No rethink on FTA strategy, going back will hamper potential growth for pay: Punit Goenka 

During ZEEL's Q3 FY23 earnings call, the MD & CEO stated that the paid subscriber base on both cable and satellite has stabilised since April 2022, when they went off FTA

e4m by e4m Desk
Published: Feb 15, 2023 8:46 AM  | 4 min read

Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, has indicated that the company will not be rethinking on its Free To Air (FTA) strategy. 

"No rethink on the FTA strategy because since April 2022 when we went off free to air we have actually seen the stabilisation of the paid subscriber base on both cable and satellite. So, going back so soon would, in our opinion, hamper the potential growth in pay that will come back after three years with the NTO 3.0 implementation, so nothing for now," Goenka said during the Q3FY23 earnings call.

ZEEL pulled out its Hindi General Entertainment Channel Zee Anmol from DD Free Dish last year. 

In Q3FY23, the company's domestic advertising revenues declined by 15.8% to Rs 1015.4 crore on YoY basis. This as per the company was due to the withdrawal from FTA (Zee Anmol) and the slowdown in FMCG spends due to the challenging macroeconomic environment. 

While speaking to analysts about the subscription revenue, Goenka said the standstill on the New Tariff Order has been impeding growth and impacting profitability.

“NTO 3.0 is being implemented from February 1, 2023. We look forward to a very substantial revenue growth post-implementation in the most effective manner. We continue to focus our energies on building a future-ready portfolio, which is well poised and diversified, to capitalize on the opportunities as the overall market sentiments improve.”

Goenka further said that he expects single-digit growth in subscription revenue post the implementation of NTO 3.0. 

Speaking on the rationale behind the price hike, Goenka said they have not been able to take any price hike for the last three years and have launched the maximum number of channels within those years. Last year in December, leading broadcasters, including ZEEL, increased their a la carte and bouquet rates after a period of three years. The new pricing came into effect on February, 2023. The hike comes in the wake of TRAI's amendments to the new tariff order (NTO 2.0), restoring the price cap for bouquet TV channels from Rs 19 to Rs 12.

Last week, Prasar Bharati invited applications for allotment of vacant MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish DTH platform. The slots are being allotted for a period of one year, from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. The online e-auction will be tentatively held from March 13, 2023, onwards. The reserve price for GECs is the same as last time - Rs 15 crore.

Briefing upon the financial performance of the company, ZEEL’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rohit Gupta shared that they continue to see curtailed ad spending by FMCG brands during the quarter. While October did see a very brief pick-up due to the festive quarter the spends have subsequently continued to taper off. “We believe this is a cyclical slowdown and as demand recovers, we will see a pick-up in TV advertising. TV still remains the most relevant mass media brand-building avenue with unparalleled reach.” 

He further shared, “We are utilizing this period to strengthen our business, to capitalize on the opportunity as a tight turn. On linear business we continue to be India's strong number two TV entertainment network and our viewership share for Q3FY23 was at 16.2%, marginally lower by 20bps quarter on quarter. We have gained shares in several key markets, including in Tamil which has been a consistent growth story over the last couple of quarters.” 

According to Gupta, ZEE Marathi’s performance still remains subdued, and the team is focused on stabilizing and rebuilding network shares in the coming quarters. 

On the digital side, ZEE5 has posted yet another quarter of growth across financial and operating metrics. “Original content is being well received and the ZEE5 app user experience has seen significant improvement. All of these are strong affirmations of our investment in content, technology and marketing.” 

“We have shown some improvement in a challenging backdrop, which is encouraging. Ad revenue growth revival is our key focus and we are hopeful of gradual improvement in the spending environment,” Gupta concluded. 

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TRAI releases pre-consultation paper for inputs on ‘National Broadcasting Policy’

Written comments have been invited from the stakeholders by October 10, 2023

By e4m Staff | Sep 21, 2023 3:44 PM   |   5 min read


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a pre-consultation paper asking inputs for formulation of "National Broadcasting Policy". 

TRAI has shared that in line with the existing National Digital Communications Policy – 2018, the possible structure of ‘National Broadcasting Policy’ may be as follows- Preamble, Vision, Mission and Objectives. The authority said that against each objective, possible goals and the probable strategies for achieving those goals needs to be identified. 

According to TRAI, the policy is required to address the broadcasting sector in a comprehensive manner. It should deal with all the aspects related to content certation, content delivery/ distribution, assimilation, introduction of new technologies and role of different institutions for the growth of the sector. It has to appropriately look into aspects of capacity building, skilling, future institutional framework etc. An analysis of global best practices may also help in defining various aspects of the policy. 

TRAI also mentioned that at this stage, it is important to identify the broad issues for consideration/ comments. While a comprehensive list of issues will be worked out after receipt of comments and stakeholder interactions, following broad contours may require to be inter-alia included/ addressed in the proposed policy: 


  1. Ensuring affordable and universal reach of Broadcasting
  2. Establishing India as a global Content Hub: a. Creation of global content in India b. Promoting Indian content globally c. Establishing/ enhancing institutional capacity for content creation or processing.
  3. Developing state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure for broadcasting sector in India. Enabling Next Generation Technologies and Services through Investments, Innovation, Indigenous Manufacturing. Leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and cloud services technologies. Separate fund for R&D and establishment of Centre for Excellence for Broadcasting sector.
  4. Capacity Building and Promoting Skill Development for broadcasting Sector in India. Training/ Re-skilling human resources for building New Age Skill. Promoting IndustryAcademia-Government partnerships to develop capacity and skills in line with future technological needs.

Broad Issues for Consideration

  1. Public Service Broadcasting in India
    a) Requirement, Relevance and Review b) Support and Validation c) Content Priority d) Mandatory Sharing of television programmes e) Enhance global reach 

2. Policy and Regulation

Simplifying policy & regulatory framework and adopt coherent and modernized approach for different types of Broadcasting services: o Satellite Broadcasting o Terrestrial television Broadcasting o Radio Broadcasting o Print media o Digital Media • An intermediary • Publisher of online curated content

3.  Other Specific Issues for comments / suggestions: 

a) Promotion of Local Content: Enhancing and incentivizing demonstration of India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through television programmes including festivals, music, dance, art, literature, food, education, sports and more for cultural preservation and expansion. 

b)Piracy and Content Security: Putting in place framework for systematic and legal redressal for piracy and copyright. To devise a multi-layer framework of security to address cyber attacks, hacking by vested interests and other security issues. To enable measures for location-free access and transmission of programmes for broadcasting sector using cloud storage.

c). Technology Innovation & Standardization: To promote conducive environment for experimentation and innovations in the space of broadcasting technology. Establishing a broadcasting Standard Development Organization as an autonomous body with effective participation of the government, industry, R&D centres, service providers, and academia to drive consensus regarding standards to meet national requirements including security needs and interoperability to avoid ewaste. 

d) Separate Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting: Currently Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulates the Television Broadcasting Sector. TRAI regulates both the Telecommunications and the Broadcasting sector. It is understood that stakeholders have made submissions for having a specific regulator for Broadcasting sector. Accordingly, it is to explore the need for a separate regulator for broadcasting services and if yes, the suggested statutory and organisational structure of such regulator.

e)Robust grievance redressal mechanism: Ensuring adherence to Program Code and Advertisement Code. Establishing effective institutional mechanisms to protect consumers’ interests including Ombudsman and centralized web-based complaint redressal system. 

f) Role of Broadcasting during Disaster: Framing and enforcing standard operating procedures to be followed during disasters and natural calamities, including sectoral guidelines for disaster response and recovery. Broadcasting to be used as rapid dissemination of early warning disaster notifications. viii. Audience Measurement System: Essential to ensure transparent and credible audience measurement system. Framing of guiding principles for viewership rating framework in India.

Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) segment: Develop, support and unleash the scope and reach of AVGC sector in India to become a torch bearer of “Create in India” and “Brand India”.

In a letter dated July 13, 2023, MIB has requested TRAI to give its considered inputs under Section 11 of the TRAI Act, 1997 for formulation of the National Broadcasting Policy. In its letter, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has mentioned that the broadcast policy needs to identify the vision of a functional, vibrant and resilient broadcasting sector which can project India's diverse culture and rich heritage and help India's transition to a digital and empowered economy. 

“In the light of the potentialities and intersection with national goals, a National Broadcasting Policy stipulating the vision, mission, strategies and the action points could set the tone for a planned development and growth of the Broadcasting sector in the country in the era of new and emerging technologies,” said MIB. 

TRAI said that with this background, a pre-consultation is being done with all the stakeholders to elicit the issues which are required to be considered for formulation of "National Broadcasting Policy". TRAI said that written comments on the pre-consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by October 10, 2023. 


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Include distributor bouquet pricing autonomy issue in consultation paper: MIB to TRAI

The ministry has asked the regulator to consider AIDCF's request for allowing TV distributors the autonomy to break broadcast bouquets

By e4m Staff | Sep 20, 2023 8:43 AM   |   1 min read


The MIB has sought inclusion of the issue of granting autonomy to TV distributors in bouquet formation in a TRAI consultation paper, media networks have reported.

The consultation paper titled "Review of Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting and Cable Services" was released on August 8.

The ministry has written to the TRAI Secretary to consider AIDCF's request for allowing TV distributors the autonomy to break broadcast bouquets.

As per a report, TRAI's legal team is studying the MIB letter and is set to decide after consideration of the legal opinion.

In November last year, TRAI came out with the third amendment in the tariff order, putting a ceiling of Rs 19 per TV channel for inclusion in bouquet among other provisions. Issues have been raised on the order by distribution platform operators (DPOs) and local cable operators (LCOs). Some were addressed and some still remained.




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Demand immediate withdrawal of boycotting 14 prominent TV anchors: Supriya Prasad

The Broadcast Editors Association held an emergency meeting of members against the decision of the opposition alliance

By e4m Staff | Sep 19, 2023 10:27 PM   |   1 min read

supriya prasad

An emergency meeting of members of the Broadcast Editors Association, the apex body of editors of national and regional television news channels across the country, was held on September 19.

Under the chairmanship of Supriya Prasad, News Director of 'Aaj Tak', 'Good News Today' and 'India Today', several resolutions were passed unanimously in this meeting held at India Today Group Mediaplex located at FC-8 in Film City Sector 16A, Noida. .

At the meeting, the Broadcast Editors Association condemned the recent decision of the opposition alliance 'Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance' (I.N.D.I.A.) to boycott 14 prominent TV anchors. The Broadcast Editors Association said,”By taking such a decision, the opposition alliance has not only put the lives of our journalists and anchors at risk, but has also displayed intolerance. We demand immediate withdrawal of this list keeping in mind the well-established democratic principles.”

In this meeting, President of 'Broadcast Editors Association' Supriya Prasad, Rahul Kanwal, Amitabh, Navika Kumar, Sanjeev Paliwal, Rajneesh Ahuja, Aishwarya Kapoor, Abhishek Kapoor, Deepak Chaurasia, Sukesh Ranjan, Sumit Awasthi, Rubika Liaquat, Amish Devgan, Anil Singh. Many well-known journalists including Sant Prasad Rai, Sanjay Bragta, Sudhir Chaudhary, Gaurav Sawant and Snehanshu Shekhar participated.

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BEA calls ‘urgent’ meet to discuss reports of I.N.D.I.A CM stopping ads on some channels

The meet will be held tomorrow

By e4m Staff | Sep 18, 2023 6:38 PM   |   1 min read


Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) has called for an “urgent” meeting to discuss reports that 11 chief ministers who are part of the I.N.D.I.A alliance are considering to stop advertising on some TV channels that they believe are pro-BJP.

The BEA's General Body meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 19th September, 2023 at 14:00 hrs at India Today Group Mediaplex.

“The recent decision of India Alliance to boycott certain journalists forced us to meet on urgent basis.  Therefore, this meeting is called on very short notice,” stated an invite sent out by BEA President Supriya Prasad.

The agenda of the meeting, according to the invite, is: to discuss election for the new executive committee of BEA, to discuss ban on few Journalists by INDIA and any other issue with the permission of the President.



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Broadcasters can now access Respondent Level Data weekly by paying Rs 15 lakh per annum

The data will be released every Thursday

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Sep 18, 2023 6:07 PM   |   2 min read


After a month-long wait, BARC on Monday evening finally fixed the price for Respondent Level Data at Rs 15 lakh per annum for the broadcasters. The news has been shared with exchange4media by highly placed sources in the industry.

As of now, only agencies have access to Respondent Level Data at a cost of Rs 60 lakh per annum. exchange4media had earlier reported that BARC was planning to make the Respondent Level Data available to broadcasters at a more reasonable price compared to what agencies pay for it. Suggestions for the price at which the data should be made available to broadcasters was shared with the BARC board members for approval last week.

The details of the price were shared by BARC with broadcasters on Monday evening.

In a letter written to broadacsters, BARC said Respondent Level Data (RLD) will be made available weekly to broadcasters, starting with the data of Week 40, on 12th October 2023.

“BARC India is pleased to announce that Respondent Level Data (RLD) will be made available weekly to Broadcasters, starting with the data of Week 40, on 12th October 2023. Like the currency data, RLD will also be released every Thursday by 2 PM to subscribers of this data,” it stated.

“The RLD provided will adequately be anonymised to maintain the integrity of panel homes, not include OOH data and have Individual level data but not Household level information,” read the letter.

The letter further stated:

RLD is the final validated viewership and has demographic details of each panellist which is aggregated in YUMI in order to produce the final published audience estimates. The data enables end-users to link a particular panellist, or group of panellists, to understand how their viewing may have evolved over time with respect to a channel, or their competition. This will be possible since they will have the ability to view the viewership details, panellist by panellist, at a minute-by-minute level.

The individual level RLD will be released simultaneously in three component parts every week:

1. Demographic Files - which provide a unique anonymised ID for each panellist along with their demographics and the daily weights which they have been assigned.

2. Viewership File - which provides for each panellist their viewing for each day of the week, in particular, which channels were viewed and at what times of the day.

3. Playout File- which provides the playout data for each channel across all minutes of the week (as it currently appears in YUMI).

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Cricket World Cup to generate Rs 20-22bn in ad rev on TV/digital platforms: Karan Taurani

According to Taurani, the digital revenues for CWC may prop significantly this year

By e4m Staff | Sep 18, 2023 5:33 PM   |   5 min read


Market research company Elara Capital has released a Consumer Discretionary report on the upcoming Cricket World Cup. According to Karan Taurani, Senior VP, Elara Capital, one can expect the tournament to generate Rs 20-22bn in ad revenue on TV/digital platforms combined. Taurani states that the digital revenues for CWC may prop significantly this year.


Here are excerpts from the report.

Consumption to wax with Cricket World Cup

Favourable timings to boost viewership

India is hosting the Cricket World Cup (CWC) after 12 years (through 5 October-19 November 2023). For the first time, India will host all the matches solo – Earlier, other Asian nations have co-hosted with India. Favourable timings (matches will begin at 10:30 IST/14:00 IST) may boost consumption of the property on TV/digital platforms. Expect the CWC to generate INR 20-22bn in ad revenue on TV/digital platforms combined. And digital revenues for CWC may prop significantly this year as: 1) timings are favourable (viewers may watch the first half of the match on OTT) and 2) CWC will be available free for all mobile users on Disney+ Hotstar app. In terms of TV advertising, expect a 6% CAGR versus the prior edition of the CWC in CY19. For the digital medium, CAGR may touch 21% versus 2019 levels.

Consumer discretionary – Win-win proposition

The CWC may positively impact online food ordering for aggregators such as Zomato/Swiggy. Through 2019 and prior world cups, JUBI alone saw a boost in SSSG (higher SSSG growth of ~3% in the CWC quarter) due to best experience offered in food delivery. But this time, expect other categories – burgers, fried chicken and biryani – to perform well, led by higher penetration of online aggregators, and likely replication of JUBI’s delivery experience. Also, pizza may see significant demand (preferred by large groups). But the segment is highly fragmented with many competitors in the fray, which may dampen prospects of a big delta/advantage for JUBI in this CWC. QSR/food tech companies may see a positive impact of 6-8% (2%-3% higher quarterly growth in Q3FY24) from higher orders during the CWC (six weeks). The alcobev industry may see a boost in consumption as beer volumes have an on-premise share of ~30% – Premium beer such as Corona, Heineken, Bira and Budweiser could see strong growth. Within spirits, scotch whiskey and upper prestige could see a boost in volume growth due to higher on premise share (~40%). We estimate positive impact of 4%/6% (1.5%-2% higher quarterly growth in Q3FY24) for overall whiskey/beer volumes in October-November due to the CWC. Bars/pubs may see better occupancy, which may positively impact alcobev volume growth in Q3FY24.

TV advertising (non-cricket) may be strained

In the past year, many consumer tech companies (edtech, fintech, foodtech and e-commerce) have shifted focus to profitability, thus curtailing ad spends. This has hurt the market as regards ad spend growth on TV/digital. These verticals have not yet made a come-back in terms of larger ad budgets, and the market is depending on larger, traditional verticals such as FMCG, Auto and Telecom. Expect TV ad spends for GEC-based players – Zee Entertainment Enterprises (Z IN) and Sun TV (SUNTV IN) – to see a mild strain in Q3FY24, due to spends being diverted to cricket. But the positive impact from the festival season may largely offset this hit. The mix of advertisers has also changed – from new-age plays to traditional verticals – which has hit the overall pricing (sports and GEC). ZOMATO, UBBL, DEVYANI, WLDL and UNSP seem to be the key beneficiaries from the overlap between the WC and the festive season which will boost overall consumption.

Cricket World Cup adex

CWC 2023E to yield 20% more TV adex than 2019

The upcoming CWC may generate at least 20% more in TV adex than it did in 2019. Sports advertising revenue has witnessed a CAGR of ~20% in CY15-22. And for 2023 CWC, advertising yields are at a mild premium vs 2019 pricing levels, indicating that the same pricing structure is being maintained. Most International Cricket Council (ICC) event sponsors are Indian brands and have committed substantial investments.

Digital adex: CWC 2023E to grow at least 70% versus CWC 2019

In contrast, digital adex for 2023E CWC may likely grow at least 70% more than the prior editions led by: 1) favorable timings (viewers may watch the first half of the match on OTT), 2) CWC will be available free for all mobile users on Disney+ Hotstar app and 3) better growth in digital advertising versus traditional media. CWC 2023 may see a similar growth as in digital ad spends during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2023. While the absolute value of digital advertising may not be as high as TV advertising, the growth rate may be higher. Cricket has gained popularity on digital platforms, and lower advertising prices on digital channels have allowed many brands to participate. In 2019 CWC, digital advertising-led revenue ranged within INR 4,000-INR 5,000mn. Asia Cup may generate TV adex within INR 3,000-INR 4,000mn.

Consumption boost during CWC

Sales/volume growth higher in CWC quarter Consumer Discretionary, especially Food & Beverages and Alcobev, has seen a correlation with the past two CWCs (in 2015/2019). Per our findings, SSSG/volume growth in the CWC quarter surpassed the annual SSSG/volume growth in the past two CWCs. JUBI’s annual SSSG dipped 4.5% YoY in FY15 whereas in the CWC quarter, the SSSG rose 6.6% YoY. In 2019 CWC quarter too, JUBI’s SSSG was much higher at 4.5% YoY versus an annual average SSSG of 1.7% YoY in FY20. For Alcobev, the delta was visible (on high ‘on-premise’ growth) more for beer – UBBL’s annual volume pared 4.2% YoY in FY20 but volume grew 5.6% YoY in CWC quarter.

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Avinash Pandey re-elected as NBDA President

MV Shreyams Kumar re-elected as Vice President and Anuradha Prasad Shukla too will continue as Honorary Treasurer of NBDA for the year 2023-24

By e4m Staff | Sep 18, 2023 4:44 PM   |   1 min read

Avinash Pandey

Avinash Pandey, CEO of ABP Network, has been re-elected the President of the News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA).

According to sources, there is no change in the management. MV Shreyams Kumar, Managing Director of Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd., has been re-elected as Vice President, and Anuradha Prasad Shukla, Chairperson-cum-Managing Director, News24 Broadcast India Ltd., will continue as Honorary Treasurer of NBDA for the year 2023-24.

The election process was followed by the new office-bearers having lunch with MIB Secretary Apurva Chandra.  

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