January 2017


To strengthen its FTA sports channel, DD Sports has decided to acquire live/deferred live media rights for sport events & sports documentaries.

The telecast rights would be purchased for 3 years and include all Doordarshan channels.

DD has issued 2 proposals inviting production houses/sports management agencies with appropriate rights.

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The demonetisation of Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000 notes will have an adverse impact on ad spend in India until January, according to 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch. "This demonetisation thing that's going on right now, that's definitely going to have an impact in the short term. So we look at that for, like, December, maybe January," Murdoch told analysts.

Murdoch said that the fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are going to pull-back on advertising. FMCG is the biggest advertising category in India. "There's clearly been an impact particularly for a lot of the fast-moving consumer goods where those clients just aren't moving inventory downstream because so much of the economy - 90% of it is cash-based and has run into a brick wall," he added.

Interestingly, he does not expect any major impact on the sports business, which attracts ads from the durable sectors like cars.

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The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which had met on 2 December 2016 to discuss the issue of net worth for MSO registration, has decided that their net worth must be positive, without any minimum value. the IMC felt that financial strength does not matter since an entity can take loan.

The IMC has also decided that the net worth of existing registered MSOs applying for additional areas must be positive.

For net worth evaluation, the existing criteria of immovable/movable assets generally included in the net worth certificates submitted by the applicants will continue to be considered.

The IMC meeting was attended by Mihir Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (KA), Anju Nigam, Joint Secretary (B-11), Yogendra Pal, Advisor (DAS), and Shankerlal, Dy. Secretary (DAS) from the MIB. Also in attendance were officials from other ministries and departments.

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Viacom18 Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats has replaced Zee Entertainment MD & CEO Punit Goenka, who completed his elected term as the first Chairman of BARC India.

Vats has been associated with BARC India since its inception and has been a part of all the developments as a member of the board of directors.

Vats heads Viacom18 which is one of India's fastest growing media organisations. Under Vats's leadership the group has expanded its channel footprint from 6 to over 36 channels and has set up 3 new lines of business. A management graduate from the Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad, Vats is a Hindustan Unilever (Unilever India) veteran and invested around 20 years in the organisation in varied roles.

BARC India is a joint venture bringing together the 3 key stakeholders in Television Audience Measurement, Broadcasters, Advertisers and Advertising & Media Agencies.

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Best Deal TV, the home shopping TV channel owned by Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty & Raj Kundra has shut down operations. Reports are that the shutdown is temporary - for 2 months. The channel blames demonitisation for its drastic fall in business, which is primarily on a 'Cash On Delivery' basis.

Scrapping of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes has squeezed the home shopping business, said Hari Trivedi, chief operating officer, Best Deal TV. "The CoD business is negligible due to very high currency crunch in the market, thereby impacting the call flow," he said. The company, which sold products worth Rs. 4.5 crore in October, saw business shrink to less than Rs. 1 crore in November. "Our overall business is not even 20 per cent of what we achieved during October 2016," Trivedi said.

Pointing to a gloomy future, and a possible permanent shut down, Trivedi added "As per the various reports and economic surveys, we feel that the situation is not likely to improve for the next 2 to 3 months at least. Owing to this scenario, companies in the home shopping channel category, including us, are not able to meet internal fixed expenses to the extent of even 30%."

Best Deal TV has decided to put operations on hold for the next 45 to 60 days, suspending operations "temporarily" in terms of media activity, call centers, etc.

Trivedi said the company will take a call on the future after this period.

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Ex Times Now CEO - Arnab Goswami's new TV & digital venture will be called "Republic". Further details will be declared in a few weeks. Reports suggest the channel will start airing before the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections in the first quarter of 2017.

Speculation is rife that Goswami is teaming up with B e n g a l u r u - b a s e d entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrashekhar for his new venture. There is also buzz that Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox could also be a part of this venture.

According to regulation, the foreign direct investment (FDI) in TV news is capped at 49% while the remaining shareholding should be with a single Indian shareholder.

The Times Now channel continues to receive high viewership, despite Goswami's exit, once again proving that companies are bigger than individuals. Star India CEOs like Basu & Mukerjea left to start their own operations, which have failed.

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Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has received a license to set up its own teleport & uplink its large bouquet of TV channels.

ZEEL currently uses Dish TV's teleport to uplink its 37 HD & SD TV channels.

As reported last September, the Goel brothers are each going their separate ways. Eldest brother Dr Subhash Chandra retains all the Zee Channels, which Jawahar Goel now controls DishTV.

Zee's own teleport is a move in a clean separate on companies and operations, of the earlier media conglomerate.

There are currently 81 licensed teleports that uplink TV channels from India.

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Bharti Airtel Ltd has appointed Sunil Taldar as Director & CEO of its DTH business. He (Sunil Taldar) will be a member of the Airtel's management Board and report to Airtel's MD & CEO - India & South Asia, Gopal Vittal.

Taldar has replaced Shashi Arora, who after a stint of around five years in this role, has moved as MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank, which was launched in November 2016. It is India's first payments bank.

Airtel Digital TV claims 12.4 million customers, end September 2016, with a revenue growth of 21% and customer growth of 17%.

India's Cable TV and DTH market are fairly fragmented with each of the players (Dish TV, Tata Sky, Videocon d2h, Airtel Digital TV, Hathway, Siti Cable, Sun Direct) holding around 8% or less market share.

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Navda Creations, which had received a nonnews uplinking licence in August, has been stripped of its licence for submission of fake performance bank guarantee (PBG).

The information was provided in parliament by Rathode in response to a query during question hour.

Rathore said that the MIB has revoked 68 licences between 2012 and 2016. The highest number of licences were cancelled in 2013, when as many as 38 TV channel licences were revoked.

In 2012 and 2016, the ministry had cancelled 13 licences each. In 2014 and 2015, just two licences each were cancelled.

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Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel has assumed the additional role of Chief Executive Officer till a replacement is found for RC Venkateish, who quit more than a year ago, in October 2015.

Venkateish quit Dish TV at the same time when Subhash Chandra resigned as Dish TV Chairman, and Jawahar Goel became the new Chairman of Dish TV.

Reports are that Gaurav, Jawahar's son, is likely to be appointed as the next CEO. Gaurav Goel was first appointed Dish TV's zonal head for Delhi on 1 October 2011. On 1 November 2012, he was promoted to EVP of business development and strategy.

Born on 10 April 1980, Gaurav holds a graduate degree in Business Administration with specialisation in finance and marketing. He commenced his professional career in 2003 with the launch of religious channel 'Zee Jagran.' The channel was launched by him with almost zero capital.

While managing his responsibilities at Zee Jagran, Gaurav took on the added responsibility of product development and logistics for Dish TV, which was then in its initial stages.

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According to MoS in the I&B Ministry - Rajyavardhan Rathore, about 5% of the total requirement for STBs during Phase I and II was met by indigenous STBs. However, they increased their market share to 15% during DAS Phase-3 & 4.

This was based on data provided by the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), he said.

To encourage local manufacturer of DTH and Cable TV STBs, the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, vide their memorandum dated 13 August 2014, extended the facility of Form 'C' under Section 8(3) (b) of Central Sales Tax Act 1956, to STBs by including these in the definition of goods for use in telecommunication networks.

Currently STBs are indigenously manufactured by about 10 companies in India, and they have sufficient installed capacity to meet the demand. They can even scale up the capacity if there is further demand.

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