January 2020


ZEEL's channels have reportedly been blacked out by 3 major MSOs in Tamil Nadu.

According to reports, Arasu Cable and SCN switched off ZEE's channels from their platform, while VK Digital has removed Zee Tamil from the base pack and changed its placement on its service. Zee & the MSOs are at loggerheads, over channel discounts.

According to BARC's viewership data for week 50 (December 7th-13th) 2019, Zee Tamil is second most watched channel in Tamil Nadu, after Sun TV.

Sun TV Network owner Kalanithi Maran also owns Kal Cable, which runs SCV.

As per TRAI, as on April 1st, 2019, Arasu Cable, SCV and VK Digital had a total of 5.52 million active subscribers.

The withdrawal on the Zee channels comes just before the launch of Tamil movie channel, Zee Thirai.

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Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar of the Delhi High Court have asked TRAI to respond to a plea by the Indian Broadcasters Foundation (IBF). The IBF has challenged the recent Interconnection Order, that makes it mandatory for all broadcasters to disclose every agreement and arrangement they have with DPOs.

The IBF plea seeks quashing of various provisions of TRAI's recent Interconnection order.

IBF claims that TRAI should only be concerned only with the technical and commercial arrangements between broadcasters and DPOs, with regard to distribution of signals of TV channels. The IBF claims TRAI is trying to "usurp" jurisdiction which it does not have under the law.

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ZEEL has announced its plans to launch 4 new regional channels: Zee Punjabi (GEC channel) and 3 movie channels - Zee Biskope (Bhojpuri), Zee Thirai (Tamil) and Zee Picchar (Kannada).

Zee Punjabi and Zee Biskope are scheduled to go on air on 13 January and 14 January 2020 respectively. Zee Thirai and Zee Picchar will launch between February and March 2020.

Zee Punjabi - a GEC channel will carry a mix of shows & movies. The channels tag line is 'Kahaaniyaan Punjabi, Boli Punjabi, Zee Punjabi.'

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Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar said "approximately 33 million households have access to DD FreeDish throughout the country."

Currently, Doordarshan has 35 operating satellite TV channels. This includes six all India channels, 17 regional channels, 11 state networks and one international channel.

Additionally, the government has allocated ₹ 234.51 crore to Doordarshan for content development under the scheme "Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development" for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

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ZEEL has declared plans to launch its Punjabi entertainment channel Zee Punjabi, on Lohri - 13 January 2020. The channel's tag line is "Jazba Kar Vakhon Da."

The channel will launch as a Free- To-Air channel, and will also be included on the ZEE5 OTT platform.

Amit Shah, Cluster Head - North, West & Premium Channels, ZEEL said, "Despite the highest TV penetration (88%) in the country, Punjab has a significantly low Time Spent and that is a factor of not having dedicated Punjabi content that does justice to the region and the culture. Zee Punjabi is being launched by understanding the viewer's need gap."

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BBC Global News has appointed Rahul Sood as Managing Director for India and South Asia, from January 2020. He will be responsible for leading the strategic growth of commercial activities across the business. Sood will report to Chris Davies, Global EVP marketing and distribution, and Alistair McEwan, SVP commercial development, Asia and ANZ.

Sood will be in charge of the commercial sales teams across the region with the distribution head, Sunil Joshi, and advertising sales director, Vishal Bhatnagar, reporting directly to him.

According to BBC Global news "India is BBC News' largest overseas market, with an audience of over 50 million people. This represents a staggering year on year growth of 21 million, driven by an unprecedented expansion of BBC News in India. The bureau is now one of the BBC's largest outside the UK."

Prior to this, Rahul Sood was with NDTV, Fox International channels in Singapore & had started his media career at Turner Broadcasting.

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A 24x7 control room has been set up in Bengaluru for monitoring and receiving complaints on programmes telecast on CATV & DTH platforms in the State. Citizens can call 080-22028013, email ( or WhatsApp 9480841212 their complaints, the state government informed the Karnataka High Court. The secretary of the Information & Public Relations Department, in its affidavit to the court said, the control room situated in the department's headquarters in the city, strictly adheres/ supervises all complaints received and forwards them to the jurisdictional district magistrate for appropriate action and to get reports from the district-level Cable TV monitoring committees.

Meanwhile, the government has also created district monitoring committees (DMC), headed by the respective district magistrate, in all 30 districts to monitor TV content, and a State-level monitoring committee, headed the Secretary of the Department, had been set up as per provisions of the CTN Act, it was pointed in the affidavit.

Directions have been issued to DMCs to meet once in 2 months to examine complaints against TV channels or initiate suo motu process after issuing show cause notices to the channels.

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Last month we had informed readers of the formation of the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) consisting of small and regional news channels. The Existing News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had excluded these smaller players.

In early December 2019, the 78 channel strong NBF elected Republic TV's Arnab Goswami as President. Members also elected 4 vice-presidents: Jagi Mangat Panda, co-founder of Ortel Communications; Shankar Bala of Fourth Dimension Media; Sanjive Narain, Chairman and Managing Director of Prag News, and Kartikeya Sharma of ITV Network.

"NBF is a game-changer and its incredible how so many channel owners and top executives have come together so quickly to make NBF happen. For far too long a clutch of Delhi-based channels have falsely claimed to represent Indian broadcasting. NBF will change that, for good," Goswami said on being elected as the President of NBF.

"Earlier, we were not heard in Delhi. Now we are an association where we can reach out in Delhi and sort out our problems," said Anil Ayroor, Chief Operating Officer of Twentyfour News, a news broadcaster from Kerala.

The NBF is setting up a self-regulatory organization - News Broadcasters Federation Authority (NBFA)- to bring in transparent self-regulation on content, a statement said.

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On Dec 12, Dish TV said Jawahar Lal Goel has been reappointed its Managing Director till March 31, 2020.

Goel will continue as Chairman of the company, even after his term as MD concludes.

As per SEBI regulations, top 500 listed entities need to ensure that Chairperson of a company is a non-executive director and is not related to the MD or CEO with effect from April 1, 2020. hence, Goel cannot retain both positions after 1st April 2020.

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