewership. In Kerala, Malayalam GEC contributes 57 per cent of total viewership and GECs maintain a strong share of viewership across age groups. The market is also exceptional in consumption power with 81 per cent HHs in NCCS ABC, highest in the country. TV ownership in Kerala is at 90 per cent with almost everyone subscribing to pay channels.”

Zee Keralam will be launched with a strong line-up of content that is family-inclusive and culturally rooted to Kerala that will bring together generations, he said.

The programming line-up includes seven fiction shows, two non-fiction shows, one afternoon game show and one morning show. In addition, the channel has also conceptualized a cinema-based speed news show.


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Tata Sky-Sony Spat: Broadcaster’s GEC viewership remains unaffected, says BARC India Data

SPNI’s Hindi GEC viewership has in fact grown by 1.6 billion impressions  (prev. 4week avg) to 1.7 billion in week 40 of BARC data

Sonam Saini 1 day ago

spn tatasky

On October 1, Sony Pictures Network India’s 22 channels were dropped by Tata Sky due to a snag in commercial negotiations. However, this does not seem to have dented viewership numbers on SPNI GECs. 

According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data on October 1 i.e Monday, when the 22 Sony channels were dropped from Tata Sky DTH Service, there was a visible drop of 12 per cent in viewership of SPNI’s Hindi GEC channels (compared to the previous day). However, viewership recovered to a large extent by Friday, keeping the weekly viewership at similar levels to that of previous weeks.

If anything, SPNI’s Hindi GEC viewership has actually grown by 1.6 billion impressions  (prev. 4week avg) to 1.7 billion in week 40, says BARC data.

Tata Sky had also started a Missed call service for subscribers to reactivate Sony channels. As viewers availed the service, BARC India’s technology captured the return of viewers on the channel.

On the viewership numbers, Sony Pictures Network India spokesperson said, “We are delighted to see the growth trend of  viewership numbers of all SPN channels has been sustained. This demonstrates the strength of the network and reinforces our content strategy across all channels."

On October 12,  TDSAT rejected the relief sought by SPNI seeking Tata Sky to carry all their channels. The court order noted that the parties had been negotiating renewal of the previous contract of Rs 800 Cr, against which Sony was seeking Rs 1700 Cr, despite losing rights of IPL.

Sony issued a disconnection notice to Tata Sky on September 7, which was also published in newspapers on September 10 consequent to which Tata Sky proposed a RIO based agreement effective September 30 midnight for 10 channels which was accepted by Sony. Hence the court felt that reversing the current arrangement would not be in the interest of justice. The parties have been advised by the court to take four weeks and try and reach an agreement amongst themselves. The matter will be taken up again on November 19, 2018 to consider outcome of the negotiations.

The SPNI spokesperson mentioned that they are open to talks with Tata Sky, meanwhile the DTH platform mentioned that there is no update on the matter yet.  





Principal Correspondent, exchange4media, Mumbai Sonam reports on the broadcast media and Out of Home (OOH) industry. She has worked across television and cable industry, and in the past has written for travel and lifestyle magazines.


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Q2FY19: Network18 posts 59% jump in EBITDA to Rs 92 crore

Advertising revenue for TV18 grew at 18 per cent YoY overall

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago


Network18 reported a 59 per cent jump in its operating EBITDA to Rs 92 crore in Q2FY19. The jump was driven by improved performance of regional channels (both news and entertainment), despite gestation losses of Colors Tamil and recent launch of Colors Kannada Cinema.


While headline operating revenue grew 9 per cent (on a comparable basis), revenue ex-movies grew 14 per cent year-on-year (YoY), underscoring tailwinds in broadcasting, the network said in a statement.


Highlights of Q2 as mentioned by the network:


The network stated that the industry’s ad environment has substantially improved compared to the previous year, though certain pockets of the market (mobiles, auto, colas, etc) are yet to resume advertising full throttle. Broad-based growth in regional markets and upcoming festive season are positives.


Broadcast subsidiary TV18 posted 17 per cent revenue growth ex-movies on a comparable basis:   


Advertising revenue for TV18 grew at 18 per cent YoY overall. Regional channels across news and entertainment drove viewership growth and ad-revenues for the portfolio, reducing the network’s dependence on national channels.   


Subscription revenue for the entire bouquet grew 16 per cent YoY. The network said they are in negotiations with two of India’s leading DTH players for long-term deals on terms commensurate with the strength of their channel bouquet.


The network claimed that TV18’s news bouquet (20 channels) is number one; News viewership share rose to 10.7 per cent:  The viewership share of the regional news cluster has risen further to 5.7 per cent, vs sub-2 per cent two years ago.   


Hindi news channel News18 India broke into the top two in urban HSM, driving revenues in tandem. Business news channels showed commendable growth amidst choppy markets.   


The network said that marketing campaigns around raising the profile of news channels and driving the News18 brand were undertaken. These continued to push viewership and mind-share.  


Regional news losses have shrunk sharply: Government/election-related ad-spends rose, substantially reducing the gestation losses of our multiple channels launched over FY15-17. The regional news + infotainment cluster slashed its operating losses by 70 per cent YoY to Rs 8 crore.  


Viacom18 bouquet’s (31 channels) share of entertainment viewership stood at 11.1 per cent: TV18’s entertainment bouquet revenue ex-movies grew 13 per cent. Regional entertainment channels have grown their viewership and monetization substantially across all geographies. FTA channels like Rishtey Cineplex and MTV Beats continued their strong performance in a fast growing segment.


Colors Kannada Cinema was launched in the last week of the quarter. The channel aims to solidify the network’s existing leadership in the Kannada market, and already has an existing library to bank upon.


Business-as-usual margins continued to rise:


A shift of some high-impact non-fiction programming towards the festive season in H2 was implemented to improve monetization, which impacted top line growth in Q2 but improved margins. Entertainment EBITDA includes operating loss of Rs 25 cr on account of new initiatives - Colors Tamil (launched in mid-Q4FY18) and Colors Kannada Cinema (launched recently). Adjusting for operating losses of new initiatives (i.e. launches made over past 4 quarters), BAU margins for entertainment grew to 12.1 per cent from 8.9 per cent in Q2FY18.


Network18 digital content properties reach 24 per cent of total news consumption audience:

Network18’s digital revenues from prime properties MoneyControl, News18 & Firstpost grew 12 per cent YoY to Rs 35 cr in Q2. The overall Network18 Digital, Print & Others revenue declined due to lower programming executed by 100 per cent-owned content producer Colosceum.  


BookMyShow completed US$ 100mn Series D funding: Entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow raised Series D funding, adding TPG Growth as a new investor. Network18 also participated in the round, and remains the largest shareholder in BookMyShow.


HomeShop18 continued to face headwinds, led by competition from e-commerce and issues around vendor supplies. Due to the stress on the home-shopping category and resultant P&L pains, an impairment study was undertaken. Based on the same, an impairment loss of Rs 347 crore has been booked by Network18, which has been classified under “Exceptional Items” in the standalone P&L. This does not have any impact on the consolidated P&L.


Talking about the results, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18, said, “Our regional properties across news and entertainment have shown significant improvements in viewership and monetization, cementing our belief that vernacular content will be a key growth driver. We continue to see opportunities in the Indian media space; and aim to create segmented offerings to deepen our presence.




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