Saturday, March 31, 2007

World's largest film library from UTV

UTV (United Television), a diversified media entity with presence in movies, new media (animation & gaming), TV, and broadcasting, has launched its new business vertical UTV Palador---a 360-degree initiative in world cinema under the brand name Olive Collection. UTV Palador's Olive Collection will have the world's largest library of world cinema under one roof with over 1000 film titles from 20 countries that have won over 3000 (cumulative) awards, including BAFTA, Cannes, Pusan, Berlin, Venice, Toronto among others.

The company will invest Rs 70 crore in the category. The non-Indian language movie segment is estimated to fetch Rs 1500 crore by 2009 and UTV Palador believes that world cinema could account for 20% of that.

Olive will host the world's greatest collection of world cinema---films from countries like France, Japan, China, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Brazil, Argentina---with subtitles. It will feature maverick film directors like Akira Kurusawa, Francois Truffaut, Michael Haneke, Wim Wenders, Chabrol, Kiarostami and Kitanoalong with 50 others.

"UTV Palador's main objective is to ensure that the beauty, timelessness and quality of the world's greatest filmmakers is not lost to Indians. It was our vision to ensure that quality cinema is not a one-off event at limited locations but a regular part of India's entertainment industry," said Ronnie Screwala, head of UTV.

On the theatrical front, 20 theatres across the country will release the Olive Collection films with two shows daily that will account for nearly 15,000 shows per annum.

Source : Financial Express

Friday, March 30, 2007

Merged airline to take off as `Air Indian`

Blending the names of the country’s state-owned domestic and international carriers, Indian and Air-India, respectively, the government is planning to brand the merged entity as “Air Indian”. The Cabinet already cleared the proposal to merge the two airlines.

Sources close to the development reveal that after hectic negotiations and several rounds of meetings, the choice of brand was a unanimous one.

A new company called National Aviation Company Ltd has been registered by the government to amalgamate the two airlines along with their low-fare subsidiaries, Air India Express (of Air India) and Alliance Air (of Indian).

As for the new airline’s logo, Air India’s famed “Maharaja” is reported to have found more favour than Indian’s “Ashok Chakra” at discussions involving the brass of the two carriers. An official announcement on the decision is expected shortly.

The logic behind the new brand name is to maintain the current top position of Air India on the ABC directory, which lists airlines alphabetically and is widely used as a reference book by the International Air Transport Association, other international airlines and tour operators worldwide.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

KBC gets a replacement with Musical Production of FOX

Fox Production will debut on Star Plus with a musical to fill the gap left by SRK.

With Shahrukh Khan’s moneyminter Kaun Banega Crorepati’s (KBC’s) season coming to an end on April 19, Star Plus will be looking to cover up it’s weekday prime time band of 9-10 pm with two new family dramas. A channel that refrains religiously from experimenting with serial formats, it hopes to hit gold with its new primetime line-up — albeit in the genre of family dramas.

For the 9 pm slot, Fox Production will debut with its first ever prime time show, Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni (MAKMGR), replacing KBC from 23 April. The 9.30 pm slot will see the inclusion of yet another Balaji family drama, titled Kasturi.

The channel is also planning to release a music CD along with the serial’s launch. Fox Studios is also ready with an afternoon family drama that will be aired on Star Plus and will launch a few non-fiction television shows by August-September.

On an average, a television serial requires an investment of around Rs 10 lakh (to begin with) but Fox’s idea of a musical instead of run-of-the-mill family dramas is going to cost the company a bit higher. Harsh Rohtagi, general manager (marketing and content), Star India, is convinced that MAKMGR will get the ratings.

He says, “The target audience is the general soap audience that primarily consists of women aged between 15-35 years. Being an emotional love story woven with a musical backdrop, it has everything that we need for our weekday primetime bands.”

While talks for a second season of KBC have been confirmed by Rohtagi, he was unwilling to share the launch dates.

“We are very sure that KBC and Shahrukh will be back for a second season and since we had a good first season, you can expect the channel to capitalise on brand KBC,” Rohtagi confirms.

KBC opened strong with a rating of 12.3 but eventually fell to 7-8 TVR points, which is way lower than its family dramas that score on an average a TVR of 12-13.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Entertainment biz to cross Rs 1,00,000 Cr

The entertainment and media sector is in an effort to take the sector from its current Rs 43,700 crore turnover to over Rs 100,000 crore by 2011.

Buoyed by growing income levels, consumerism, technological improvements and greater investments, the sector is expected to cross Rs 100,000 crore, registering an 18 per cent compounded annual growth rate(CAGR), according to a Ficci-PwC report, which will be released tomorrow to mark the annual media and entertainment convention, Ficci-FRAMES (from 2001).

The turnover of the TV industry is projected to grow by 22 per cent to Rs 51,900 crore by 2011 from the current size of Rs 19,100 crore.

Subscription revenue is projected to be the key growth driver as the pay TV homes will increase from 71 million to over 100 million in the next four years.

The print media industry is expected to register 13 per cent growth to reach Rs 23,200 crore from the current size of Rs 12,800 crore by 2011.

Currently, the print media reaches 222 million people, it has the potential to reach another 369 million literate people.

Incidentally, the report notes that 2006 saw 13 proposals for FDI in media and the ministry is examining another 22 proposals for clearance. As for the internet, though the media has a small base it is expected to show the highest CAGR of 43 per cent to reach Rs 950 crore in 2011 from Rs 160 crore now.

As per the report, advertising revenue in radio industry is expected to grow by 28 per cent annually to reach Rs 1,700 crore by 2011.

Currently, radio generates advertising revenue of Rs 500 crore. The growth is fuelled by the expansion of private FM radio companies. Piracy of Rs 2,500 crore annually is pulling back the growth of the music industry, the report said. Music industry will grow only by four per cent from Rs 720 crore, currently to Rs 870 crore in the next four years, it said.

Live entertainment segment is estimated to grow by 16 per cent from Rs 900 crore to Rs 1,900 crore and out-of-home advertising by 17 per cent from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,150 crore in the same period, the report said.

According to the report, Indian advertising spends also showed exponential growth in 2006 growing over 23 per cent over the last year at Rs 16,300 crore.
Source : Business Standard

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Big Four' to Nab Two-Thirds of all 2007 Online Ad Revenue

Two-thirds of the $19.5 billion expected to be spent on internet advertising in 2007 will be placed with the four biggest web companies Google, Yahoo, AOL and MSN. Google will nab the largest share, with 32.1% of total ad spend, Yahoo is next with 18.7%, AOL follows with 9.1% and MSN is fourth at 6.8%.

That estimate -- that the Big Four will nab 66.6% of total ad spending this year -- is up from 57.4% in 2006 and 53.75% in 2005. Some of the share is attributed to search revenue, which will comprise 42.5% of online ad spending this year.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jet Air aims global image with new look

By end April, India’s largest private airline, Jet Airways, will don a fresh look. The Naresh Goyal-promoted airline will have fresh internal and external livery for aircraft to reflect its new corporate image.

As part of international rebranding exercise, the airline’s cabin crew will sport new uniform exuding freshness and warmth. Jet Airways is also expected to roll out a new international advertising campaign to reposition itself as a global carrier.

The global advertising initiative has been undertaken by international advertising house M&C Saatchi’s India wing, while rebranding has been done by the US-based Landor Associates.

“Jet Airways is also considering a brand ambassador to have an international appeal,” a source said.

This move comes at a time when Jet Airways is facing intense competition from domestic carriers such as Kingfisher Airlines and international carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Continental Airways. The rebranding exercise gains significance as the company is planning to launch its much-delayed US service.

Sources said the carrier was also planning to advance its Mumbai-Newark (US) service to early July from August 15.

“The airline, as part of the rebranding, will be introducing the first-class in its B777 aircraft. The seats for the first, executive and economy classes would feature advanced technology supplemented with new inflight entertainment,” the source said.

Christened “Global Launch”, Jet Airways is set to make an announcement on its rebranding and new advertisement campaign next week in Mumbai.

Official sources said the rebranding exercise had not been finalised and creative work for advertisements is yet to start. Noted Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is also a director on the Jet Airways board, is likely to be present at the global launch.

Apart from the Newark-Mumbai service, Jet Airways is also planning to connect Mumbai with San Francisco via Shanghai by October. Besides aiming at flying to Gulf destinations, Jet Airways is looking at several international destinations such as Canada; South Africa; Kenya; Mauritius; China; European cities such as Rome, Zurich, Munich, and Frankfurt; and certain points in South East Asia.
The airline is targeting 50 per cent of its revenue from international operations in the next three years. Jet has reported a 77.3 per cent load factor in February with 671 flights in that month.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

BCCI to share Nimbus loss on feed sharing with DD

The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed “in principle” to share the revenue loss incurred by Nimbus for the first year following the Bill that makes it mandatory for private broadcasters to share their live feed with Prasar Bharati.

Nimbus bagged last year five-year telecast rights for cricket matches in India from BCCI for $612 million or Rs 2,755 crore.

An auditor each from BCCI and Nimbus will ascertain the extent of the financial loss sustained by Nimbus on account of the Bill, BCCI officials said today after a working committee meeting. The auditors will submit their report by May 31.

Nimbus will also pay the bank guarantee of Rs 900 crore to the BCCI in October 2007 as part of its staggered payment arrangement with the cricket board instead of April 30, BCCI officials said. So far, Nimbus has paid Rs 350 crore to BCCI.

The loss incurred by Nimbus is a result of piracy of its sports signals beamed on Doordarshan’s direct to home platform across the Asian countries. According to estimates made by Nimbus, it sustained a loss of Rs 140-150 crore.

While a committee on enforcing encryption of signals on DD’s platform is studying the matter, no decision has been taken yet.

Friday, March 23, 2007

India Inc's most powerful top 10 CEOs











Source : Economic Times

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yahoo! India revamping, Ajay Nambiar quits

Online publishing giant Yahoo! India is revamping their content team. Two key employees at Yahoo! India put in their papers last week.

Head of Content Ajay Nambiar and Head of Entertainment Niyati Sen Gupta had left Yahoo! India. Earlier Nambiar was with Sify heading Consumer Channels. All employees of Yahoo! India got the news via an email from managing director George Zacharias. Incidentally, Nambiar had joined Yahoo! in August 2006 along with Zacharias.

Yahoo!’s content division was recently in a controversy after a blogger accused the publisher of plagiarising her content on its Malayalam portal. Yahoo!, in turn, put the blame on Webdunia, their content provider for the portal.

While both Yahoo! and Ajay Nambiar insisted that the recent departures had nothing to do with the content controversy, it’s no secret that the headquarters at Santa Clara (California) was seeking to upgrade content from India. In fact, the top brass at Yahoo! – including Nambiar – recently went to the global headquarters to discuss the issue.

Source : agencyfaqs!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Star's primetime K-serials unite for mega episode

Star Plus has lined up a two day primetime programming treat for its viewers with an extended episode that will combine its top rated programmes Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki…, Kyunki Saus Bhi Kabhi Bahu dhi and Kayamath on 26 and 27 March from 10 pm - 11.30 pm.

Star India general manager - content and marketing Harsh Rohatgi says it will create a "visual spectacle," for which the channel is hoping to rake in its "infrequent and lapsed viewers onto the show" as the plots for the three stories will converge into one grand episode.

A refreshed programming initiative is primarily executed to create and retain the buzz on the channel, adds Rohatgi.

To build the hype off-air, a mutli-media campaign will break tomorrow on outdoor, radio and print.

Promising to unfold three big secrets, the theme will revolve around a party thrown by Parvati Bhabhi (from Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii) in which the families of Kyunki and Kayamath will be invited.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kunal Dasgupta to head Sony Entertainment for 2 more yrs

Kunal Dasgupta, CEO of Sony Entertainment Television (SET), has got a two-year extension as the head of the company. Mr Dasgupta’s contract with SET was scheduled to end in June 2007.

This makes Mr Dasgupta, who stepped into the top slot in 1996, the longest running CEO in the history of any media or entertainment company. While speculation was rife that Mr Dasgupta’s term at SET would end, the two-year extension gains importance in the light of SET’s IPO plans.

The SET India board has appointed Manjit Singh as chairman, replacing Michael Grindon, president of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), who will continue as a board member. Mr Grindon has chaired the board since SPTI and its JV partners launched SET India in 1995 with one channel, Sony Entertainment Television.

As non-executive chairman, Mr Singh’s mandate includes managing board affairs and working with the SET India management to refine the company’s strategic growth plan. Under Mr Dasgupta’s leadership, SET grew from just one channel to four.

A source revealed that both Mr Dasgupta and Mr Singh will take priority in looking at public listing soon. The company is awaiting valuations from Kotak, JM Morgan Stanley and UBS who are believed to be appointed as lead managers for the proposed issue.

The listing is aimed at aiding SET’s Indian promoters who have been looking at an exit option for a while. The combined shareholding of the promoters is 32%. The Indian promoters include the Singapore-based banker Rakesh Agarwal, Shemaroo Films MD Raman Maroo, World Media group director Sudesh Iyer, MobiApps Holding’s Jayesh Parekh and actor Jackie Shroff.

Monday, March 19, 2007

TDSAT asks Sun TV to provide signals to TataSky

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) today directed Sun TV to provide its signals to DTH operator TataSky on a pick-and-choose basis.

In an interim order, TDSAT also asked TataSky to pay 50 per cent of the rates wanted by Sun TV for its channels.

Sun TV had demanded Rs 85 for all its 20 channels from TataSky. However, TataSky would be allowed to pick and choose channels on an a-la-carte basis and pay half the price of what Sun TV had submitted before sector regulator Trai.

TataSky, a 80: 20 joint venture between Tata and Star India, had earlier alleged that Sun TV was denying signals due to its own interest in the Direct-To-Home business.

TataSky has been contending that Sun TV does not have a bouquet system, so it should be allowed to pick and choose particular channels.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sun TV rejects’s latest commercial as offensive’s latest TV commercial, which announces its new offering of unlimited storage space, has been rejected by the Sun TV Network.

The commercial shows two hot girls having a conversation about something big that their colleague, Raju, has. They ask each other in amazement, ‘Is it really that big?’ The shot moves to the rest of the office, where other employees are also wondering about Raju’s ‘big’ thing. Finally, one of them asks Raju, ‘Is it really that big?’ Raju replies, ‘It’s not big, it’s unlimited.’ The ad ends with a voiceover saying, ‘Rediffmail with free unlimited storage space. Big enough for anything.’

Sun TV officials have found the cheeky innuendo in the ad about Raju’s ‘big’ thing offensive. So, none of the network’s channels will air the ad.

The media duties for the commercial are being managed by Starcom India. The commercial will be aired only in the English language throughout the country. So far, no other channel seems to have an issue with the way the message has been delivered in the ad. Other broadcasters that will telecast the TVC are NDTV, CNBC-TV18, Sony Entertainment and STAR.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Limca Book of records 2007 names Air Deccan’s ad as the longest indian commercial

The Air Deccan commercial, titled ‘The Old man and the Sky’ with a running length of 150 seconds, has been named as the longest TV commercial ever to be telecast in the history of Indian advertising by Limca Book of Records 2007. The film has been directed by ace director Manoj Pillai of Thinkpot Productions.

The film has bagged many awards at the various shows across the country. These include the Gold at Goafest in the services category, Silver for scriptwriting, Silver at the ABBIES, Finalist at Adfest, Pattaya, Best of the Show at Ad Club Chennai, Client of the Year and Gold in Services category at Ad Club Bangalore.

Shot over three days in scenic Pollachi, the film mirrors the emotions of an old man who gets to fly for the very first time, courtesy an air ticket sent to him by his son. The story keeps with the vision of ‘empowering every man to fly’. Among the other firsts the film can lay claim to is the pre-announcement of the ad in various channels as to the time when this ad could be viewed. A media coup of sorts that was a first ever ‘premiere’ for an ad film.

Thomas Xavier, Creative Director of Orchard, Bangalore is the brains behind the script and it is his steadfast belief that made this wonderful creation possible.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sameer Nair to join NDTV Imagine as CEO and Director

Sameer Nair who has resigned from STAR India is joining NDTV. Mr. Nair will join NDTV Imagine Ltd as CEO and Director. NDTV Imagine Ltd is a subsidiary of NDTV Networks. NDTV Imagine is one of the subsidiaries that were created earlier this year when NDTV had announced its intention to branch out of the news genre. The other subsidiary is NDTV Lifestyle.

NDTV Imagine would be launching Hindi general entertainment channels and at least one is expected to go on-air this year itself. Nair, who is currently with STAR India, will complete his term by March-end. He is expected to join NDTV Imagine soon after.

Source : exchange4media

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rs 4 Lakhs for 10 Sec… Is it Costly ?

When it comes to advertising, cricket is still king. Not only is it tailor-made for advertising with routine breaks in between overs, the viewer is also exposed to ever more advertisements at the slightest opportunity, like a batsman tying his shoe laces.

SET Max has already sold 95% of its airtime at an average of Rs 1.5 lakh for a 10-second spot across 51 matches with the India matches going at Rs 4 lakh for the same 10 seconder. SET Max had 45 clients for the 2003 WC, now they claim 70 clients this time around.

The estimated advertising spend on TV in 2006 was Rs 5,750 crore with cricket snagging Rs 650 crore. Experts reckon the 2007 world cup will attract TV ads worth Rs 800 crore with ICC's 20-20 World Cup slated for September this year attracting an additional Rs 150 crore. Maximum sponsorships for cricket flow in from India, a case in point is that out of the entire ICC sponsorship amount of $550 million, $300 million came in from India.

Source: The Economic Times