TDSAT tells Prasar Bharati to give unencrypted signals of DD Sports to SITI & Dish TV

The interim order came in response to two petitions filed by SITI and Dish TV

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 24, 2022 6:13 PM  | 3 min read

The Telecom Disputes and Settlement and Appellate Tribunal has passed interim directions to Prasar Bharati to provide unencrypted signals of DD Sports to SITI Networks Ltd. and Dish TV. The interim order came to be passed in two petitions filed by SITI Networks Ltd. and Dish TV. 

SITI Networks Ltd. was represented by Trust Legal through Partner Ritwika Nanda and Associates Ajay Noronha and Tejbir Chugh led by Meet Malhotra, Sr. Adv. Dish TV was represented by Singh & Singh led by CA Sundaram, Sr. Adv.

The petitions were filed when on 22.11.2022, prior to the telecast of the India - New Zealand T-20 cricket match, Prasar Bharati encrypted the signals of DD Sports thereby, rendering the channels unviewable on the distribution platform of SITI and DISH and all other cable and DTH operators except DD Free Dish.

On requests to Prasar Bharati for the transmission of signals, SITI and Dish were served with notices by Amazon inter alia, stating that Amazon is the sole and exclusive rights holder in India which has been granted the rights by New Zealand Cricket to communicate to the public, including by way of broadcast delivery and digital delivery, the on-going India’s Tour of New Zealand Cricket Series, 2022. Moreover, Amazon had entered into an arrangement with Prasar Bharati and had been sharing of live braodcasting signals of the on-going series for telecast by Prasar Bharati only on the DD Free Dish platform.

SITI and Dish argued that Prasar Bharati as a broadcaster is bound by the Interconnection Regulations of bus-provide, non-discrimination and non-exclusivity. Any arrangement by Prasar Bharati with a third party in violation of the aforesaid is untenable. Prasar Bharati by transmitting the signals of DD Sports only to its own DTH platform i.e., DD Free Dish to the exclusion of all other distribution platforms is in violation of the Regulations. Furthermore, in terms of Section 8 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, SITI and DISH are mandatorily required to carry DD Sports on its platform in terms of the notification of the MIB passed in 2013. Prasar Bharati had been supplying encrypted signals to the parties since 2013 till on 22.11.2022, without any notice, Prasar Bharati encrypted the signals and restricted viewership.

Per contra, Prasar Bharati submitted that it has been acting in terms of the arrangement between Prasar Bharati and Amazon.

Amazon, represented by Saikrishna Associates led by Maninder Singh, Sr. Advocate, and Mr. Gopal Jain Sr. Adv argued that Amazon has the sole and exclusive copyright to the Series. The petitioners cannot be permitted the contents of the Series and if so done shall be a gross violation of the copyright of Amazon. The arrangement between Amazon and Prasar Bharati is in view of the powers of Prasar Bharati to enter into any commercial arrangement.

After hearing the parties, the Hon’ble TDSAT held that SITI and DISH have a prima facie case in its favour and the balance of convenience also lies in its favour. In terms of the Cable Television Networks Act, 1995 the must carry obligation is a statutory requirement. In view of the above, Hon’ble TDSAT directed Prasar Bharati to forthwith provide encrypted signals of DD Sports channel to SITI and DISH till the pendency of the matter.

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MIB spent Rs 2790.71 cr on broadcasting in 2021-22

As per the ministry’s report, the expenditure for the fiscal stands at Rs 3728.99 crore

By Sonam Saini | Dec 7, 2022 8:53 AM   |   2 min read


The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s actual expenditures for fiscal 2021-22 stands at Rs 3728.99 crore, as per a report released by the government.

As per the Accounts at Glance 2021-22 report, the total budget of the ministry for the year was Rs 4079.71 crore, comprising a revenue budget of Rs 4058.61 crore and capital of Rs 21.10 crore. 

The report also states that the total actual expenditure for the previous four years (revenue and capital) stood as below:

Rs 3487.62 crore (2017-18) 

Rs 4003.27crore (2018-19)

Rs 4032.36 crore (2019-2020)

Rs 3380.44 crore (2020-21).

For 2021-22, the expenditure on broadcasting was Rs 2790.71 crore while on information it was Rs 593.54 crore and on films it was Rs 259.29 crore

Meanwhile, the MIB released grants-in-aid amounting to Rs 2790.71 crore to Prasar Bharati in 2021-22. In the last three years, the ministry has released Rs 8823.60 crore to Prasar Bharati – Rs 3124.76 crore (2019-20); Rs 2908.13 crore (2020-21) and Rs 2790.71 crore (2021-22). 

The MIB’s total receipts in the consolidated fund during 2021-22 stood at Rs 2001.80 crore - Rs 2001.33 crore from the revenue account and Rs 0.47 crore from loans and advances. The total revenue receipts comprise Rs 36.64 crore Gross Tax Revenue and Rs 1964.69 crore Gross Non-Tax Revenue, including a non-tax receipt amounting to Rs 1809.08 crore. According to the report, the major contributions towards receipts were from broadcasting (Rs 1761.25 crore). 

The ministry is functionally divided into three sectors - Information, Broadcasting and Films. There are 10 media units/ attached and subordinate offices, three autonomous bodies, three training institutes and two Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC), set up in 2008, monitors news channels to check for violations of programme and advertising codes under relevant provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. EMMC has the technical infrastructure to acquire, record, store and retrieve the contents of up to 900 TV channels on a real-time basis. 

In the last three years, EMMC has spent Rs 51.66 crore - Rs 19.31 crore (2019-2020); Rs 13.61 crore (2020-2021) and Rs 18.74 crore (2021-22).

Furthermore, receipts of DTH in the last three years stood at Rs 647.23 for 2019-20, Rs 1559.27 crore for 2020-21 and Rs 1581.41 crore in 2021-22. 

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Airing of public service content should be voluntary: Broadcasters

The IBDF has written to the government asking it to either delete the stipulation or provide subsidies and tax incentives to broadcasters airing content of national interest

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 7, 2022 8:12 AM   |   1 min read


The Centre has been requested to make the airing of public service content on TV voluntary, as per media reports.

The Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF) has said in a letter that the government should either delete the stipulation or provide subsidies and tax incentives to those broadcasters who voluntarily air public service content.

Media reports earlier said that the channels may have air content of national interest daily from January 1.

MIB officials were also quoted as saying that they would speak to broadcasters and other stakeholders before coming out with detailed guidelines.

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GroupM's Finecast to host India's first addressable TV summit on December 7

With Kantar, the addressable TV company will also unveil 'The Changing Landscape of Indian Television' report at the summit in Mumbai

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 4:28 PM   |   2 min read


Finecast, GroupM’s addressable TV company is set to host the “Addressable TV and Beyond” – India’s first addressable TV summit in Mumbai on December 7, 2022. This will be the inaugural summit on Addressable TV in India. The event will focus on how the TV industry is witnessing a transformation and India is set to become the 3rd largest TV market in the next 3 years. It will help distributors, advertisers, and broadcasters understand the changing media landscape. 

GroupM’s Finecast, in partnership with Kantar, will also be unveiling 'The Changing Landscape of Indian Television' report at the summit which will highlight the rapidly changing media consumption habits which will make it more difficult to accurately predict the future of TV viewing in India for broadcasters and the brands. The report will highlight the TV viewing trends & throw insights into how Indian consumers are engaging and consuming TV content. 

Prasanth Kumar, CEO - GroupM South Asia, said “Changing landscape possibilities have opened new possibilities for TV advertisers. Brands need futuristic spaces to reach their target audience as TV consumption patterns continue to evolve. Our report with Kantar is designed to be a guide that will help in exploring what current and new capabilities exist for TV advertisers.” 

Atique Kazi, President – Data, Performance & Digital Products – GroupM India said, “Television advertising in India continues to grow both on linear and even faster on connected TVs. At our inaugural event “Addressable TV & Beyond”, we are enriching conversations on what holds in the Future of TV advertising, use of data, and technology with the TV ecosystem to make TV advertising more welcomed for brands and viewers.” 

The daylong event will include multiple sessions that will discuss the changing landscape of TV in India and showcase some ground-breaking research to leaps forward in measurement to what’s next in the Finecast roadmap – Leading the charge in addressable TV.  The sessions will explore the current and new capabilities that exist for TV advertisers in India along with a sneak peek into how a prominent advertiser uses media to drive attributable business growth.

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BARC rating process has more clarity now: Rahul Shivshankar

The Editorial Director & Editor-in-Chief of Times Now during a roundtable spoke about the channel’s performance, channels pulling out of BARC and much more

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 8:52 AM   |   2 min read

Rahul Shivshankar

BARC in its current avatar is clean, said Rahul Shivshankar, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, during a roundtable discussion.

Speaking about the rating system, post BARC resuming the ratings, Shivshankar said there has been no been drop in the channel’s TVT and it has only increased. 

“I'm talking about the manipulation that was alleged to have happened, and there is, of course, an audit report that suggested that Times Now's numbers were being deliberately brought down. And we were selectively targeted because we were seen as the market leader even by a fellow competitor.”

He further added that the system is now clear and clean. “Now we can have arguments over how many meters there should be, whether the system is representative enough or not. But I'm only talking about the process and it suggests there is absolute clarity.”

Talking about the news genre’s viewership, Shivshankar said there has been a growth, both in overall reach and TVT figures. “Every time there's been a new addition, the universe has grown. The collective eyeballs have grown. The challenge is, however, to remain relevant. When you have so many different kinds of media it means we have to approach our content strategy differently.”

He also shared that because of the manipulations from 2017 to 2019 Times Now lost ad revenue and took a hit of almost Rs 400 crore. “Nonetheless, leadership is now with Times Now and the channel still gets double the amount of ad revenue.”  

Post BARC resuming ratings, Shivshankar said Times Now’s share has improved from 24% (pre-resumption) to 40%. The channel retains its leadership in both reach and TSV, he added. 


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Can digital compete with TV for sports revenues?

Digital sports viewership has been increasing significantly year over year, even though TV still has a larger audience than all other media

By Sonam Saini | Dec 6, 2022 8:49 AM   |   6 min read


When Viacom18 won the digital media rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) in June this year for Rs 23,758 crore, which was marginally higher than TV rights won by Disney-Star India for Rs 23,575, it demonstrated the potential that the industry was seeing in the online medium. 

Digital sports viewership has been increasing significantly year over year, even though TV still has a larger audience than all other media, with 900 million viewers overall compared to 450-500 million monthly active users online. Will the steady rise in sports viewership on digital pose a competition to television in terms of revenues? Not in the near future, say experts. According to industry watchers, digital sports viewership is increasing faster than TV but digital sports revenue is unlikely to catch up with that of TV anytime soon.

Rise in OTT viewership & CTV

Industry experts believe the growth of the digital medium will be fuelled by an organic rise in OTT viewers in India as well as an increase in sports consumption on OTT.

According to the CII-KPMG 2022, ad revenues for sports properties on digital platforms are expected to be driven by strong advertiser interest in sports than for other content genres. Additionally, subscription revenues for sports are expected to grow as OTT subscriptions increase and these platforms make a concerted effort to transition to a SVOD future.

Vibhor Gauba, Associate Partner, Deal Advisory- M&A Consulting, KPMG in India, however believes that a material shift in advertising monies from TV to digital for the sports genre is unlikely in the near to medium term at least. 

“This difference in sports viewership is also reflected in the advertiser interest as many traditional and digital first brands, still look to TV as the platform to reach the largest audience,” he says.

According to the CII-KPMG 2022 report, only 10 million Indians have connected TVs, which is a result of low fixed broadband penetration and relatively high entry costs. This suggests that TV will continue to rule as a media platform when combined with structural barriers to cord cutting.

“TV is the first choice of advertisers due to its large reach and positive impact on brand KPIs. Advertisers across traditional brands like BFSI, beverages, FMCG, paints, auto, handsets and the new-age categories like online shopping, fintech, edtech, health tech, gaming, and fantasy have leveraged the reach of TV to build brands,” shares Gauba.

Sports on TV will remain relevant 

According to GroupM-ESP Sporting Nation's Making 2022 report, overall digital ad spend in 2021 was Rs 965 crore, more than doubling the value in 2020, accounting for 16% of total media expenses by brands. While both TV and digital ad spends on sports exceeded their 2019 levels, digital ad spends increased by more than 100%.

Sports is the most loved genre on TV with over 730 million viewers in 2022, which is a growth of 21% over 2021, said a senior executive of a leading sports broadcaster. According to him, the overall TV universe stands tall at 900 million with enormous headroom to grow. In fact, 400 million TV viewers don’t even have access to digital video, he said.

“TV is growing and has in fact added 100 million premium NCCS AB viewers in the last three years, which is close to the size of the total OTT subscribers in the country,” shares the executive.

According to the data accessed by e4m, viewership of cricket on TV is on the rise, breaking all-time records. For instance, there was 36% increase in TV ratings of Ind-Aus T20 vs 2019 (highest cume. reach for T20 series),  Asia Cup 2022 had 12% higher TV ratings vs Asia Cup 2016, Ind-SA series in Sep '22 recorded 47% higher TV ratings vs June ‘22. 

A report by KPMG-Sports broadcasting on TV - A match made in heaven, predicted that digital revenues for sports are likely to see robust growth, but would still be roughly half of the TV revenues by FY26. The digital revenue for sports is estimated to grow from Rs 1,540 crore in FY21 to Rs 4,360 crore in FY26, at a CAGR of 22 per cent. 

According to Vibhor Gauba, Associate Partner, Deal Advisory- M&A Consulting, KPMG in India, sports broadcasting on television reaches a far higher audience than OTT platforms at present (close to 2x). This is also reflected in the numbers, wherein the TV sports broadcasting market is mature in terms of the revenues, and with a steady growth, is likely to be higher than the OTT/digital sports streaming market in the near to medium future.

Gauba further shared that while it is a fact that viewership on digital platforms, when it comes to sports, is rising faster than TV (also due to the low base effect), it is unlikely that sports viewership on digital will surpass that on TV in the near to medium term. “TV remains one of the most affordable platforms of entertainment in the country. If you add the subscription costs of major platforms that stream sports and broadband cost, the overall value comes to 3.5-4x that of a monthly TV subscription.”

TV still a preferred medium over digital 

Digital sports revenues will take some time to catch up with TV revenues, says a senior industry observer on the condition of anonymity.

“Without a doubt, digital viewership and revenues are rising, but it will take some time before they even approach TV revenues. I don't believe that TV will ever stop being a preferred medium for brands across all genres, including sports,” he adds. 

Karan Taurani, SVP, Elara Capital, too believes that it's a long way for digital sports revenue to touch TV revenues. “IPL today is making close to Rs 3000-4000 crore revenues, including advertising and subscription, whereas Hotstar is making Rs 1500-1600 crore,” he shares.

“So, even if sports on digital grows at close to 30%for the next three years, it would still be lower than TV because television is also growing by 10-12%. TV as a medium has seen a negative impact because of cord cutting, but sports is one genre which is very consumed on TV because of its live content nature,” explains Taurani.

He further adds, “In terms of content cost, TV and digital are close to 50-50%, but in terms of monetisation there is a big gap. Digital viewership is already at par with TV and might cross TV viewership, but for digital to make that kind of ad dollar, is tough. It's a highly competitive segment.”    


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Adani open offer ends: Total shareholding in NDTV at 37%

As per BSE data, the open offer garnered a subscription of 53,27,989 equity shares 

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 8:47 PM   |   1 min read


Adani Media Networks has acquired an 8% additional stake in the open offer for NDTV. The company’s total shareholding now stands at 37% in NDTV, say media reports. 

On the last day of Adani Group's open offer on Monday, NDTV shares traded at a 5% lower circuit.

Vishvapradhan Commercial along with AMG Media Networks and Adani Enterprises launched the open offer to acquire an additional 26% stake in NDTV began on November 22 and was scheduled to close on December 5. The open offer did not fully subscribe, as per the latest update on BSE and NSE. Adani garnered around 58 lakh equity shares of NDTV which was not even half of the total size in the open offer.

As per BSE data, the open offer garnered a subscription of 53,27,989 equity shares accounting for 31.79% of the total offered size of over 1.67 crore equity shares. The data is updated till 4 pm on Monday.

On BSE, NDTV shares closed at ₹393.90 apiece down by 4.95%. During trading hours, the stock clocked its 5% lower circuit of ₹393.70 apiece. Its market cap is near ₹2,540 crore. Last week, on Friday, NDTV shares closed at ₹414.40 apiece.

NDTV stock opened on a broadly flat note at ₹413 a piece, however, picked momentum in early trading hours to reach an intraday high of ₹424 apiece but soon after corrected to drop to the lower circuit on BSE.


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Drop in startup advertising creating a dent in broadcasters' ad revenue?

Experts say GEC and sports genres have taken a bigger hit than others since new-age advertisers were heavy buyers of reality shows and sports

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 8:55 AM   |   5 min read


The decline in startup funding across segments has had a cascading effect on TV broadcasters. After all, the new-age startups from segments like edtech, fintech, cryptocurrency, D2C brands, and e-commerce had emerged as one of the biggest advertisers on TV in the last two years.

Aided by record fund infusion from venture capitalists and private equity players in 2021, the tech startups had splurged advertising monies on TV channels to build their brands. Thanks to the reach provided by TV, new-age advertisers have become household names in the country. The TV broadcasters also gained big time as the new-age advertisers became top buyers of big-ticket properties like reality shows and cricket.

With start-up funding hitting an all-time low in the second half of CY2022 due to global inflation and geopolitical tensions, TV broadcasters are also facing the heat as startups are focussing on conserving cash by cutting down on discretionary expenses like advertising.

Sujata Dwibedy, chief investment officer, Amplifi, dentsu India, said TV's loss was digital and print media's gain as new-age categories started re-strategising their ad spends due to a funding crunch. She added that the edtech, pharma-tech, and even crypto brands had pulled back their ad spends.

"With the overall shrinking of liquidity, VC funding slowing down, and investment funding shrinking, there is increasing pressure on the startups to focus on the bottom line. Hence, they have started re-strategizing their ad spends. This has led to a drop in ad spends, especially on television. Especially, the key impact properties/ sports events that used to be oversold or blocked by these new brands and at any price have started getting rationalized. The big sports events in the H2 were also struggling to get advertisers this year," she stated.

Dwibedy noted that the traditional categories came to TV's rescue even as ad spending by new-age categories had seen a dip. "Thankfully, in addition to the e-commerce category, the traditional auto, two-wheelers, retail and even telecom for that matter bounced back. Realty and travel categories have also seen some amount of revival. TV did not see a huge drop, thanks to the existing categories which are always on, but the growth slowed down, and the categories which revived not only swung in the favour of digital but gave a boost to print media. In fact, during festivals, we saw two books getting published across lead publications," she added.

According to data sourced from TAM Media, the indexed average volume growth for new-age advertisers/start-ups on TV dropped by 11% in 2022 till October compared to 2021.

Senior ad sales executives from TV broadcasting companies say that the bigger impact of the cutback in ad spending by new-age advertisers was on the value of advertising and not the volume since these companies were big buyers of premium inventory.

"These brands didn't contribute much to ad volumes as traditional advertisers like FMCG still dominate TV advertising. The impact of the drop in ad spends by these companies was on the yield. These advertisers were on a spending spree since they were in a hurry to build their brands at scale. TV was the perfect medium for them since it helps build credibility," said an ad sales professional.

He further stated that the GEC and sports genres took a bigger hit than others since new-age advertisers were heavy buyers of reality shows and sports. "New-age category has virtually stopped spending on big-ticket properties since they are rationalising their advertising spends."

Another senior executive from a leading TV network said that the advertising spends from the new-age brands has dropped by over 50% in 2022 compared to the previous year. He also stated that the broadcasters need to start focusing on new advertising categories like emerging Indian companies which are based outside metro cities to fill in the void created by a drop in ad spends by tech start-ups.

"Broadcasters need to focus on widening their advertiser base to avoid over-dependence on certain categories like FMCG or for that matter new-age brands. Small and medium companies represent a huge opportunity for the TV industry. Right now, these companies are spending a lot on digital advertising which is also reflected in the ad revenue growth of Google and Meta," he noted.

Cheil India Chief Growth Officer Kumar Awanish said that the drop in start-up advertising will create a dent in the ad revenue of broadcasters. With new-age clients re-calibrating their advertising spends, he noted that the digital offerings by large broadcasters have also benefited. "Broadcasters have also created digital offerings and solutions to offer to those new-age advertisers. So, even if ad revenue is going down from one place it is coming to another bucket even if it is not from the same advertiser."

Awanish also stated that the new-age categories are focussing on efficient media buying through different channels. "If you look at the new-age category, they do TV advertising on two occasions. One, when they are close to raising funds in order to attract the attention of the VCs, and second when they want to expand their reach. Certainly, both these are not the case right now," he said.  

As of October 2022, the Top 5 new age advertisers/start-ups on TV are Amazon Online India, Think & Learn (Byju's), Fx Mart (Phonepe), Fashnear Technologies (Meesho App), and Policybazaar.Com. In 2021, Amazon Online India, Think & Learn (Byju's), Policybazaar.Com, Flipkart.Com, and Fx Mart (Phonepe) were the top advertisers.

The top advertising categories from this segment were Ecom-Online Shopping, Ecom-Wallets, Ecom-Media/Ent./Social Media, Ecom-Financial Services, and Ecom-Education. In 2021, Ecom-Online Shopping, Ecom-Education, Ecom-Financial Services, Ecom-Media/Ent./Social Media, and Ecom-Food/Grocery were the top categories.


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