March 2018


Sony has restructured its organisation, making it leaner with a more direct reporting structure. The changes were announced by CEO Tony Vinciquerra in an internal memo.

Andy Kaplan - President Of Worldwide Networks, has been exited after 31 years with Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT).

Also exited Man Jit Singh (President of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) who headed the India operations for 5 years. Man Jit Singh had handed over India operations to current SPN India CEO NP Singh & moved back to the US in 2014.

Sheraton Kalouria - SPT President & Chief Marketing Officer, has also been shown the door. His exit will decentralise marketing, with each team now reporting to the business unit they support.

SPT chairman Mike Hopkins will now also oversee TV distribution & take full responsibility of SPT's network business "consisting of operations in 178 countries with 101 channels and 189 feeds." All Heads, including NP Singh, will report directly to him.

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The ICC Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in 2021, may be held outside India, to save taxes it is now subjected to.

After a meeting held in Dubai in on 10 Feb, the ICC board said "The Board agreed that ICC management, will continue the dialogue with the Indian government but in the meantime, directed ICC management to explore alternative host countries in a similar time zone for the ICC Champions Trophy 2021."

The decision is in view of the 2016 World T20 held in India failed to get a tax exemption from the government.

Observers see the move as an attempt to pressurise the Indian government for a tax exemption, and the BCCI may distance itself from such a move in future.

A Supreme Court judgement that is pending could give the government-controlled BCCI, complete authority over the ICC & other cricket boards.

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DishTV has reportedly decided to go ahead with its proposed merger with Videocon d2h, according to a press release by Dish TV.

DishTV has appointed its 2 directors - Amitabh Kumar and Raj Kumar Gupta - on the Videocon d2h board to take the deal ahead. It may conclude as early as end February 2018.

Earlier, on January 11th the company said in a regulatory filing, "It has come to our knowledge that certain entities belonging to the Videocon group, including the promoters of Videocon d2h Ltd, have become subject to insolvency and/or enforcement proceedings by lenders. In light of the foregoing, the company is evaluating if there is any impact of the same on its rights and obligations under the definitive agreements and consequential effects on the transactions contemplated thereunder."

Post merger, Dish TV shareholders will own 55.4% in Dish TV Videocon, while Videocon d2h shareholders will hold the remaining 44.6%. The merged company will have 29 million subscribers & a combined revenue of ₹ 6,086 crore, (FY 2017 data).

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54 TV channels have been found violating the Programme and Advertising codes during the last 4 years, I&B minister Smriti Irani told the Lok Sabha.

In 2014 and 2015, there were a total of 17 channels violations, 16 in 2016 & 4 in 2017.

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Childhood obesity is a rising problem in India. The I&B minister was reminded of a study that correlates watching ads on TV with increased consumption of junk foods & whether there was a proposal to ban junk food & cold/soft drinks advertisements on TV.

In a written reply, Irani said that presently there is no such proposal to ban such ads on TV.

Admitting that obesity in children was a concern, the minister said that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has formed an expert group to address the issue of High Fat, Sugar and Salt foods (HFSS). The expert group in its report has recommended a ban on foods with HFSS advertising on children's channels or during children shows.

In response, the Food and Beverage Alliance of India have already decided to voluntarily withdraw HFSS ads from children's channels.

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Despite the TRAI's March 2017 recommendations on infrastructure sharing by broadcast, cable & DTH services, the government has admitted no stakeholder has evinced interest so far.

"The MIB has not received any proposal from DTH operators for sharing of satellite transponders and earth station facilities with other DTH players and distribution platforms," junior MIB minister Rajyavardhan Rathore told Parliament.

TRAI had suggested that to ensure efficient use of scarce satellite resources, DTH operators' which have already set up earth stations and hired satellite transponder capacities, and willing to share the platform and transport stream of TV channels should be allowed to do so with prior written intimation to the government.

TRAI has also recommended that voluntary sharing of head-ends & transport streams among MSOs, should be permitted.

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