Jawahar Goel, Chairman & MD, DishTV expresses concerns about IPL cricketing telecast rights

In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BCCI, CCI and TRAI, Goel states his concerns over monopolisation of the telecast rights

exchange4media News Service 24-August-2017

DishTV, one of the largest DTH service providers, has brought forth issues arising out of the forthcoming auction of IPL cricketing telecast rights which would not only result in competition issues in the broadcasting and distribution sector, but may also cause consumers to pay higher costs to access cricketing content on television.

As per media reports, Star is aiming to acquire IPL cricket telecast rights and thereby attain the status of 'sole holder' of the telecast rights of all the major cricketing events. With this objective in view and in order to further strengthen its sole position in the field of media distribution rights, Star has initiated various measures which would have far reaching ramifications having adverse impact on every stakeholder in the broadcasting industry, starting from the distributors of the TV channels like the DTH operators and ultimately the consumers.

The acquisition of the IPL telecast rights by Star would lead to a situation where there will be an absolute monopoly thereby leading to dominance by Star in the field of cricketing telecast rights wherein Star could not only compel distributors of TV channels such as DTH operators to pay an exorbitant price for their channels but also make the ultimate consumers shell out more money from their pockets. Such a situation would not only be anti-competitive but also anti-consumer.

The same has been addressed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BCCI, CCI and TRAI by Jawahar Goel, Chairman and MD, DishTV in an elaborate letter, given below:


Dear Sir,

We are the largest Direct to Home (DTH) service provider, licensed by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in India and are serving approximately 16 million subscriber base. The Channel Distribution Industry (comprising of Cable & DTH) is regulated by the Telecom Regulatory


Dish TV India Limited, FC-19, Film City, Sector-l6A, Noida-201301, U,P, Tel: 0120-2467005/2467000, Fax:0120-4357078 Customer Care: 1-860-180-3474, Email: investorlddishtv.in & CIN: L51909MH1988PLC287553 Regd Office: 18th Floor, A Wing, Marathon Futurex, N M Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 400 013. Maharashtra www.dishtv.in

Authority of India (TRAI) which is making efforts to regulate the broadcasting industry and to safeguard the interest of approximately 200 million Cable & Satellite subscribers. TRAI, inter alia, also ensures that there is no discrimination in the entire value chain.

We would like to bring into your kind notice certain issues arising out of forthcoming auction of IPL cricketing telecast rights which would not only result in lot of competition issues in the broadcasting and distribution sector but is also likely to cause severe prejudice to the consumers in so far as cost of accessing cricketing content on television is concerned. If these issues are not addressed immediately, the cost for the consumers is likely to increase manifold because of the creation of 'sole supplier' monopoly in the market.

In this context we would like to bring to your kind notice the following:

(i) As your good self is aware, cricket has no competition in terms of popularity in India. This sport, though not originated in India, garnered huge public support after India's World Cup victory in 1983 and has become so popular that it is now considered to be a religion in India. With increasing popularity and high demand, the number of events and series also grew over a period of time and from a time when there was only bilateral and a single World Cup tournament, today there are various cricket events like ICC World T20, ICC Champions Trophy, Indian Premier League, Asia Cup etc.

(ii) With more and more cricketing events taking place, the number of sports channels have also increased and the sports channels have got much higher ratings as compared to channels of other genres. With more eyeballs onto the sports, the advertisement revenue was also destined to increase manifold giving huge revenue to Broadcast Right Holders as well as BCCI. Further, with huge revenue towards distribution rights for covering Television, Internet and Mobile, BCCI today is the biggest cash rich body in any sporting event in the entire world. It is a matter of record that BCCI media rights covering Television, Internet and Mobile for the period from July 2012 - March 2018 were sold to Star India Private Limited ('Star') at a price of Rs.3851 crore.

(iii) The acquisition of such a right by Star was only one among many. For example: Star also has the Global Media Rights for Asia Cup (Asia Cup, Women's Asia Cup, Emerging Asia Cup and U19 Asia Cup) including TV, audio, internet and mobile rights for all territories globally for the period from 2016 to 2023, the Global broadcast rights for all ICC Events which includes exclusive live and highlights rights across all platforms for ICC major events - the ICC Cricket World Cup and its qualifiers, the ICC Women's World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20 and its qualifiers, the ICC Champions Trophy and the ICCUnder-19 Cricket World Cup for the period from 2015-2023. In addition to the above, Star also has the rights for all the bilateral series of the Cricket Broads of Australia, England and Bangladesh and today the situation is such that except for Indian Premier League (IPL),Star has the rights for all the cricketing events to be shown in India for the next 6-7 years.


(iv) As per media reports, Star is also one of the potential bidders for the IPL cricket telecast rights. The Star is aiming to acquire the IPL cricket telecast rights also and thereby attain the status of 'sole holder' of the telecast rights of all the major cricketing events. With this objective in view and in order to further strengthen its monopolistic position in the field of media distribution rights, the Star has initiated various measures which would have far reaching ramifications and shall have adverse impact on every stakeholder in the broadcasting industry, starting from the distributors of the TV channels like the DTH operators and ultimately the end consumers. The history of the media industry is witness to the fact that all the actions initiated by Star till date have always been to economically concentrate the power through acquisition of Cricket Broadcast Rights and thereby create a monopoly in the market to gain huge commercial advantage at the expense of the Consumers and the Distribution Industry. Since this is a very critical issue, it requires immediate attention of BCCI.

(v) A perusal of the recent developments in the broadcasting sector would reveal that Star is systematically moving towards elimination of competition and creation of monopoly in the cricket telecast segment. They intend to exploit their monopoly status for maximising their subscription and advertisement revenue at the cost of consumers. The prices of TV channels including the sports channels in India are regulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). In fact, TRAI has been regulating the broadcasting and content distribution sector since 2004. TRAI in its recent regulations has capped the maximum retail prices of TV channels including sports channels at Rs.19/- per subscriber per month. In order to serve its long term objective of charging the exorbitant price for its sports channels containing cricketing content, the Star has challenged the authority/jurisdiction of TRAI itself to fix the price of TV channels and the matter is pending before the Hon'ble High Court of Judicature at Madras.

(vi) Not only this, Tata Sky Limited - a DTH service provider and an associate company of Star has also challenged the price regulations issued by TRAI before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi. It is clear and apparent that the entire modus operandi of Star is to somehow get the pricing regulations quashed so that it can charge high subscription prices for its sports channels containing cricket content. Needless to mention that this again is an effort by Star to further strengthen the concentration of economic power onto itself and to remove competition from the industry.

(vii) Further, the Star has also challenged the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharti) Act, 2007 which provides for mandatory sharing of sporting events of national importance with the Prasar Bharati to enable them to re-transmit the same on its terrestrial networks and Direct-to-Home networks. It is pertinent to mention in this regard that the enactment of the said statute was only a view to provide access to the largest number of listeners and viewers, on a free to air basis, of sporting events of national importance which inter alia include the major cricket events involving the Indian team. The effort of Star has been to capture the entire broadcasting rights for all cricket events to the exclusion of others and become the 'sole supplier' without even sharing its signals/feed with the national broadcaster i.e. Doordarshan.

3 ~

(viii) It is matter of record that out of the total 27 sports channels available in India, Star has 12 of the same, amounting to a huge share of 44% in terms of numbers (as detailed in Annexure I). Furthermore, as per the data available in the market, out of the total 270 matches played/ to be played by India during the period from 2012-2019, telecast rights of as many as 191 matches are with Star only, which is around 71% of the total matches. In other words, out of 578 days when India team is playing, Star alone shall telecast the matches on 423 days i.e. 73% of the total number of days (kindly refer Annexure 11). Considering the fact that the figures mentioned above do not include the matches falling under the ICC events and Asia Cup events, in both of which India is a participant country and for both of which the distribution rights are held by Star, the actual figures are much higher than the abovementioned figures.

(ix) The above is the position when Star does not have the telecast rights for IPL, which are presently held by Sony Pictures. Once Star acquires the telecast rights for IPL as well, not only will the market share in terms of viewership of Star would skyrocket but also the distribution platforms such as DTH and Multi System Operators will have no choice but to subscribe the Star Sports channels for cricket content because of Star's monopolistic position as a sole holder of cricket telecast rights. As per the data released by BARC, in terms of reach, Star channels had a reach of 71% during the time of Champions Trophy for the period between 01.06.17-18.06.17, whereas Sony Pictures, during the IPL session of 05.04.17-14.05.17 had a reach of 88%. In a situation where Star also has the rights for IPL, its channels' reach would have gone up to approximately 85% during IPL also (kindly refer Annexure Ill). One this happens, this would enable the Star to exorbitantly price their sports channels and would also result in the Star being able to extort very high advertisement rates which is estimated to be in the range of about 2050 Crore which would constitute about 93% of total advertisement revenue earned by all sports channels in India (please refer Annexure IV). It is a matter of record that in the Year 2010, Star had fixed the rate of Rs.9000 per subscriber per month for its HD Channels. Such a situation may again arise in case the Star is able to create a monopoly over the cricket broadcast rights. In addition, this may also result into Star making - "subscribring to its sports channels" - as a precondition for availing any other channel of Star. This would sound the death kneel for all other sports channels operating in India and is blatantly anti-competitive.

The pictures, as emerges from the above, clearly indicates that with the blessing of BCCI, the growth of Star has been exponential capturing all the rights for all the cricketing events to be shown in India except for lone event of IPL. The nation has witnessed the anarchical situation prevailing in BCCI leading to intervention by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and consequent appointment of Sh. Vinod Rai as the Interim President to look after the administration of BCCI until further elections are held. With the management being managed by the Committee of Administrators (COA), we can expect some positive and remarkable changes in the way of functioning of BCCI.


In the various judicial pronouncements it has been held that BCCI is a public body discharging public functions. Accordingly it is expected that all the actions of BCCI in discharge of its function would not only lead to the furtherance of 'public interest' but will also ensure that no Monopoly is allowed to be created around the Cricket Broadcast Rights.

With BCCI going to auction the telecast rights for IPL in next few days, we would expect BCCl led by the COA to act in a manner so as to safeguard and protect the competition in the industry as well as to prevent the creation of any kind of monopoly to the detriment of public interest. The acquisition of the IPL telecast rights by Star would lead to a situation where there will be an absolute monopoly thereby leading to dominance by Star in the field of cricketing telecast rights where Star will not only compel the distributors of TV channels such as the DTH operators to pay exorbitant price for their channels but also make the ultimate consumers to shell more and more money from their pockets. Such a situation would not only be anti-competitive but also anti consumers as well.

We look forward towards BCCI to adopt pro-competitive and pro-consumer approach as one of the major criteria while awarding the IPL rights so that the rights of entire broadcasting and distribution sector as well as that of the viewers of cricketing events are safeguarded. Accordingly, we would request you to kindly initiate inquiries and issue necessary direction in the matter.

Thanking you,

Yours truly,

Jawahar Goel

Chairman & Managing Director

Dish TV India Limited


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Zee TV replaces Star Plus as the leader in urban market: BARC Week 44

Zee Anmol continued to lead the overall and rural markets

exchange4media Staff 18 hours ago


Zee Anmol continued to lead the overall market with 809 million impressions, followed by Zee TV on the second slot with 790 million impressions and Star Bharat on the third spot with 758 million impressions, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India Week 44 data.


Zee Anmol’s Kumkum Bhagya lead the top five programme list in Week 44 with 13.0 million impressions, followed by Zee TV’s Kundali Bhagya on the second slot with 12.7 million impressions and Colors’ Naagin3 on the third slot with 12.3 million impressions. Zee TV’s Kumkum Bhagya and Zee Anmol’s Mahek stood at the fourth and fifth positions with 10.8 million and 10.5 million impressions, respectively.  


Hindi GEC Urban


Zee TV replaced Star Plus at number one position in the urban market with 472 million impressions. Star Plus fell to the second spot with 450 million impressions. Sony Entertainment Television took the third spot with 421 million impressions. Colors and Star Bharat stood at the fourth and fifth spots with 416 and 365 million impressions, respectively.


Colors’ Naagin3 continued to dominate the list of top five programmes in the urban market with 8.2 million impressions. Zee TV’s Kundali Bhagya bagged the second spot with 7.6 million impressions followed by Kumkum Bhagya on the third spot with 6.3 million impressions. Star Plus’ Kulfi Kumar Bajewala and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai stood at the fourth and fifth positions with 6.3 million and 6.1 million impressions, respectively.


Hindi GEC Rural


Zee Anmol continued to lead the rural market with 656 million impressions, followed by Star Utsav on the second spot with 473 million impressions and Star Bharat on the third with 393 million impressions. Sony Pal and Dangal TV stood on the fourth and fifth positions with 377 million and 339 million impressions, respectively.


Zee Anmol’s Kumkum Bhagya continued to lead the list of top five programmes with 10.8 million impressions followed by Mahek on the same channel at the second slot with 8.6 million impressions. Star Utsav’s Rabba Ve stood at the third spot with 6.3 and Dangal TV’s Ramayan on the fourth spot with 6.1 million impressions. Zee Anmol’s Ek Main Aur EK Tu bagged the fifth spot with 5.8 million impressions.



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Zee Kannada unveils new brand proposition & identity

The new brand image was revealed by Rocking Star Yash at the Zee Kutumba Awards 2018

exchange4media Staff 21 hours ago


Zee Kannada has unveiled a new brand identity and launched its HD channel. The unveil and launch took place at a grand ceremony at the Zee Kutumba Awards 2018, where Rocking Star Yash did the honours of launching the refreshed brand image with the entire Zee Kannada family.

Based on insights from extensive consumer research, Zee Kannada understood that the Kannadiga woman has always been nurturing and caring, but her canvas of expression for ages was limited to a homemaker, the channel said in a statement. However, now she is partnering, mentoring and leading the transformation in her home and in the society. The evolution in society has stretched this canvas of possibilities for her. She sees more & more women exploring and experiencing the new. Her only challenge being the pressures of conditioning, people’s opinions and self-doubt that maybe pulls her back from exploring these possibilities to the fullest of her potential.

Building on this consumer sentiment and with the objective of giving the channel’s viewers that innate spark to break their limits in their mind and open doors to possibilities, Zee Kannada has revealed its new brand proposition, 'Bayasid'dha Bāgilu Tegiyōṇa', which translates to ‘Open Doors to Possibilities’, to inspire viewers, especially women, to take initiatives and rise above circumstances to craft their own destiny.

Zee Kannada’s shows have always been about characters who break the limits of their mind. Be it fiction or non-fiction, each and every creation by the channel inspires millions to break their own limits and stands as a platform that open doors to extraordinary possibilities; be it the story of Kamali who didn’t let her origins limit her ambitions, or Geetha not letting her obesity be a limitation when it comes to winning the love of her husband. Each of Zee Kannada’s content, characters & creations unite to inspire women every day, with the energy to un-limit the limits set by conditioning, open the doors of their mind and achieve the extraordinary.

Commenting on the new brand identity, Raghavendra Hunsur, Business Head of Zee Kannada said, “Over the last 12 years, Zee Kannada has earned the dominance of being the entertainment hub in the Kannada television market. With a refreshed brand purpose, we strive to inspire our viewers to break their barriers and look beyond their limits to achieve the unachievable. Synonymous with the Kannadiga pride, Zee Kannada will stimulate women with progressive and onward-looking entertaining content, featuring bold and determined characters that echo the channel’s new brand image. We are bringing new shows and extending our prime time shows on weekends to amplify the viewing experience. Our fiction shows will be taking dramatic turns to bring alive the brand proposition and the journey going forward is going to be very exciting and inspiring.”

He added, “We are also glad to announce on this occasion the launch of Zee Kannada HD, which was much desired by our viewers and we are hoping to enhance their content viewing experience further with the HD Channel.”

Echoing the new brand positioning of Zee Kannada, the channel will undergo a transformation with the key existing fiction and non-fiction shows. Kamali, Brahmagantu, Jodi Hakki, Subbalakshmi Samsara, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Season 15, and Shree Vishnu Dashavatara will witness significant plots that would bring alive the brand promise. A new fiction show launch is scheduled for later this year – Paru, the story of a poor girl falling in love with a rich boy and having to overcome limitations in a home that thrives in a strong class conflict scenario.

As part of this campaign, Zee Kannada will bring to life its refreshed brand promise with a brand film that showcases a housewife who breaks the limits in her mind and learns how to ride a two-wheeler, to get her daughter to her tuition classes on time; how her husband is supportive of this decision of hers and how this new opportunity contributes to the betterment of the family, forms the crux of the film. The lilting background score to the film has been sung by Bombay Jayshree.

Zee Kannada is accompanied by a brand-new logo, and a refreshed look for the channel on-air, as well as off-air. Zee Kannada’s new logo and packaging is based on the theme of radiance that transforms, bursting with inspiring energy, enthusiasm and warmth.

The campaign breaks with an extensive multimedia plan, unfolding across television, trade, print, radio, outdoor, mobile, cable, digital and on-ground events, for over 8 weeks, covering the length and breadth of Karnataka – all 30 districts, including 8 major towns, ensuring a top-of-mind recall in the minds of the audience.


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Star India publishes rate card as per TRAI Tariff Order

The network is also planning to launch four channels by December 31, 2018

exchange4media News Service 23 hours ago

star india

After the Supreme Court dismissed Star India's appeal challenging the tariff order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) paving way for implementation of the tariff order passed in 2017, the network has published its Rate Card as per Tariff Order and Interconnect Regulations 2017.

The network has also announced the MRP of soon to be launched channels by December 31, 2018 which includes two sports regional channel Star Sports 1 Telugu and Star Sports 1 Kannada along with two Hindi movie channels Star Gold Thrills and Star Gold Thrills HD.

Star is offering 28 bouquets with four different variations to cater to the diverse consumer segments based on their consumption:

- i) Base- A Bouquet that brings to you the best of entertainment, sports and movies channels in your language of choice (“Base Offering”).

ii) Premium- On top of Base Offering, Premium Bouquet includes English language offerings and Channels with a differentiated content proposition that some of our consumers would love to opt for (“Premium Offering”).

iii) HD-Base- Base Offering with superior viewing experience (includes HD channels for the corresponding Base offering wherever available) catering to viewers of High Definition channels.

iv) HD Premium- Premium Offering with superior viewing experience (includes HD channels for the corresponding Premium offering wherever available) catering to viewers of High Definition channels.

Click link to see full list:


Early this year, Star had approached the Apex court questioning TRAI’s jurisdiction to frame tariff order on the grounds that the authority has no jurisdiction on content as that actually comes under Copyright Act and not TRAI Act.

The appeal was filed against the fractured judgement passed by a two-judge Bench of Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar. The bench had given a split verdict. Justice M Sundar had ruled in favour of Star. Commenting on the judgement delivered by Justice M Sundar, the Supreme Court order stated, “I am unable to agree with the conclusion of M. Sundar, J. that the provisions of the impugned Regulation and the impugned Tariff Order are not in conformity with the TRAI Act. In my view the impugned provisions neither touch upon the content of programmes of broadcasters, nor liable to be struck down.”

“However, the clause putting cap of 15% to the discount on the MRP of a bouquet is arbitrary. The said provision is, in my view, not enforceable. In my considered view, the challenge to the impugned Regulation and the impugned Tariff Order fail,” the order read further.

The 2017 Regulations prevented the mixing of pay channels and free to air channels in a single bouquet.  The Regulations restricted placing high definition format and ordinary format of the same channel in the same bouquet.  Another restriction was that a bouquet of pay channels should not contain any pay channel where the Maximum Retail Price is more than Rs.19/.


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ZEEL’s Ashish Sehgal gets new role as Chief Growth Officer

The change of designation comes as a result of dissolution of Zee Unimedia, a vertical that was set up to boost ad sales monetisation by the broadcast network in 2016.

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago


Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has promoted Ashish Sehgal, the former Chief Operating Officer, ZEE Unimedia,  to the position of Chief Growth Officer. The change of designation comes as a result of dissolution of Zee Unimedia, a vertical that was set up to boost ad sales monetisation by the broadcast network in 2016.

Having served a stint of over a decade at ZEEL, Sehgal was earlier handling the sales function of the network in the capacity of Chief Sales Officer, till 2016, when he was shifted to Zee Unimedia. Prior to that, Sehgal had spent close to six years with Star India as Vice President. He was last heading all India sales for Star Gold in 2006, when he moved to Zee as Branch Head (North).


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Arnab Goswami’s father passes away

Retd. Colonel Manoranjan Goswami breathed his last at a hospital in Mumbai around 12.45 am on Friday.

exchange4media Staff 3 days ago


Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, has lost his father. Retd. Colonel Manoranjan Goswami breathed his last at a hospital in Mumbai around 12.45 am on Friday.

In a brief message to media, Arnab Goswami said his father had been battling illness for a long time. The mortal remains will be taken to Guwahati, where the last rites will be performed on Saturday.

Retd. Colonel Manoranjan Goswami had been a member of the BJP. He was the party’s Guwahati candidate in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections. He is also well known as a journalist, writer and a nationalist thinker.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has expressed condolences on the demise. In his message, Naidu said Retd. Colonel Manoranjan Goswami’s demise is an irreparable damage to the literature world of Assam.


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BBC launches international anti-disinformation initiative

The Beyond Fake News project will be launched on November 12.

exchange4media Staff 3 days ago


The BBC will be launching Beyond Fake News project on November 12 with the release of findings from original BBC research into how and why disinformation is shared. Around the globe, disinformation has been seen to cause social and political harm, with people having less trust in the news, or in some cases being subjected to violence or death as a result. The BBC’s Beyond Fake News project aims to fight back with a major focus on global media literacy, panel debates in India and Kenya, hackathons exploring tech solutions and a special season of programming across the BBC’s networks in Africa, India, Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA and Central America. 

The research comes after users gave the BBC unprecedented access to their encrypted messaging apps in India, Kenya, and Nigeria. 

The Beyond Fake News media literacy programme has already begun delivering workshops in India and Kenya. It draws on the BBC’s pioneering work to tackle disinformation in the UK, where digital literacy workshops have also been delivered to schools across the country.    

Talking about the project, Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group, says, “In 2018, I pledged that the BBC World Service Group would move beyond just talking about the global fake news threat, and take concrete steps to address it. Poor standards of global media literacy, and the ease with which malicious content can spread unchecked on digital platforms mean there’s never been a greater need for trustworthy news providers to take proactive steps. We have put our money where our mouth is and invested in real action on the ground in India and in Africa.” 

“From funding in-depth research into sharing behaviours online, to rolling out media literacy workshops globally, and by pledging to bring BBC Reality Check to some of the world’s most important upcoming elections, this year we’re carving our path as a leading global voice for spotting the problems, and setting out ambitious solutions,” Angus said.

The Beyond Fake News Season

Fake or real, truth or lie, transparent or deliberately misleading - how can you tell the difference? And what can you do about it to help build trust?  These are the problems the BBC explores in the Beyond Fake News season. This season will include Fake Me, a documentary revealing how far young people will go in pursuit of social media perfection, as well as the in-depth story of what happened when WhatsApp turned one Indian village into a lynch mob. There will also be reports on Russia’s disinformation campaign, how Facebook is being exploited in the Philippines to spread false information, and a debate with the world’s big four tech firms on what role they play in stemming the spread of fake news.  The season brings stories from across the world on TV, radio and online drawing on the expertise of the BBC’s international network of journalists. 

Programmes & Documentaries
•    Global: From Delhi, 12th – 15th November 

Matthew Amroliwala takes BBC World News’ Global on the road through India, exploring what happens in a world where fake news goes viral, and trust is the victim. He’ll be talking to tech giants, politicians, school children and Bollywood actors.

•    Beyond Fake News – Tech Giants, 12th & 17th, 18th November

The tech giants Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Google are brought together to discuss the fake news crisis and the roles their platforms play in the problem, and the solution. Matthew Amroliwala hosts.

•    The She Word: Fake Me, 10th November  

From Insta-face to jeeps and bling to full-on faking it, millennials in Africa are living on ‘likes’ as the social media world expands, sometimes going to extreme lengths to clock up the clicks. Using the Instagram look, the content, the followers and the tech to transform her online profile, BBC challenges one Kenyan student, a 21-year-old social media ‘virgin’, to go from private to public, and see if she can fake it - in just five days.

•    BBC Click: Kosovo’s Fake News Factories, 10th November 

Eighteen months ago Kosovo's fake news factories were running at full steam - fuelled by the country's excellent connectivity and its young tech-savvy population with few other job opportunities. Since then, Facebook has been aggressively targeting such operations. We go back to see how successful this crackdown has been and how the fake news game has changed.

•    “Deepfake” video manipulation, 14th November  

When you’re not always seeing what you think you are - Matthew Amroliwala picks up new languages the easy way, but not without a little help from “Deepfake” software programmes that turn fiction into reality, making ‘fake video’. This technology could present opportunity for but also dangers. 

•    Explainer: Why a Fake News story spreads, 12th November  

How does fake news get onto your feed? Zoe Kleinman explores how fake news goes viral, the role of social network algorithms in its spread and how automated bots push false stories to millions. How easily are legitimate publishers tricked into repeating false news, and why are we the public so willing to share stories we see on social media?

Special Reports 
       India/Asia Pacific 
•    An interactive data project mapping the violence fuelled by false rumours in India 

From the BBC India team in Delhi, they have scraped hundreds of newspapers to compile data on violence and lynchings driven by social media and messaging apps in India.

•    What happened when WhatsApp turned one Indian village into a lynch mob, 12th November   

The story of Nilotpal and Abhishek. Mini-documentary on two men lynched after rumours on WhatsApp suggested they were child abductors.

•    The people behind the spread of fake news in India, 12th November 
The BBC’s Vineet Khare meets some of the people behind the Facebook pages and websites accused of spreading fake news across India.

•    Thailand’s victims of fake news “law”, 13th November

Four years after the military coup, Thailand may return to democracy with an election next year. But political activity is still limited and critics are being increasingly threatened with cyber security laws that often use the "fake news" crutch and carry prison sentences. For the BBC's Beyond Fake News season, the South Asia correspondent Jonathan Head meets people who are facing legal threats for speaking out against the military government.

•    Fake news and the Philippines, 12th November

Howard Johnson travels to the remote archipelago of Batanes to understand how supporters of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos have been exploiting Facebook to spread fake news and help his family stage a political comeback.

•    Somalia: Media freedom under attack, 12th November  

Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist and media outlets are being closed down for publishing information, or what their critics call ‘fake news.’ As part of the Beyond Fake News season, Fergal Keane reports on the fallout.

•    BBC Africa Eye – new investigation, 13th November

BBC Africa Eye will broadcast its latest investigation.

•    Debunking Russia’s ‘information noise’ operations, 12th November

A lab in Tbilisi has been using untested lethal drugs to experiment on Georgian citizens, the Russian Defence Ministry announced last month. But the claims were false - aimed at distracting attention away from Moscow's involvement in the Skripal poisoning and embarrassing revelations about a failed Russian cyber-attack on the global chemical weapons watchdog (OPCW) in the Hague. Steve Rosenberg visits the lab for our Beyond Fake News season, and looks at how Russia uses fake news to spread disinformation.

Middle East
•    How a fake news law is being used to crack down on dissent in Egypt, 14th November

Five months ago, Egyptian actress Amal Fathy logged on to Facebook and posted a video alleging that she had been assaulted by Cairo police officers. Two days later she was in jail, accused of “spreading false news”. Fathy, who was later sentenced to two years in prison, is the latest in a growing list of Egyptian dissidents prosecuted under the government’s new fake news laws. Sally Nabil looks at the effect of the crackdown and how US rhetoric around fake news is being abused as a powerful tool of repression abroad.

•    Mexico lynching report, 12th November

Two innocent men are pulled from a jail house by a mob and burned in the street after WhatsApp rumours warning of child abductors - a report on how fake news can grip a small town where violent crime goes unpunished.

Also showing as part of the season:
•    “Operation Infektion”, 11th November 

Operation Infektion, by the New York Times, is an enthralling history of fake news, or what the KGB used to call, “active measures.” With testimony from former Russian spies and US officials, the film deconstructs some of the most successful “fake news” operations of recent times, from the 1980s lie that Aids was created by the CIA, to the so called pizzagate conspiracy during the last Presidential election. This is disinformation warfare laid bare.

•    From Our Own Correspondent, 12th November

From Our Own Correspondent will be bringing its mix of stories, insight and analysis to Delhi for a special edition of the programme presented by Anu Anand. Reporters in the region will reflect on what’s real and what’s not.  

•    BBC World Questions: Delhi, 14th November

BBC World Questions will host a debate in Delhi allowing the public audience the chance to put their questions directly to a panel of politicians and opinion formers. With support from the British Council, the programme visits a different city around the world each month, and provides a public forum for open debate and an opportunity to explore claim and counter claim in front of an audience.  

•    Why Factor:  The Fact Checkers, 12th November

Sandra Kanthal will speak with fact checkers from Turkey, the Philippines and Brazil to find out what motivates them to combat fake news, especially in countries where speaking truth to power comes with considerable risk.   How do they do this difficult job, and why are they so determined to improve the skills all of us can use to call out false claims?  


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Hindi news genre ad rates to grow 25% by General Elections: Avinash Pandey

There is a fundamental shift in election coverage, which is creating lot of buzz across the country, feels Pandey

exchange4media News Service 4 days ago

avinash pandey

As India is preparing to witness state elections followed by General Elections in 2018-19, news channels too are gearing up for the period by offering innovative election coverage.  

Like always, elections set an upward trend in news consumption, which encourages advertisers to spend generously on news channels. In India, TV continues to be a key medium for media advertisers due to its unmatched reach. Television takes the largest share of ad spends at 40 per cent, followed by print at 34 per cent and digital at 15 per cent.

Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Network, speaks more about the network's coverage plan and growth in news genre:

Election programming

Desh Ka Mood, the leading election programme of ABP News, released the survey results on November 2, done by CVoter, the timeline of the survey was October 2018 with over 15463 respondents spread Pan India.

“All the channels under the network are doing election coverage, starting from monthly poll on all the news channel of the network. Regional channels broadly do daily election coverage around 5pm and 8pm every day,” informed Pandey.

Taking the highest election recall programme of ABP News- ‘Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri’ forward, the network launched Siyasat Ka Sensex. The one- hour show is hosted by anchor Neha Pant from Monday-Friday between 8pm-9pm. The show will aim at giving viewers opinion poll data of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan during the upcoming elections.

“We have also started Siyasat Ka Sensex which is a daily poll on these states and big opinion polls on these four states are coming right after Diwali,” said Pandey. 

Election Coverage over the years

Pandey explained, “If you look at the elections, the way it was five years ago, it is becoming more interesting with strong viewpoints and change of political dynamics both in the terms of ideology and ground realities. There is a fundamental shift  which is creating lot of buzz in the people on the ground and thus all news channels, at least the top four, are doing quite well in terms of election coverage.”

Pandey shared that most of the news channels are booked for the entire season till December mid in terms of ad inventory. “As a network, on ABP News, ABP Majha and ABP Asmita, the changing political scenario is creating lot of news. Majha will be dedicated to Maharashtra, our Gujarati news channel, Asmita, is more focused on the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan elections. The channels has got good round of election programming which has resulted in a decent rate growth and advertising booking of the inventory lasting until December.”

Ad growth during General Election

As the country is moving to the General Elections, Pandey believes that the most of the advertisers today are booking in advance. He said, “The clients want inventory commitment till the end of the General Elections which is around May 15, 2019. Most of the deals are being negotiated.”

Pandey believes that most of the news channel will deliver double digit growth during the poll period with the Hindi news genre expected to grow by 15-25 percent.

Speaking about revising the ad rates for the network, he shared, “We have taken a jump of close to 10 per cent this festive season. Further hike would happen during the counting and polling of state elections, which can be close to 15 percent and third round of hike will happen when the General Elections will be announced and the rates can go upto 20 per cent.”

On an average for a season the rate varies from Rs 3,400 to Rs 10,000 for 10 seconds depending on the time of purchase and the time band brands are buying, which is the same for the top three channels. He said, “However for the state election counting day, ABP News starting 10 sec slot rate is minimum Rs 20,000, which will only go up every single passing day.”

Pandey added, “The regional channels rates will be decided closer to the election day but if somebody wants to take all the three channels of ABP News Network, which include Majha, Asmita and ABP News, they can buy at the rate of Rs 27,000 but if someone wants to buy closer to the counting day the rate will be above Rs 1 lakh for a 10 sec slot.”

Categories spending more

"Media advertisers’ ever growing interest in spending on television ads has made this medium poised for a substantial growth in revenue generation on the back of sectors such as FMCG, automobile, consumer goods, mobile handset and telecom that are trying to leverage the expected increase in news channel viewership. Apart from FMCG, automobile and mobile handset are spending more compared to previous years," said Pandey.

National vs Regional news

“Regional news channels cover minute details of local tehsils or Zila whereas national channels cover broader topics. The interest of a national viewer is very different from that of a regional viewer. Hence, both are doing very well in election coverage. Like in West Bengal, ABP Ananda's viewer base was double of all the channels put together in terms of overall eyeball.”

Plans to launch new channels

Pandey informed, “We have plans to launch new channels but we have to see the market environment in order to go ahead with that. Maybe in the next financial year we will be able to announce it. Currently it's too early to comment on it."









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MIB grants licences for Nireekshana TV & Khalsa Channel

Khalsa Channel is owned by Nexgen Telefilms and Nireekshana TV is owned by Shopping Zone India TV

exchange4media News Service 4 days ago


The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has awarded TV channel licences for Khalsa Channel owned by Nexgen Telefilms and Nireekshana TV owned by Shopping Zone India TV. The licences were given in October.

Nireekshana TV is going to be a South language channel as MIB permitted the license in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and scheduled Indian languages. Khalsa Channel is permitted in Hindi and scheduled Indian languages.

Just a month before in September, Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL), Vedic Broadcasting and Disney Broadcasting India were awarded TV channel licences from the MIB. 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 1,118 private satellite TV channels in India, out of which 252 permissions were later cancelled. Thus, the total number of private satellite TV channels having valid permission in India today stands at 866-- 383 is news and 483 is non-news segment.


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NDTV broadcast operations have declared a profit of Rs. 19 lakh

Operating profit is Rs. 6.32 crore as compared to a loss of Rs. 9.12 crore for the same time last year

exchange4media Staff 6 days ago


The NDTV Group and NDTV Limited (its Broadcast Operations) are declaring a profit for the quarter ending September 30, marking a big turnaround from the same time last year.

• The strong operational profits in both companies make this the best Q2 for them in 14 years.

• NDTV's broadcast operations have declared a profit of Rs. 19 lakh. The EBITDA or operating profit is Rs. 6.32 crore as compared to a loss of Rs. 9.12 crore for the same time last year.

• The operating costs for the broadcast operations or NDTV Limited Standalone have reduced by Rs. 26.27 crore YoY (year-on-year) and by nearly Rs. 7.4 crore since the first quarter of this year.

• The profit at the group level is Rs. 59 lakhs. The NDTV Group EBITDA is Rs. 11.70 crores, a turnaround of Rs. 21.49 crore YoY. EBITDA losses for the same quarter last year were Rs. 9.79 crores.

NDTV Convergence, the company's digital arm, recorded its best-ever Q2 with the highest revenue for this period; traffic has grown by 45 percent over the same period last year.




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No progress is possible without news: MK Anand, MD and CEO of Times Network at the UNYCC

Anand spoke at the United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave (UNYCC), held on October 27, 2018, in Mumbai on the topic, 'Reimagining News'

exchange4media Staff 1 week ago


MK Anand, Managing Director and CEO of the Times Network delivered a speech at United Nations Youth Changemakers Conclave (UNYCC) held on October 27, 2018, in Mumbai, on the topic, 'Reimagining News'.

Below is his full speech:

Tonight, I will talk about 3 key issues that I think faces us all in the context of News. I am not going to discuss solutions. Just points that I think I would be concerned about even as an average citizen. I am just more aware of them due to my profession and feel they are of critical importance to all of us in society.

Human society is a gigantic mind. We hear about the approaching singularity of machines. I think that singularity already exists. The inter-connected social system that pervades all we do is, in reality, a gigantic mind. And everything it experiences is News. News connects the component individual minds and creates the essential homogeneity that is required for the universal mind to function. While education prepares the blank child mind to bring it on par with other component minds, News does the lifelong function of bringing us all up to speed with each other.

News enables us to participate, collaborate and innovate. No progress is possible without news. What is not news to you does not exist for you. And the corollary to that - what is made news for you becomes valuable. News as you can see is as important as air and water. I am stating the obvious here because I worry that it is not obvious to many of us in society. News is left to a very narrow bunch of us news professionals. There is little discourse about the news itself, even as there is an explosion of discourses on our channels and platforms about everything else in the name of daily news.

After a fairly long stable environment of almost 200 years, wherein news was centrally broadcast – as newspapers and then as radio and television, the last couple of decades saw a paradigm change.

I visualize traditional broadcasting as similar to a City’s water supply system. A central source and pumping system that pushes similar content to all households on the grid. Digital distribution, however, has a different mechanism. It operates more like an organic jungle system of watering holes –the data servers. Thirsty animals come to the source and drink what they want. There is no push. That’s replaced by ‘search and find’. So far, so good. It’s a new mechanism. News players could adapt quite easily. All of us have. And it works. Traditional broadcast brands such as CNN, Economist, Washington Post, Times of India, Times Now and NDTV continue to dominate the digital news space as they did in the past, proving that consumers reward dependable brands with their loyalty irrespective of medium.

The real challenge to the ecosystem however comes from other collateral changes this new mechanism has unleashed. And these constitute 2 of the 3 elephants in the room that I am going to talk about. These changes I must concede are not entirely negative. All that is needed is to understand their ramifications and view them through new lenses.

1. The Internet converts every device on it into a potential server. And without realizing, each one of us became a watering hole. With advances in cameras, speech and text software, editing and presentation software, our watering holes became interesting. And social media gave us a whole new set of wings. The positive side of this ability to publish is the opportunity it offers individuals to directly reach out to others, without the cumbersome and sometimes limiting filter of media platforms. Mass outreach is today possible without courting major media platforms. Donald Trump has 55 million followers on Twitter, which gives him the strength to brush aside global news brands. Narendra Modi’s social media reach is larger than the social media reach of the top 3 Indian Digital English News platforms – TOI, NDTV and Times Now put together. This obviously is a great source of power for these leaders. This strengthens democracy as it offers individuals immense potential. While the new medium comes with this major potential, there is a dark side to this. Most of us use this new power without complex intentions. The power however can be misused by vested interests. To manipulate or simply subvert. Fake news, deliberate and unintended has grave consequences. It’s all the more dangerous when we realise that the news consumer is still driven by an almost 200 years habit of trusting the published word. While publishing technology has leapfrogged, the same cannot be expected of the consumer brain. Branded media could lose its business, net worth and the shirt off its back if they did a hoax piece and got caught. What do anonymous social media jockeys have to lose? Worse still is the propagation by message apps, with no address of source. Regulation and consumer education has to urgently adapt. This is an elephant in the room that has been spotted and called out and hopefully will be corralled.

2. In the context of Digital news, the most critical issue besides fake news that needs to be confronted is the concentration of power and therefore potential threat that Search and Social intermediaries can pose. This probably is the biggest of the elephants in any room that discusses News. And it is not yet called out in the way it should be. As a News practitioner, I can tell you one thing. Ensuring that my news gets to your screen and not my competitor’s is not as simple as it looks. Behind your seemingly ‘in control’ act of choosing my channel and staying tuned, is a highly complex big data-driven activity. Your choice is always influenced by a series of invisible steps that broadcasters take in placement, distribution, visibility etc. And I am talking about traditional broadcast. We call it reach optimization. This power gets magnified when the medium through which you access my stories, the algorithms that decide which story to place in front of you when you search is owned and operated by monolithic, multinational corporations that may not be easily regulated by local laws. I am not blaming them of willful subversion at all. They have robust systems to ensure fair play. But concentrating power of this nature can have unintended disastrous consequences. Today search rules on such platforms can overnight change which News brand gets watched over others. A third-party platform that wields such absolute power that determines survival itself for News players can be dangerous to democracy.

3. The last point that I think needs examination is the excessive reliance of this business on ad revenue. This obviously matters only for what is called paid media – probably the most trustworthy and agenda-less amongst news operators. Ad revenue has been a traditional source of revenue for all media and has worked quite well at the social level too. But in the current highly fragmented and hyper-competitive environment, excessive reliance on ad sales for News pose some serious problems. This is more pronounced in the Indian context as western and more developed markets have a sizeable component of subscription revenue as news consumers are in the habit for paying for content. Advertisers always spend on what they consider important to their business. Their target groups are most times younger (for higher lifetime value) and economically capable (for obvious reasons). There is thus a young and rich bias in their selection. The corollary to this is no Content manager pursues TGs that are old and poor. This can over time lead to the exclusion of their interests in news media and disenfranchise large portions of population, specially in countries such as ours. While public broadcasters do work towards filling this gap, we need to develop a culture of paid subscriptions for news. Consumers need to become aware that news paid for by other and may not be in their interest in the long term.  

To circle back on the key issues that need thought and deliberation by all and not just us News professionals: 

1. Fake news is a social problem. While a lot is being done, this will pose serious threats for a long time as consumer habit of trusting published word is strong. We need to start providing consumers with mechanisms to cope.

2. Search and Social monopolies could pose risks to the industry as a whole. This is an evolving situation. We hope technology itself will provide the solution to this. The industry also needs to come together and approach this as a common problem.

3. Subscription culture needs to be developed for news products. This is in the larger interests of all constituents. News needs to be recognized as far more important and strategically impacting than it currently is. Marketing in this area is lacking and could be a solution.   I hope I have been able to give you some perspectives on reimagining news in the current environment. Your views and contributions are welcome. I am sure you can reach me on twitter or email that the organizers can direct you to. Thank you for being an attentive audience.


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