TV9 Network forays into Bengal

Before the launch of TV9 Bangla, the network will unveil its digital offering, tv9bangla.com in December

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 25, 2020 6:12 PM  | 3 min read
tv9bangla

TV9 Network has embarked on an expansion plan for both its linear television as well as digital news businesses. The expansion plan will kick off with the launch of TV9 Bangla, a 24X7 news channel in the dynamic Bengal news market early next year.

Before the launch of TV9 Bangla, the network will unveil its digital offering, tv9bangla.com in December. As West Bengal prepares to go to the hustings, the grand entry of TV9 Bangla digital and TV platforms will be a game-changer for the robust Bangla news market. 

Commenting on the Network’s foray into West Bengal, Barun Das, CEO, TV9 Network, said: “Gopal Krishna Gokhale had famously said  ‘What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow’. But nearly a century later it would seem like that statement applies more to Bengal’s past than the present. An intellectually progressive state and exporter of the best talent to India and the world, we believe the state and its people still retain the wisdom and wares to make that its future as well.  Bengalis are the typical Argumentative Indian, they want to keep her ear to the ground and hence are naturally drawn to news.

“More importantly, Bengalis are proud of their language and largely consume news in their language. The discerning Bengali viewer will always have room for a neutral perspective and a balanced opinion. That’s the place in the Bengali heart and mind that TV9 Bangla aspires to occupy. We are here to strike the right balance with neutrality and a fair perspective forming the core of our operations. Our unbiased coverage and world class presentation will give teeth to the Fourth Estate in West Bengal.” 

On the timing of the launch, Das said: “The state is already into election mode. Indirect canvassing has already started and the heat is building up. Given Bengal’s propensity for free flow of information, news viewership is bound to peak. We believe this is a perfect opportunity for TV9 Bangla to establish its credentials and win the maximum share of viewership and voice.”

The network has onboarded veteran journalist Anjan Bandyopadhyay as the editor of TV9 Bangla news channel. A gold medallist from Calcutta University, Bandyopadhyay has 32 years of experience and has worked with almost all major media houses, including ABP, Zee, ETV and Sky Bangla. He was the Editor input of Zee 24 Ghanta and his last assignment was with ABP as its Editor-Digital.

 

Hiring for both the platforms is in full swing.  Amritanshu Bhattacharya has also joined as the Editor, TV9 Bengali Digital and will also serve as Deputy Managing Editor, Output, for the television channel. Bhattacharya comes with a rich experience of more than 25 years across print, audio visual and digital media, having worked with Jugantar, Aajkaal, ETV and Zee Media Corp. His last assignment was as an Associate Editor and Head of Digital of Zee 24 Ghanta.

 

 

 

 

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NTO 3.0 likely to come into force today: 80% DPOs sign up for new regime

Stakeholders say they are optimistic that NTO 3.0 will be implemented today as majority of DPOs, including DTH operators, have already notified consumers about the price hike

By Sonam Saini | Feb 1, 2023 8:57 AM   |   3 min read

TV

After a delay of two years, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) New Tariff Order (NTO 3.0) is finally expected to come into force today.

exchange4media has learnt that TRAI on January 19 issued a letter asking all stakeholders to follow the notification issued by it in this regard. 

According to Siddharth Jain, Secretary General, Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF), more than 80% of operators across the country have already signed up with broadcasters under the new pricing regime. 

“This is an extremely encouraging start under the NTO 3.0 regime, and we expect others to also sign up over the next few days,” said Jain.

A senior official of a cable company, on the condition of anonymity, shared that NTO 3.0 will come into force today as most DTH and other cable operators have already communicated to their consumers that prices will increase on February 1. 

While broadcasters revised pricing and filed their RIOs in December last year, some of the DPOs are waiting for the decision of the Kerala High Court in this matter. 

Cable operators and DPOs have been at loggerheads with TRAI ever since the regulator issued amendments to the NTO in January 2020. Cable operators believe that NTO 3.0 will have a negative impact on their subscriber base. In fact, the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) last month submitted a petition against NTO 3.0 in the Kerala High Court, requesting a stay on its implementation. The court, however, refused to grant a stay on the order and scheduled the case for hearing on February 8.

"The new pricing will increase consumers’ cost by at least 20-30% and cable operators will have to face the heat of this price hike. The cable TV operators who are members of AIDCF will await for the court's decision on February 8, 2023," said a source close to the case.

Meanwhile industry sources share that prices of TV channels have remained frozen for over five years, despite increased offerings by broadcasters in the face of increased price of all goods, services including the cost of production and content. “It's not a price increase, it's a long-overdue correction,” said the source. 

He went on to say that TRAI has held consultations and deliberations on NTO 3.0 with all stakeholders in the value chain, including broadcasters, DPOs, LCOs and consumer groups. The Amended Regulatory Framework 2022 reflects the issues presented by the authority and on which submissions have been invited and received. In the spirit of moving towards an environment of regulatory forbearance, broadcasters are supporting the authority, said the source. In the revised pricing, broadcasters have increased the price of some bouquets by 10-15%.

Cable company executives, on the other hand, claim that they have been losing customers over the last three years, and that the implementation of NTO 3.0 will exacerbate this trend.

Speaking on the concerns of DPOs, another industry expert shared that broadcasters are responsible for providing quality content that spans multiple genres and languages. “Today's consumers have a plethora of options to choose from, and their decisions are influenced by a variety of factors. Pricing alone cannot be a factor determining this choice.”

In the amended NTO, the regulator restored the Rs 19 MRP cap for the inclusion of TV channels in a bouquet and also allowed broadcasters to offer a maximum discount of 45% while pricing its bouquet of pay channels over the sum of MRPs of all of the pay channels in that bouquet. 



 

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DD Free Dish e-auction methodology announced for MPEG 2 & 4 slots

This has come into effect from 27th January

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 11:23 AM   |   1 min read

Free Dish

The e-auction methodology for allotment of slots of DD Free Dish to private satellite TV channels has come into effect from 27th January, 2023.

The reserve price for MPEG-2 slots that are up for auction are as below:

Bucket A+ Rs 15.00 Cr

Bucket A Rs 12.00 Cr

Bucket B Rs 10.00 Cr

Bucket C Rs 7.00 Cr

Bucket D Rs 6.00 Cr

Bucket R1 Rs 3.0 Cr

The MPEG-2 slots has been categorised under various buckets.

The reserve price for the first round starts from Rs 3 crore and goes up to Rs 16.20 crore.

 

 

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Will NTO 3.0 come into effect on February 1?

Experts believe the amended order is unlikely to be implemented tomorrow because a case against it is pending in the Kerala High Court, which will come up for hearing on February 8

By Sonam Saini | Jan 31, 2023 9:08 AM   |   5 min read

TV

The broadcast industry is just one day away from the deadline for the implementation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) new tariff order (NTO) 3.0. However, speculations are rife that the order may not see the light of the day yet as a case against it is pending before the Kerala High Court which will be heard on February 8. The case was filed by the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) in the first week of January, requesting the court to stay the implementation of the order. However, the court declined to issue an interim order and instead scheduled the case for February 8.

"NTO 3.0 is unlikely to get implemented on the ground since the matter is sub-judice. The Kerala High Court has not granted a stay, but it will hear the case on February 8," a cable operator said.

A senior executive of a leading broadcaster too shared the same thought. "All broadcasters have revised their pricing and submitted RIOs but most of the DPOs haven’t. Though there has been no announcement from TRAI on whether NTO 3.0 will be implemented on February 1 or not, we believe it is unlikely to be implemented because of the AIDCF petition in the court," he said.

The amended new tariff order was issued by TRAI in November last year. The NTO 3.0 reinstated the Rs 19 MRP cap for TV channel inclusion in a bouquet and also allowed broadcasters to offer a maximum discount of 45% when pricing its bouquet of pay channels over the sum of the MRPs of all pay channels in that bouquet.

While broadcasters have welcomed the amended NTO, distribution platform operators (DPOs) have expressed concerns. Cable operators believe that NTO 3.0 will drive customers away from pay TV towards DD FreeDish and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.

In its petition, AIDCF has requested the court to issue directions to TRAI to examine the new order and fix maximum retail price for television channels genre-wise and place a maximum cap on the price of any channel in order to ensure the orderly growth of the digital cable television sector as mandated by the TRAI Act, 1997. The federation had told the court that TRAI has failed to consider and address the foremost challenge faced by the entire broadcasting and cable services industry and that they are witnessing constant decline in subscriber base for MSOs and DTH operators. 

Meanwhile, following the amendment of the NTO, broadcasters such as ZEEL, Sun TV, Discovery Communication India, Disney Star India, Viacom18 and Culver Max Entertainment revised their pricing in December last year and filed their RIOs. DPOs, however, are waiting for the Kerala High Court’s decision and are yet to publish the new pricing. According to industry sources, most of the DTH operators will be publishing new pricing before February 1, 2023.  

TRAI’s data shows that in the last eight quarters, the total active number of DTH subscribers has decreased from 70.99 million to 68.89 million. Similarly, the number of total active subscribers of major MSOs/HITS operators, having more than a million subscribers, has decreased from 47.58 million to 45.55 million.

Not just AIDCF but several other local cable operators too have raised similar concerns over the implementation of NTO 3.0. 

In a letter to TRAI Secretary V Raghunandan, Kolkata- based LCO RK Communication has said that they are facing serious problems since digitization and despite repeated correspondence with TRAI they are yet to receive any solution from their end.

“We are strongly demanding the withdrawal of the NTO 3 implementation during this time of economic recession period. NTO 1 was not at all a success. When NTO 1 was launched, we lost 30%- 40% of our customers. We are scared that if NTO 3 is launched, the same thing will happen. So, our demand is to first resolve the issues related to our business,” the LCO said in its letter.

They requested that a regulation for OTT platforms must be framed and a level playing field should be ensured. The LCO also mentioned that live channels on OTT platforms should be withdrawn immediately. RK Communication also demanded that a licence fees for OTT platforms should be implemented from immediate effect.

It further asked for a new policy for pay channels sharing percentage. “We demand 50% commission for LCOs on every pay channel.” 

“We also demand that no pay channel should be aired on DD FreeDish and on terrestrial. Our demand is first to resolve the issues of the cable operators with a proper discussion over the table regarding NTO-3,” their letter read further.

A similar letter was written to MIB Minister Anurag Singh Thakur by Fibernet Operators Federation.

"Cable operators are concerned that this (NTO 3.0) will have a negative impact on their subscriber base and end customers," said an industry expert.

“Because the price difference between OTT and TV is still very large, a price increase of 8-10% will have no effect on TV. Although NTO implementation on February 1 appears unlikely, NTO 3.0 will go into effect," he added.

The All Local Cable Operator Association Delhi (ALCOA INDIA), which is a representative body of Local Cable Operators (LCOs), also wrote another letter to Anurag Singh Thakur on January 30. In the letter, they said that implementation of NTO 3.0 will result in shutting down of Cable TV business leading to loss of approximately 1 million jobs.

They have requested Thakur to stop implementation of NTO 3 in its current form and to relook into its provisions. They have also requested to put a cap on all the channel prices for the overall benefit of the subscribers along with other demands.

 

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MIB tells channels to undertake public service broadcasting for at least 30 mins in a day

The order comes into effect on March 1, 2023

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 7:06 PM   |   3 min read

TV

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has directed satellite TV channels to undertake public service broadcasting for a minimum period of 30 minutes in a day on themes of national importance and of social relevance.

The themes listed by the government are:

  1. education and spread of literacy;
  2. agriculture and rural development
  3. health and family welfare;
  4. science and technology;
  5. welfare of women;
  6. welfare of the weaker sections of the society
  7. protection of environment and of cultural heritage; and
  8. national integration

         

        In a statement issued in this regard the ministry further stated, the Private Satellite TV Channels need to undertake the Public Service Broadcasting in the following manner:

        1. Content:

        (I) The list of themes of national importance and of social relevance given under clause 35 of the Policy Guidelines are indicative and may be expanded to include similar subjects of national importance and social relevance such as water conservation, disaster management, etc.

        (ii) Broadcasters have the liberty to modulate their content. The relevant content embedded in the programmes may be accounted for Public Service Broadcasting. However, it should be done in a manner that the overall objective of the Public Service Broadcasting may be achieved.

        (iii) The content can be shared between the Broadcasters and could be repeat telecast on one! several TV channels.

        (iv) A common e-Platform may be developed as a repository of relevant videos or textual content from various sources for the purpose of Public Service Broadcasting, which may be accessed and used by TV Channels.

        1. Accounting of Timing:

        (I) The content need not be of 30 minutes at a stretch. It could be spread over smaller time slots. The time for which the Public Service Broadcasting content is telecast in between commercial breaks shall not be accounted for the 12 Minute limit for commercial breaks.

        (ii) The time for the content under Public Service Broadcasting shall be accounted cumulatively on monthly basis i.e. 15 hours per month.

        (iii) The time for transmission of the relevant content shall be flexible except that any content transmitted from Midnight to 6:00 AM shall not be accounted for under Public Servicen Broadcasting.

         

        1. Reporting:

        (i) Voluntary compliance and self-certification would be the guiding principles.

        (ii) Broadcasters shall submit a monthly report on the Broadcast Seva Portal (in the format annexed in Annexure A) on or before the 7th day of the following month.

        (iii) Broadcasters shall include a compliance certificate in its Annual report.

        (iv) Foreign channels, downhinking in India (in languages other than those specified in the Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution), shall be exempt from the obligation of Publc service Broadcasting.

        (v) The channels broadcasting predominantly (more than 12 hours) sports and devotional! spiritual! yoga content shall be exempt from furnishing the monthly reports on the Broadcast Seva Portal.

         

        1. Identification

        (i) The Broadcaster shall keep the record of the content telecast for a period of 90 days.

        (ii) Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, shall keep the record of the content telecast for a period of 90 days.

         

        1. The private satellite TV Channels, are accordingly, advised to report Public Service Broadcasting in the manner prescribed above, with effect from 1st March, 2023.

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        Viacom18 gets media rights for the first season of Premier Handball League

        The tournament will be covered on JioCinema, Sports 18-1 (HD & SD) and Sports 18 Khel

        By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 3:49 PM   |   4 min read

        jio cinema

        Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. announced today that Viacom18 secured media rights for the inaugural season of the Premier Handball League (PHL). Viacom18 will provide multi-platform coverage on JioCinema, Sports 18-1 (HD & SD) and Sports 18 Khel.   

        The inaugural season of the Premier Handball League is set to kick off on 8th June 2023 and will run till 25th June 2023. The International Handball Federation has recognised India as the next big destination for Handball. To amplify the efforts of Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Handball Association India, and South Asian Handball Federation, Viacom18 will showcase the Premier Handball League at prime time from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 

        Viacom18 recently acquired global television and digital rights to broadcast the Women’s Premier League (WPL) from season 2023 to 2027. They are also the digital broadcasters of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the same period. In addition, the network clocked historic numbers during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as digital viewership went past TV in India for the first time for a global marquee sports event, with 32mn viewers tuned in to JioCinema on the final day of the FIFA World Cup.  

        Over 110mn viewers consumed the content on digital, making India one of the highest digital viewership markets for the FIFA World Cup as JioCinema continued to be the No. 1 downloaded free app on iOS and Android throughout the tournament.  

        The Premier Handball League is the first professional handball league in India. The first-of-its-kind competition is associated with the South Asian Handball Federation and backed by the Asian Handball Federation and the International Handball Federation.  

        The first season will see six teams go up against each other in round-robin format consisting of 30 matches, followed by three knockout matches to determine the ultimate champion. The 33 matches will be spread over 18 days, and each team will have a minimum of 10 matches. Each squad will consist of 17 players, made up of 14 Indian players and three foreigners.  

        Widely recognised as the fastest Olympic Sport, Handball has a strong grassroots presence in India. Handball’s popularity at the grassroots level is due to the tireless efforts of the Handball Association India. They have ensured that the national team’s ranking at the global level has been consistently rising.  

        Abhinav Banthia, President of Bluesport, speaking on the same, said, “India is growing exponentially as a sporting nation. Handball has a very strong presence in the country, especially at the grassroots level. Our thought behind the Premier Handball League was to help utilise the popularity of the sport by giving it a platform that will amplify sports traction in India. We are glad to onboard Viacom18 as the official broadcast partner, as we believe they will help us package this competition ingeniously so that this unique league becomes relatable for fans. Overall, we believe if you package speed, strength, stamina, agility, technical precision, skill, teamwork and fast-paced action, you come to Handball, and a league for Handball will turn out to be the leading indoor sports league in this country very soon.”  

        Dr. Anandeshwar Pandey, Secretary General of the South Asian Handball Federation, spoke about how the league can revolutionise the sport of Handball in India. He said, “The Premier Handball League will provide the much-needed push Indian Handball has needed for years. It will also help to direct the spotlight on Handball not only in India, but all of South Asia, which I am sure will help boost participation and popularity of the sport. The Premier Handball League has all the necessary elements to be a highly successful competition, especially now that they have announced Viacom18 as a broadcast partner. I am sure the league will grow rapidly as it is set to produce the star athletes of tomorrow for Indian fans to support.”    

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        Repeat telecast? Big broadcasters may return to DD FreeDish

        Industry sources say Disney Star, ZEEL, Culver Max Entertainment and Viacom18 plan to bid for the DD FreeDish slots for their Hindi GECs like Star Utsav, Zee Anmol, Sony Pal and Colors Rishtey

        By Sonam Saini | Jan 30, 2023 8:53 AM   |   5 min read

        Bharat Express news channel unveils signature tune

        The tune that combines classical and contemporary elements will be featured at the beginning and end of each news broadcast

        By exchange4media Staff | Jan 28, 2023 12:01 PM   |   1 min read

        bharat express

        Bharat Express news channel set to be launched on the 1st of February 2023 has announced the unveiling of its original signature tune composed by the biggies of the Indian music industry who have composed for the likes of Gangs of Wasseypur and Kabir Singh. 

        The captivating tune combines elements of traditional Indian music with contemporary sounds to create a unique melody that soothes your ears and ignites your mind. The tune will be featured at the beginning and end of each news broadcast, as well as in promotional materials for the channel.

        Bharat Express plans to come with a bang with a focus on comprehensive news coverage of everything under the sun, from remote villages to the crisis of Venezuela, stock market to onion prices, and gadgets to galaxies.

        The chairman, managing director, and editor-in-chief, Upendrra Rai, said, " Signature tune is the hallmark of any news channel and we have selected this one after rounds of consideration by the music team. We are confident that the tune will become synonymous with the Bharat Express brand and its objectives and will help us stand out in the crowded news landscape; and most importantly, people will connect to it."

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