TRAI Tariff Order: Supreme Court to pronounce verdict after Dussehra

After several adjournments, the arguments finally concluded on October 11. The apex court has reserved its order.

exchange4media News Service 1 week ago


After several adjournments, the arguments in the case between TRAI and Star India on tariff order and interconnection regulation finally concluded in Supreme Court on October 11. The apex court Bench heard the arguments and reserved its order. The Bench is expected to announce the verdict after Dussehra.

Though, following the August 31 deadline set by TRAI for the implementation of the order, most major broadcasters have already published their Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) along with the Interconnection Agreement. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) was the first broadcaster that declared their ROI before the expiry of the deadline. Later, other big broadcasters like Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited, TV18 Broadcast Limited, Disney India, Turner International and Sun TV Network also declared their RIOs.

The RIO published by TV18 Broadcast Ltd reads, “This RIO shall be effective for the term commencing from 29-December-2018 (i.e., at the end of 180 days from the date of TRAI’s press release dated 3-July-2018, read with TRAI’s notifications dated 3-March-2017),”

Also, Zee, in line with the tariff order, announced multiple bouquets catering to consumers of different languages across India. All Zee channels will be available on a-la-carte basis, as required by the regulations, the broadcaster had said. However, Star India, which is one of the petitioners against TRAI tariff and interconnect order, is yet to file its RIO.

TRAI implemented the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017 on July 3, 2018 after it was upheld by the Madras High Court with an exception. While bringing the order into effect , the TRAI had prescribed timelines for the stakeholders.


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Hindi GECs usher in festivity with new shows, exciting lineups

For television, the festive season began in October, when at least seven new shows were launched 

exchange4media News Service 4 hours ago


It is that time of the year again when Hindi General Entertainment Channels (GECs) don the festive look and go on the full swing, betting high on new shows and exciting lineups to make the television screen more lively.

Given the fact that TV viewing is expected to be high around the festivals, broadcasters have made it a point to create special programming or new shows. The festive season began in October, when Hindi GECs saw the launch of at least seven new shows.

The month started with Star Bharat’s new show Radha Krishn, Star Plus’ dancing reality show Dance Plus 4, SaReGaMaPa's new season on Zee TV, India’s Got Talent's new season on Colors TV, Love Me India on &TV, Alladin on Sab TV  and many more.

Taking it a notch higher, Hindi GECs, apart from airing a special lineup for Diwali, are preparing for some more launches. After bringing an assortment of new shows such as Kasauti Zindagi Ki 2 and Dance Plus 4, Star Plus is launching a new mythological show, Karan Sangini, on October 22. Based on Kavita Kane’s novel Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen, the show will be aired at 7 pm, Monday-Friday. According to media reports, the channel is also bringing a spin-off to one of its most popular and longest running shows Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. Apart from that, the famous show Shararat’s sequel is in the pipeline. Also, Star Bharat’s new offering is Kaal Bhairav Rahasya 2. The date and time of the show have not yet been announced.

Colors’ also released new shows this month, including Bigg Boss, India’s Got Talent and Daastan E Mohabbat. Until December, the channel’s non-fiction slot is packed with Bigg Boss and India’s Got Talent. Khatro Ke Khiladi Season 9 is the next offering.

After launching five new shows in the last one month, the slots are currently full on Zee TV, but there is an upcoming horror show Mohini, which is slated to release by the end of November. The show is still in its initial stages.

Sony Entertainment Television launched its two biggest properties, Indian Idol and KBC's new season last month. The coming months will see the comeback of Kapil Sharma's show, along with Ladies Special and Super Dancer’s new season.



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MIB proposes changes in norms for mandatory sharing of sports feed

The move, the ministry feels, will provide access of sporting events of national importance to maximum people on a free-to-air basis

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago


With an objective to provide access of sporting events of national importance to maximum people on a free-to-air basis, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has proposed to change the norms for mandatory sharing of sports broadcasting feed.

The ministry has issued a notice which reads, “No content rights owner or holder and no television or radio broadcasting service provider shall carry a live television broadcast on any cable or Direct-to-Home network or radio commentary broadcast in India of sporting events of national importance, unless it simultaneously shares the live broadcasting signal, without its advertisements, with the Prasar Bharati to enable them to re-transmit the same on its terrestrial networks and Direct-to-Home networks in such manner and on such terms and conditions as may be specified.”

Explaining the reason behind the proposal, the notice states, “The Sub-section 8(1) of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 provides that: the Central government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the names of Doordarshan channels or the channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament, to be mandatorily carried by the cable operators in their cable service and the manner of reception and re-transmission of such channels”. In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 8 of the Cable Television networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Central Government has specified DD National and DD Sports as channels to be mandatorily carried by the cable operators.

However, as per provisions of the Sports Act, the live feed received by Prasar Bharati from the content rights owners or holders is only for the purpose of re-transmission of the said signals on Doordarshan’s own Terrestrial and DTH network (DD FreeDish) and not for cable operators/other networks. As such, the viewers who do not have DD FreeDish or Doordarshan’s terrestrial network are either unable to watch these sporting events of national importance or are compelled to watch these sporting events on highly priced sports channels and thus, the very objective with which the Parliament had enacted the Sports Act, has been defeated, the ministry said in the notice.


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Spotlight: Is Magic ingredient named innovation missing from kids content in South India?

Technology has made kids quite a demanding audience and TV will have to either innovate massively or miss the bus, feel experts

Neethu Mohan 4 hours ago


Kids genre is a space that none of the TV players should be ignoring. BARC India data says that there is particularly huge scope for growth of regional content in the kids’ entertainment space.  The  target age group for kids specific channels ranges from 2 to 14 years. Given that vacations are about to begin all over India in the next few days, TV consumption of kids is expected to go much higher than it already is. Innovative content is now the name of the game as kids are no longer just happy watching shows such as He-man, Aladdin, Popeye, Shaktiman to name a few- as was the case till a few years ago. Kids particularly belonging to South India have had even lesser choice with regard to TV shows as the abovementioned shows were dubbed for them in their regional languages. What lacks is localisation of content. 

It was only a few years ago that the general entertainment channels in South India slowly started introducing specific kids programs. The first animated Malayalam serial named Kaatile Kannan was aired in early 2000 on Doordarshan. Sun TV came up with a fantasy drama named My Dear Bootham targeted at kids during that period.  Surya TV hosted a television call-in show for kids by the name Hai Kids. Few reality and quiz shows for kids were broadcast in South Indian GEC channels such as Asianet, Amrita TV, Mazhavil Manorama, Star Vijay, Colors Tamil etc. But much still needs to be done to spiff up this space as it has immense potential to become a game changer for players in South.

Technology has changed every aspect of our lives and TV viewership patterns are no different. That no big revolution has happened in terms of kids programs in South India is only adding to the fact that kids are moving to digital instead of consuming what is handed out to them on their TV screens. With smart phones and tablets becoming an inevitable part of every kid’s life, it’s high time channels brought in some serious innovation in kids programming.

Speaking on the innovation (or lack of it) of kid’s content in the South Indian TV space, Kishan Kumar, Managing Partner, Wavemaker, says, “South is over-indexed on prosperity, economic growth, brand consciousness and purchase parity. We all know that it is also over-indexed on TV viewership. So ideally, kids as a genre should be flourishing in South especially with the pester-power these kids enjoy. However, I feel that kids as a genre is probably the least innovative in South."

According to Kumar, South Indian channels don’t invest much on content compared to national kids channels.

“None of the major players except Sun has invested in this genre. Advertisers too haven’t been doing justice to the genre by backing it with investments. And now with the advent of digital, TV is soon vanishing to be the lead entertainment option for kids. Overall, it is not a great sign, I must say! However, since South channels don’t invest much on content compared to national kids channels, their cost overheads will also be lower,” adds Kumar.

Saikat Mohanty, Vice President at Zenith is also of the opinion that the kids' space in South TV sector is behind in terms of innovation.

“The kids' space in Southern TV industry is behind in terms of innovation. The current content is mostly dubbed, which really does not bring out the real flavour of the channel or the culture of that market. While it garners decent eyeballs, from a content viewpoint, there can be a lot more that can be done,” says Mohanty.

Current scenario

There are four channels in the Regional (south) space specifically for kids from SUN TV Network- Chutti TV (Tamil) launched in 2007,  Chintu TV (Kannada), Kushi TV (Telugu) launched in 2009, Kochu TV (Malayalam) launched in 2011.  But even today, most of the programs being broadcast on these channels is dubbed content with scant exceptions- for instance, a program named Maya based on technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) broadcast on Kushi TV.

Speaking on the innovative programs by Sun Network in the kids space, Kavitha Jaubin, Cluster Head- Content acquisition and kids entertainment, SUN TV Network, says, “ We have done shows based on trending technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality in Kushi TV (Telugu), rightly named as Maya. We have touched human lives with Kochu TV’s Snehakootam (Malayalam) setting up flood relief activities. Chutti TV (Tamil) has never failed to entertain its audience in the comfort of their homes with its Motion Capture Games. We stay updated with what the kids want, be it fashion or ideas that excite them. All the four channels - Chutti, Chintu, Kushi and Kochu- use every day occasions to make it interesting for the kids who participate or view us. Since we have region based channels, it adds up to our positives and keeps us growing in the given space.”

Anto Puthiry, Vice President, Flowers TV, says, “ Flowers TV has catered to every target group despite age and gender, so is the approach towards kids genre. Since its launch, the channel has placed importance on kids' shows starting with Kutty Kalavara followed by Katturumbe - which is a major flagship program on the channel to finally launching an International level music reality show-TOP SINGER, which is exclusively for children between the age group of 6-14 years.”

Viewership Patterns

According to BARC Data, viewers in South begin their day early including kids. Viewership of Kids’ channels starts rising from 5:30 am and peaks between 8:00-8:30 am on weekdays. On weekend mornings, it peaks between 9:00-9:30 am. 

“On Weekdays, Kids’ viewership peaks twice, once in the morning, and again in the evening from 5:00 pm-5:30 pm as kids return from school,” says BARC Data.

Coming to the channel viewership impressions, Kushi TV has an average impressions of 17.6 million, 15.4 million is for Chutti TV, Kochu TV is 12.4 million and Chintu TV has average impressions of 11.3 million.

According to BARC, the top 5- categories of advertisers of these channels are Milk beverages, toilet/floor cleaners, toilet soaps, sugar confectionaries and biscuits.

Top 5 categories & advertiser
Week 1-37, 2018
Channels: Kushi TV, Chutti TV, Kochu TV, Chintu TV




No. Insertions







































The top advertisers for the channels include Reckitt Benckiser, Hindustan Lever Ltd, ITC Ltd, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Health, Smithkline Beecham, says BARC Data.




No. Insertions


































Challenges and solutions

“The evolution of technology has taken over all aspects of our lives and it has influenced the younger generation in a massive way. Today, kids are engaging and not just viewing. Kids across the globe have made content creation the planet’s single largest shared obsession,” says Jaubin.

According to Mohanty, the overall spends done in South kids shows/channels account to about 3-4% of the overall spends.

Pointing out the challenges and reasons behind it, Mohanty says, “ There is no newness in content, most of the content is dubbed. Kids are moving towards digital (Youtube, Netflix, Voot etc), where the repository of content is huge. It’s anytime watch and there is no appointment viewing.”

“On an average, I don’t think kids genre is more than 2-3% of the TV adex. And that’s far lower compared to the viewership share of the genre. Even if it include kids shows in GECs, the percentage won’t be more than 5-6%. This can only change if more quality content gets created and more categories participate,” concludes Kumar.

As pointed out by Mohanty and Kumar, localisation of content is the way forward for kids' channels in South India. It's either that or losing out to the digital wave.





Senior Reporter, exchange4media, Bangalore Neethu reports on media, marketing and advertising industry. In the past she has reported on start-ups, education and health sector for over 6 years.


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SPN extends TV & digital partnership with ABB FIA Formula E Championship

SPN will show all races of ABB FIA Formula E Championship for further two seasons

exchange4media News Service 2 days ago


Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) will continue to broadcast each round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for a further two seasons across the Indian sub-continent, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


The fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E championship will kick off in Saudi Arabia on December 15, 2018 and the final round will be hosted by New York City on July 14, 2019. This year will see the sport further evolve as they unleash the second-generation pure electric race cars.


SPN will show action from every E-Prix throughout the course of the season, alongside analysis and reaction with supplementary magazine shows and highlights packages.


With the participation of automobile manufacturing giant Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian following for the championship is very high. Mahindra Racing has finished on 4th & 3rd positions in the last two years of the championship.


Talking about the partnership, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer- Distribution and Head - Sports, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with ABB FIA Formula E after the positive response and viewership we have seen over the past year. This series is especially exciting given the innovation and the potential it has for the future. At SPN, we are focused on providing a multi-sport viewing culture and the ABB FIA Formula E Championship further strengthens our vast portfolio.”


Ali Russell, Media & Business Development Director, Formula E, said, “As we approach the start of the new season, it’s great news to retain SPN as exclusive broadcaster across the Indian sub-continent. With the increased demand and appetite for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in India, we’re excited to bring eager fans and Mahindra Racing supporters the best that the electric street racing series has to offer for another two seasons.”


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BARC Week 41: SUN TV maintains first spot in across genre category

Market leaders in the South GEC - Colors Kannada, Asianet, SUN TV and Star Maa retained their top positions this week too

exchange4media News Service 3 days ago

Barc Week 41 South GEC

The Week 41 data of the Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) has been released. SUN TV maintained its first position in the across the genre category with 1 billion impressions. Star Maa which was in the third spot in Week 40, climbed down four spots to claim the seventh position with 702 million impressions. 

Like the previous weeks market leaders in the South GEC, Colors Kannada, Asianet, SUN TV and Star Maa retained their top positions this week too. 

Colors Kannada bagged the first spot in Kannada GEC category with 459 million impressions followed by Zee Kannada with 407 million impressions. Udaya TV came third with 220 million impressions followed by Udaya Movies with 194 million impressions. The fifth spot was bagged by Star Suvarna with 161 million impressions. 

The first two spots in the program category was bagged by Colors Kannada with its ‘Lakshmi Baaramma’ bagging the first spot with 7.1 million impressions. The third spot in the program category was clinched by Zee Kannada’s ‘Comedy Khiladigalu Championship’. The fourth and fifth spot was bagged by prime time serials of Colors Kannada.

Asianet bagged the first spot in Malayalam GEC category with 290 million impressions. Surya TV which was in the second spot last week climbed down one spot to bag the third spot with 81.1 million impressions. Flowers TV bagged the second spot with 96.1 million impressions. Mazhavil Manorama came fourth with 79.2 million impressions followed by Asianet movies with 64.4 million impressions.

All five spots in the program category was bagged by the prime-time serials of Asianet. 

SUN TV clinched the first spot with 941 million impressions. Zee Tamil climbed one spot up with 490 million impressions claiming the second spot followed by Star Vijay with 469 million impressions. KTV bagged the fourth spot with 283 million impressions followed by Sun Life with 103 million impressions. 

The first four spot in the program category was claimed by SUN TV with its prime -time serial ‘Naayagi’ with 11.6 million impressions. Zee Tamil's 'Yaaradi Nee Mohini' grabbed the fifth spot with 8.9 million impressions 

Star Maa claimed the first spot with 660 million impressions followed by Gemini TV with 494 million impressions. Zee Telugu which was on the second spot last week bagged the third spot with 474 million impressions. ETV Telugu bagged the fourth spot with 438 million impressions followed by Gemini Movies with 216 million impressions. 

Star Maa bagged all the top 5 spots in the program category with ‘Karthika Deepam’ in the first spot with 12.8 million impressions


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BARC Week 41: Star Utsav topples Zee Anmol to emerge leader in overall market

Star Plus and Zee Anmol continued to lead urban and rural markets, respectively.

exchange4media News Service 3 days ago


Star Utsav toppled Zee Anmol to bag the leadership position in the overall market with 868 million impressions in Week 41 of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data. Zee Anmol slipped to the second spot with 804 million impressions and Star Bharat bagged the third position with 748 million impressions.

Colors’ Naagin3 continued to lead the list of top five programmes in the overall market with 13.4 million impressions, followed by Zee Anmol’s Kumkum Bhagya on second slot with 12.7 million impressions and Zee TV’s Kundali Bhagya on the third spot with 12.3 million impressions. Zee Anmol’s Mahek and Star Bharat’s Radhakrishn stood at number four and five positions with 10.9 million and 10.6 million impressions, respectively.

Hindi GEC Urban

Star Plus continued to lead the urban GEC market with 486 million impressions, followed by Sony Entertainment Television on second spot with 456 million impressions. Zee TV stood on Number 3 with 416 million impressions. Colors took the fourth position and Star Bharat the fifth position with 408 and 358 million impressions, respectively

Colors’ Naagin3 continued to dominate the list of top five programmes in the urban market as well, with 9.0 million impressions. Zee TV’s Kundali Bhagya bagged the second spot with 7.4 million impressions followed by Star Plus’ Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Kulfi Kumar Bajewala on third and fourth spots with 7.3 and 6.7 million impressions, respectively. Sony Entertainment Television’s KBC stood on the fifth spot with 6.1 million impressions.

Hindi GEC Rural

Zee Anmol leads the rural market with 660 million impressions, followed by Star Utsav on the second spot with 631 million impressions and Sony Pal on the third with 428 million impressions. Star Bharat and Dangal TV stood on the fourth and fifth positions with 389 million impressions and 352 million impressions, respectively.

Zee Anmol’s Kumkum Bhagya continued to lead the list of top five programmes with 10.6 million impressions followed by Mahek on the same channel at second slot with 9.0 million impressions. Star Utsav’s Rabba Ve and Veera bagged third and fourth spots with 6.9 and 6.1 million impressions, respectively. Sony Pal’s Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma stood at Number 5 with 5.8 million impressions.



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Time Maharashtra, a new 24/7 Marathi news channel

The channel will feature news on the ever expanding and new developing areas in Maharashtra and its outskirts

exchange4media News Service 4 days ago

Time Maharashtra

Viasys Digital Network Pvt. Ltd's Founder and Chairman, Sudesh Bhosle, launches Time Maharashtra, a 24/7 Marathi news channel with its reach across Maharashtra and beyond.

The channel is a blend of media and IT skills bagged by a deep understanding of global media under Editor-in- Chief of Time Maharashtra and former Member of Parliament, Bharatkumar Raut.

The channel will feature news on the ever expanding and new developing areas in Maharashtra and its outskirts. It will focus on sanctity of news, maintaining equidistance with politics and social responsibilities. The aim is to cater to all sections of society in Maharashtra and Marathi speaking diaspora. The channel will provide universal viewership globally for all age groups and gender. Raut is approaching the channel with the vision - ‘And we feed something for everybody and everything for anybody’. 

The channel will be FTA (Free to air) and will also be carried on all leading platforms.


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Regional TV: Viewership soaring, but not ad rates

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

Sonam Saini 4 days ago


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(With inputs from Neethu Mohan)

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


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Asianet News communicates news in sign language for hearing impaired

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

exchange4media News Service 4 days ago


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

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

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

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


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

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

exchange4media News Service 4 days ago


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a) Ultra High Definition Entertainment on large screen TVs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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