MATRIMONIAL CHANNEL LAUNCHED
India's first 24-hours matrimonial channel 'Shagun', was launched on 1st May. The Hindi channel - a venture of Nodia based Vertent Media - features various prenuptial and post-nuptial programmes. It will also carry shows related to wedding, astrology, relationships & shopping.
"Though the channel is exclusively dedicated to matrimonial programmes, it will also beam out programmes related to lifestyle and entertainment. The channel will also cater to everyone- right from youngsters to the elders," said Anuranjan Jha, MD, Shagun.
CHANNELS BY CRIMINAL & BUILDERS - CHANDRA
Broadcasters expressed concern over the glut of TV channels being run by "historysheeters, builders with shady antecedents and crony capitalists" which had brought a drop in standards of reporting and news.
Zee chairman Subhash Chandra said several builders had started channels to keep the authorities at bay. "There are 400 news channels operating at present. I believe people running news channels are history sheeters, builders are running channels to keep police away," he said. A history-sheeter is an Indian police term for a criminal with a record of repeated, serious crimes.
BAG Films chairperson Anuradha Prasad said inaction by policy makers during the TV industry boom had led to crony capitalism. Prasad said several players entered the industry following the boom in the real estate business. "It was important for policy makers to check this. But what has been done is done,'' she added.
Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said the public had started questioning whether media was fulfilling its role with objectivity.
NEW TV NEWS CHANNEL BY BAR OWNER
Seven years after Mumbai's infamous Deepa Bar - which was caught in a major cricket betting scandal in 2005 - shut down, Sudhakar Shetty, the owner of the bar, has launched Marathi news channel - "Jai Maharashtra"
The launch party at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt hotel on 27 April was attended by top politicians including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, besides several Bollywood stars.
Shetty is also the chairman of the real estate company Sahana Group, and the launch of the channel adds to the long list of builders and chit funds players who have floated media organisations.
Shetty is reportedly planning a Hindi news channel after the Marathi channel takes off.
I&B SEEKS CHANNEL STAKE DETAILS
The I&B Ministry has asked all television channels - general entertainment as well as news and current affairs - to furnish details of their shareholding pattern and equity structure.
The ministry has enquired whether there had been any changes in their shareholding pattern or any dilution made in their equity structure since the grant of licences to them.
The immediate provocation for the I&B circular seems to be the collapse of the Saradha Group, which ran a clutch of television channels - Tara Muzik, Tara Newz and South Asia TV.
DELHI HC STAYS AXN BAN
The Delhi High Court has stayed an I&B ministry order prohibiting the transmission of the AXN channel for one day for allegedly showing a film - Darkness Falls - with an 'A' certificate.
The film 'Darkness Falls', a 2003 horror had initially been given an 'Adults Only' certificate for theatrical exhibition by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC).
However the petitioner, Sony Pictures Entertainment, said that the film had been re-certified after necessary changes as a 'UA' film (suitably for viewing by children under parental guidance) for television broadcast.
The petitioner said that while the film telecast on AXN was the UA version, the 'A' certificate had been screened before the film by sheer human error.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on 13 July.
I&B SAYS BARC A FAILURE
The I&B ministry has termed the broadcasters' BARC to set up a self-regulating television rating system as a 'failure'. "Selfregulation of the TRP system has failed to take off as the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has not been able to take any credible action on the recommendations made by TRAI and by Mitra Committee... No significant progress has been made till today by BARC to set up a transparent television rating mechanism in the country."
The I&B ministry has now asked the TRAI to step in and propose regulations and guidelines for an alternative TRP measurement body in the country.
TRAI in its consultation paper has opined that it will be in the interest of the stakeholders, including consumers, that there is competition in the rating services. It suggested different rating agencies for different regions/states or zonewise division of rating agencies. It has also proposed no cross holding between the rating agencies and broadcasters, advertisers, media agencies and advertising agencies. This is exactly the opposite of the proposed BARC.
CORPUS MERGES SCAS BUSINESS
Corpus Media Labs is expanding, deploying products & strengthening operations beyond middleware offering SCAS (Solutions Components As Services) to STB OEM's, CAS vendors, System Integrators, MSOs & Cable Operators.
SCAS focuses on components like TV Widgets, Multi screen OTT App framework, PVR, OTT, Catch up TV, VOD etc.
Corpus was founded in 1999 as a Technology Company with offices in Hyderabad in India and Singapore, London, South Africa and Dallas, Texas. Corpus Media Labs suite of products & services are globally targeted for Cable, DTH, Terrestrial & Mobile operators. It offers solutions like DTV Middleware, applications & Value Added Services, Hybrid & IPTV as Managed Services, turnkey Hotel TV etc. These solutions are offered as integrated solutions either as a Managed Service or as SCAS.
WHAT'S-ON-INDIA COVERS 220 MSOS
TV guidance company What's-on-India said it has expanded the reach of its TV channel distribution and connectivity monitoring system Television Street Maps (TSM) to 2,200 cable-head ends and control rooms across 1700 towns up from 700 head-ends and 250 towns that it used to cover.
Some of the new markets added by TSM in the expansion plan include small (less-than-one-lakh) population towns in Hindi-Speaking-Markets (HSM LC1).
The target is to cover 3,000+ head-ends by the end of 2013.
TSM delivers day-to-day TV channel monitoring by head-ends and towns to the TV industry. It also monitors cable and DTH Channel Packs, pack prices and EPG quality.
DAS-2 ACHIEVES 90% DIGITISATION?
Three weeks after the switch-off of analogue signals in a majority of the 38 cities covered under Phase II, the level of digitisation has touched 90%, according to I&B ministry secretary Uday Kumar Varma.
Varma told the press that a total of 15 cities have crossed 100% digitisation & 1 city had crossed 98% digitisation. Another 3 cities have crossed 90% digitisation.
The government, he said, was still in the process of collating all the figures from the nodal officers and would bring a detailed report after its review.
Meanwhile stays continued to be in force in the cities of Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Hyderabad, and Visakhapatnam. The Karnataka and Gujarat high courts had last week quashed petitions seeking extension of DAS thereby paving way for the analogue signals to be switched-off.
(Something does not seem right with the digitisation figures put out by the I&B ministry. They include a 20% increase for multi TV homes. Despite this, the ministry states that Hyderabad city had achieved 161% digitisation. This would imply that for every 16 TVs in Hyderabad, 20 STBs had been purchased & installed in consumer homes! -Ed.)
8 CHANNELS PULLED UP BY I&B
Action has been initiated ten times against eight foreign television channels in 2011 and 2012 for violation of the Programme and Advertising Codes under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995. I&B minister Manish Tewari told parliament that the Act does not provide for pre-censorship of the programmes and advertisements.
♣ FTV faced closure for ten days from 28 March 2013.
♣ AXN was taken off for one day.
The other channels which were issued advisories or warnings included Sony Pix, Sony, TLC, and Zee Trends.
Star Cricket was pulled up for airing ad of a liquor brand.
An Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) has been set up to monitor the content of private TV channels. The Ministry also has an Inter- Ministerial Committee (IMC) to consider the cases of violation of these codes and recommend appropriate action.
MONICA TATA IS HBO MD
Monica Tata has been appointed as the managing director of HBO India. She is based in Mumbai and report in to HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink.
At HBO India, she will be responsible for introducing & developing various initiatives to enhance the company's offerings in India and the subcontinent; providing strategic direction and managing partner relationships.
There are three 24-hour HBO movie channels available to viewers in India - HBO, the movie channel launched in 2000, and 2 premium advertising free movie channels, HBO Defined and HBO Hits, launched earlier this year that showcase the best of Hollywood and Bollywood content in high-definition and standard-definition.
Tata has over 23 years of media experience and was most recently the GM, South Asia for Turner International India. Prior to that she was Sr. VP - Star India.