Media News

January 2015
Publishers, broadcasters welcome FDI—up to 49%
Mint, Jan 20, 2015
Most publishers and broadcasters reacted positively to finance minister Arun Jaitley’s comments on Sunday that the debate on permissible limits in foreign direct investment (FDI) in news media has been rendered irrelevant by technology— a possible indication that the government wouldn’t, as a result, be opposed to considering a change in current rules that cap such investment at 26% of equity. Jaitley’s comments came during the Justice J.S. Verma Memorial Lecture organised by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA). Read more...
 
Narendra Modi gets more sway in new censor board
Mint, Jan 20, 2015
Politicians, writers and Bollywood film-makers linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been named to the censorship panel, battling allegations they were hand-picked by a pro-Hindu government with a partisan agenda. Pahlaj Nihalani, a movie producer, was chosen as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on Monday along with nine new members to replace incumbents who quit last week citing government interference. Nihalani, the producer of Bollywood hits such as “Aankhen” in the 1990s, created a promotional campaign video for the May 2014 election that saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi come to power. The appointments invited ridicule on social media, with Twitter users questioning the merits of picking well-known sympathisers of Modi and his party. Newcomers on the panel include politicians, actors and a writer who wrote a script for a film about Modi. Read more...
 
3G spectrum: Telecom panel ignores Trai, sets high base price
Mint, Jan 20, 2015
The Telecom Commission, the nation’s top telecom policy decision-making body, has set Rs.3,705 crore as the minimum price for a megahertz (MHz) of 3G spectrum for the proposed February auction, rejecting the recommendations of the telecom regulator to keep it lower as the government seeks to raise additional revenue to meet its budget deficit target. The telecom panel’s base price is 36% more than the Rs.2,720 crore suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) last month and reiterated last week. The telecom ministry will likely seek cabinet approval for the 3G spectrum base price on Tuesday. Read more...
 
Snapdeal eyes Rs 500 crore via TV-commerce
ToI, Jan 20, 2015
Snapdeal, one of the country's largest e-tailers, is set to rake in Rs 500 crore in the first year from its TV-commerce channel. The channel called DEN Snapdeal TV shop is a result of a 50:50 JV (Macro Commerce Pvt Ltd) that the company formed with cable distribution company DEN Networks to sell products across home, lifestyle and electronics categories. Read more...
 
Twitter and Tumblr leaders ditch smartphones to combat addiction
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 20, 2015
From Arianna Huffington to strategists at Twitter Inc. and Tumblr Inc., technocrats are taking a break from their smartphones to show they can survive without digital media—for a few hours at least. In interviews at the Digital Life Design technology conference in Munich this week, hyper-connected executives said they were plagued by the same sense of data overload, and dependency fears, as many of their customers. As a result, some are seeking to escape from their phones to find time to think or relax. Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, said she had a regular routine of switching off at night before taking a hot bath, while Deutsche Telekom AG chief executive officer (CEO) Timotheus Hoettges said he was taking a “digital timeout” by attending the event without a mobile device. David Hayes, head of creative strategy for Yahoo Inc.’s social media site Tumblr, said he sometimes goes without a mobile phone for weeks—describing it as stepping “back into the wild.” Twitter’s chief of data Chris Moody quits his when he heads off snowboarding. Read more...
 
Amazon doubles down on entertainment with 'indie' movie bet
Reuters, Jan 20, 2015
Amazon.com Inc is making a high-stakes foray into the challenging realm of independent movies, the latest step in its attempt to move beyond simply distributing digital entertainment content to creating it. Amazon said on Monday it was aiming to produce close to 12 movies a year for theatrical release which would then be available on its Prime video service within two months, significantly faster than the roughly one-year wait it normally faces to stream Hollywood releases. Read more...
 
DoT warms up to Microsoft idea of tapping unused TV spectrum
HBL, Jan 19, 2015
The Department of Telecom has in principle agreed to a proposal to tap unused spectrum in terrestrial TV frequency bands for offering broadband services. This spectrum band, lying between 470MHz and 585 MHz, is currently earmarked for broadcasting services globally, but in India only Doordarshan uses it partially for offering terrestrial TV services. Read more...
 
Rural buyer matching up to the urban due to changing habits
Mint, Jan 19, 2015
Penetration of media and telecom services has changed the way India’s rural consumers buy. Like their urban counterparts, consumers in the hinterland have become more aspirational, striving to purchase branded, high-quality products. They have also become more discerning, no longer willing to accept inferior products simply because they cost less, according to a research study by Accenture Strategy, India, a management consulting and technology services company. Read more...
 
Promise or problem?
BS, Jan 19, 2015
The digital footprint of society is expanding the world over into fragmented mediums (blogs, tweets, reviews etc) and technologies (mobile, web, cloud/SaaS etc). Data generated from mobile devices and the internet of things are the main contributors to this data explosion. While this provides organisations with significant business opportunities, it also presents several challenges in harnessing these information sources. Read more...
 
Virtualisation of media industry
BS, Jan 19, 2015
The proliferation of new media channels and a drifting consumer base is driving major shifts in the industry's overall functioning. Within firms, specific functions through past IT investments have become digitised. However, this has also resulted in the creation of data silos and segmented workflows between departments. Furthermore, relying on existing infrastructure while trying to woo digital customers has increased the cost burden in an industry already saddled with low operating margins. Read more...
 
MTV airs in black and white to spark conversation on race
ET (AP), Jan 19, 2015
MTV is taking the color out of its programming on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to encourage people to talk about what race means in their lives. The youth-oriented TV network is airing its programming in black and white on Monday, a first in the cable channel's 34-year history. The programming move is meant to promote (hash)TheTalk initiative, encouraging viewers to discuss race with their friends and family. Read more...
 
Media Contours changed in the last two decades
BS, Jan 18, 2015
The Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley has said that in the last two decades, the conventional contours of the issues pertaining to Freedom and Responsibility of Media had changed due to changes in the nature and content of media and the definition of news. News in the electronic media today was being defined by what the camera could capture. In the current paradigm, technology had become a driving force for these changes. Read more...
 
Not in favour of 12-minute-an-hour cap on ads on news channels: Jaitley
ToI, Jan 18, 2015
Indicating that government was not inclined to interfere either in the content or the business of media entities, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that the government was not in favour of a cap on advertising for TV or print media. Delivering the first JS Verma Memorial Lecture Jaitley spoke out against the 12-minute-an-hour cap on advertising stipulated for TV news channels by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Read more...
 
Message for media
BS, Jan 18, 2015
Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan was a speaker at the Business Standard Infrastructure Summit 2015, held last Thursday. He spoke, among other things, about his fears and apprehensions about talking to the media. Read more...
 
Anti-terror ops: Govt likely to frame norms for media coverage
BS (PTI), Jan 18, 2015
Indicating that there could be soon norms for media coverage of terror-related operations, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley today said that the issue is under "serious and very advanced consideration" of the government. Read more...
 
India and US agree to collaborate on Digital India initiative
IndiaTV News (PTI), Jan 18, 2015
India and the US have agreed to collaborate on implementing the ambitious Digital India initiative ahead of American President Barack Obama’s Republic day visit to New Delhi. Read more...
 
More than products and profits, millenials look to leave a mark
BS, Jan 17, 2015
There exists a significant gap between what Indian millennials — those born after 1982 — would prioritise if they led their organisations and what their senior leadership currently focusses on. According to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s fourth annual Millennial Survey, millennials feel their leaders to be too focused on meeting short-term financial goals, their own income or rewards, and improving efficiency and productivity. Read more...
 
Jaitley accuses Censor Board members of politicizing resignations
Mint (PTI), Jan 17, 2015
The Union government on Saturday accused Censor Board chief Leela Samson and its other members, appointed by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, of politicizing the issue of their resignations and termed Samson being as “non-functional”. Read more...
 
Twitter hackers announce ‘World War III’
Mint (AFP), Jan 17, 2015
Hackers took over Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International on Friday, writing bogus messages, including about hostilities breaking out between the United States and China. One tweet posted under the UPI account quoted Pope Francis as saying, “World War III has begun.” Read more...
 
Arunachal Guv emphasises on upgrading DD and AIR stns along IB
BS (PTI), Jan 16, 2015
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma today emphasised on the need for upgradation of Doordarshan and radio stations in the state to reach out to the people in far-flung areas along the international border. Read more...
 
Xiaomi says wants to invest in Indian start-ups, overseas content
Mint (Reuters), Jan 16, 2015
China’s Xiaomi Inc., the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker, will invest in Indian start-ups and overseas media content, Hugo Barra, vice president of the company’s global division, said in an interview on Friday. Read more...
 
Censor board chief Leela Samson quits citing government interference
Mint (Reuters), Jan 16, 2015
A film that features a self-styled spiritual leader in bejewelled costume riding motorbikes and sending bad guys flying has prompted the chief of India’s censor panel to quit, citing government interference. Leela Samson resigned on Thursday after an appeals tribunal reversed the panel’s decision to bar theatres from showing the film, “MSG: The Messenger of God”, on the grounds that it was a promotional feature. “There is interference, there is coercion,” Samson told television broadcaster CNN-IBN, adding that the tribunal, whose decisions usually take a month, had cleared “MSG” in 24 hours. Read more...
 
French watchdog asks: Did TV stations endanger hostages?
BS (AP, PTI), Jan 16, 2015
France's broadcasting watchdog met with television and radio executives to discuss 'failures' in the coverage of last week's terror attacks after some relatives of hostages accused certain French TV stations of endangering the captives in a bid to produce high ratings. The Higher Broadcasting Council, a body known as the French 'broadcasting police,' regulates television and radio stations and its nine government-appointed members have the power to sanction or fine them for wrongdoing. Read more...
 
Dish reaches deal that brings back Fox news, business channels
Reuters, Jan 16, 2015
The Fox News and Fox Business channels returned on Thursday to satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp's lineup after both sides agreed to a multiyear deal. The channels owned by Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc had been blacked out for Dish's 14 million customers since Dec. 21 when the companies failed to agree on a new contract. Pay TV providers and programmers have sparred in recent months over the fees paid to carry networks. Digital rights to provide shows online and on mobile devices also have complicated the negotiations. Read more...
 
Katie Benner: Lessons from the AOL-Time Warner disaster
BS, Jan 15, 2015
A very special date came and went last weekend: the 15th anniversary of the AOL-Time Warner merger. When the deal was announced, the combined companies boasted a market cap of $350 billion. Now, split once again, AOL is worth $3.6 billion and Time Warner $68.9 billion. The most notable AOL-Time Warner synergy was probably the $99-billion loss it posted in 2003. Surely no one company could manage that on its own. The marriage is considered one of the worst in the annals of business. Read more...
 
Media censorship is impossible: Arun Jaitley
BS (PTI), Jan 15, 2015
Censorship of information in the present age is "an impossibility", Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said today but observed that aberrations like 'paid news' are likely to creep in when news organisations do not have "realistic" financial models. He said the definition of news and the behaviour of consumer have changed with technological advancement and "something that camera cannot capture is hardly news these days". Read more...
 
Facebook's Zuckerberg brings free Internet to Colombia, mute on China
ET (Reuters), Jan 15, 2015
Facebook Inc chief executive Mark Zuckerberg launched a free Internet application in Colombia on Wednesday as part of a drive to bring developing markets online, but remained mute on when and if the company would look to move into China. Colombia is the first nation in Latin America and the fourth in the world to receive the new Internet.org service, in partnership with local mobile phone provider Tigo, but the aim is to push the app globally, Zuckerberg told Reuters. Read more...
 
Doordarshan aims to revive ghazals through reality show
Mint (PTI), Jan 14, 2015
With its newly-launched singing reality show ‘Jashn-e-Begum Akhtar’, state-owned channel DD Urdu is aiming to revive ghazal singing among youth. ‘Jashn-e-Begum Akhtar’, a talent hunt to commemorate the centenary year of renowned singer Begum Akhtar, will see its five finalists who will perform in front of singers Kavita Krishnamurthy, Hari Haran, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain besides lyricists Gulzar and Javed Akhtar in March. Read more...
 
Internet an instrument for masses, so net neutrality is key: Ravi Shankar Prasad
ET, Jan 14, 2015
The government is in favour of maintaining net neutrality as the Internet is an instrument for the masses and must remain so, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said, marking the first time the Centre has adopted a public stand on the subject. Read more...
 
Foreign firms interested in broadband business through cable: Ravi Shankar Prasad
ET (PTI), Jan 14, 2015
Foreign companies are evincing interest in providing technology for broadband through Cable TV network in the country, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Read more...
 
Carnival Cinemas plans Rs 500-cr investment in Madhya Pradesh
BS, Jan 14, 2015
Angamaly, a Tier-III town in Kerala, is known for its alcohol consumption. The liquor outlet that is among the top contributors to the Rs 8,800-crore revenue of Kerala State Beverages Corporation. Besides, Angamaly has to its credit the setting up of the first multiplex theatre in Kerala. Carnival Cinemas, the multiplex business born in this town, has now broken into the big league of cinema theatres in India, threatening the likes of PVR and INOX in the span of one year. Read more...
 
Direct-to-home sector seeks infrastructure treatment
BS, Jan 14, 2015
Direct-to-home (DTH) television operators, represented by the DTH Operators Association, have written to the finance ministry ahead of the Budget requesting the DTH and cable television sector be treated as infrastructure industry. Read more...
 
Reliance Jio applies for pan-India cable MSO licence
HBL (PTI), Jan 14, 2015
In a bid to foray into broadcast distribution business, Reliance Jio Media, a subsidiary of Reliance Jio Infocomm, has applied for a pan India cable MSO (Multi—System Operator) licence, according to sources. Read more...
 
India to have 213 million mobile Internet users by June: Iamai-IMRB report
Mint, Jan 13, 2015
With the increasing penetration of smartphones, the number of mobile Internet users in India is expected to reach 213 million by June 2015, a 23% jump over six months, according to the Mobile Internet in India 2014 report released on Tuesday. There were 173 million mobile Internet users in India in December 2014. According to the report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (Iamai) and IMRB International (a market research firm), the number of mobile Internet users in rural India is set to grow at a rate of 33% from October 2014 to reach 49 million by March 2015 and 53 million by June 2015. Read more...
 
Tweets can predict a TV show's success
Zee News (IANS), Jan 13, 2015
Twitter activity and data regarding TV programmes can help networks and ad agencies make superior, data-driven advertising and programme marketing decisions, a study has found. The study has been carried out by Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company. Read more...
 
Kailash Satyarthi to focus on social causes through TV show
ToI (IANS), Jan 13, 2015
Popular reality-based crime show 'Crime Patrol Satark' has joined hands with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi to host a special series focusing on child labour and human trafficking. Read more...
 
High Court stays govt order to run apology on Colors TV’s show ‘Fear Factor: Khatron ke Khiladi’
FE (PTI), Jan 13, 2015
Delhi High Court today stayed a government order directing Colors TV to run a scroll apologising for the content shown on the show ‘Fear Factor: Khatron ke Khiladi’, saying the Centre’s view that the programme was not in good taste was “subjective”. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had on January eight directed Colors TV, part of the Viacom 18 Media Ltd family, to run a scroll apologising for its content while airing the show on January 15, which was challenged by the channel. Read more...
 
Telecom Commission to discuss national optical fibre project on 19 Jan
FirstPort (PTI), Jan 13, 2015
Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission's meeting is scheduled to be held on 19 January to discuss issues related to national optical fibre project, which is moving at snail's pace, and involve private players for expediting it. Read more...
 
Kotak launches savings account that can be managed via social media
BS, Jan 13, 2015
Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched a savings bank account-Jifi Saver- that can be managed via social networking websites such as Twitter & Facebook. Apart from targeting the youth that are active on the social networking sites, it also aimed at online shoppers. The savings bank account also offers several features such as mobile and DTH recharge via Twitter. Read more...
 
CNN wins go-ahead to test drones for news coverage
Mint (AFP), Jan 13, 2015
CNN said on Monday it has reached agreement with US aviation regulators to test drones for news gathering in the US, the network said. Conceived initially mainly for military purposes, private use of the small unmanned aircraft allowing for image and information gathering is practically banned in the United States, except at low altitudes (below 122 meters, or 400 feet, and far from airports). Read more...
 
Charlie Hebdo to print 3 million copies with Muhammad cover
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 13, 2015
Charlie Hebdo will print 3 million copies of a special issue of the satirical magazine, depicting the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, a week after an attack at its headquarters left a third of its journalists dead. In its first post-attack edition, publishers of the weekly magazine will put the copies on newsstands worldwide in 16 languages on 14 January. The issue will feature a cartoon of Muhammad, crying, on a green background, holding a board saying “Je suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie.” Above his image is written “All is Forgiven.” Read more...
 
Charlie Hebdo EBay bids at $14,000 after journalist massacre
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 13, 2015
Bids for the post-attack edition of “Charlie Hebdo,” which depicts the Prophet Muhammad on its cover, were running as high as €12,000 ($14,100) on EBay Inc.’s French site. This week’s magazine cover portrays Muhammad weeping and holding a placard that reads “Je suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie,” the message supporters of the satirical weekly have worn and posted worldwide after 12 people were killed at the magazine last week by terrorists. Above the cover’s caricature are the words “All is Forgiven.” Read more...
 
CES 2015 | Deal makers invade the land of geeks
Mint (The New York Times), Jan 13, 2015
As I walked past the booth staffed by robots selling robots, the plants that water themselves and the prototype Mercedes with no driver at the International CES trade show last week, it occurred to me that the future of human existence might not require many humans. At CES, the huge technology event in Las Vegas, reality is reconfigured and purportedly improved by the presence of software and machines and the absence of actual people. I watched one guy put on a pair of virtual reality glasses, then get strapped into a big, complicated contraption that mapped his movements as he trotted along hunting with a futuristic gun. I wanted to tell him: find some friends, go outside, play paintball, run in three actual dimensions. Read more...
 
Citizen Matters: A local news outlet for Bengaluru
Mint, Jan 12, 2015
It was the years 2005-07, when Bengaluru was witnessing a spurt in urban growth and the city’s infrastructure was crumbling that Meera K. realized that the local pages of mainstream newspapers were not providing the answers on why things were in such a mess. In an office on the outskirts of Koramangala, Meera, one of the founders of Citizen Matters, a website that offers news from around Bengaluru city, spoke about how she co-founded the website that offers content from its own journalists and from citizens around the city. Read more...
 
Asia-Pacific online video revenue to touch $12.4 billion by 2020: MPA report
Mint, Jan 12, 2015
The total market for online video services in 13 countries across the Asia-Pacific region will more than triple to $12.4 billion by 2020 from $3.5 billion in 2014, representing an average annual growth of 23.5%, according to a report by Media Partners Asia (MPA). Read more...
 
Amazon wins first Golden Globe with ‘Transparent’ online series
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 12, 2015
Amazon.com Inc. won its first Golden Globe with the series “Transparent,” marking a first for the online video service. The win for best TV series, musical or comedy, marks the first Golden Globe for Amazon, the online service that competes, along with Netflix Inc., against traditional cable and television networks. Read more...
 
ISL sponsors score well online
BS, Jan 11, 2015
Even the viewer with no interest in football found the launch of the Indian Super League (ISL) hard to miss. A catchy tune (composed by one of Bollywood's young talents, Amit Trivedi) led the blitzkrieg on TV. After all, ISL's illustrious parents were not going to let a league, mounted on a scale larger than earlier Indian leagues, appear without fanfare. Read more...
 
The office is shifting
Mint, Jan 11, 2015
Are you using PowerPoint to present your great business idea? Do you work on Excel sheets to compile and analyse data? Do you wait to sign out from work at 5pm every day? Are you yet to try cloud storage to share office data? Do you think coding is the job of the technology team? If your answer is yes, then you might be in for some stress. Read more...
 
TV channel room is not a court, news anchor not a judge
The Hans India, Jan 11, 2015
The recent debates over several national television channels (not Doordarshan) the prime time news shows of Hindi and English are filled with high voltage discussions rather we better call them shouts.  Established anchors taking the roll of every public institution into their hands in the name of journalist freedom. Many a times they become an intelligence agency, a court, a police station and an election commission.  The roll of media as a fourthestate of democracy is highly important and being a sincere journalist  he/she enjoys the right to get answers from responsible persons when an incident happens.  The role of a responsible journalist ends with giving information to public.  Its not the responsibility try and investigate a crime or a suspect. Let that role be left to the respective public organization whether its judiciary, government or legislature. Read more...
 
Idukki to get India's first hi-speed rural broadband network
Deccan Chronicle (PTI), Jan 11, 2015
India's first hi-speed rural broadband network would be commissioned in Kerala's high range Idukki district tomorrow, ushering in a new era of Digital India. With the commissioning of the network, Idukki with a large tribal and rural population would become the first  district in the country to have all its gram panchayats connected through National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), an  official release said here today. Read more...
 
Facebook most popular social network: US study
ET (PTI), Jan 11, 2015
Facebook is by far the most popular social media website with its large base of "very active" users visiting the site daily, a new survey of American internet users has found. The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while Facebook remains the most popular social media site, its overall growth has slowed and other sites continue to see increases in usership. The survey, which collected data from 1,597 Internet users in September 2014, found that overall, 71 per cent of internet users are on Facebook, a proportion that represents no change from August 2013. Read more...
 
Raghav Bahl: The digital ball game
Mint, Jan 10, 2015
Raghav Bahl, the founder and former managing director of Network18— which operates, through its subsidiaries, channels such as CNBC TV18, CNN-IBN, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz and Colors—seems to be enjoying his new innings in digital media. He now has a brand new company, Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd, a new office, and new staff. In about three months he will be ready to launch his first digital product, a mobile-first news service called Thequint.com. Read more...
 
The Body Pregnant question
Mint, Jan 10, 2015
The question came up last month, when I was speaking on fashion and identity in modern India at an event titled India Ki Khoj, organized by the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. “While popular media and fashion openly celebrate weddings and wedding couture, why is there a disjuncture when it comes to maternity fashion?” asked Tannistha Samanta, assistant professor of sociology and demography in the humanities and social sciences department. Read more...
 
Amazon's path to TV success takes cues from old school Hollywood
Reuters, Jan 10, 2015
Amazon prides itself on being a company that breaks the rules, but its recent success in Hollywood also reflects an embrace of a more traditional, old-fashioned script. The largest U.S. online retailer, which has spent heavily on original programming and boosted the marketing for its shows, is up for two Golden Globe Awards this Sunday. Its Amazon Studios division, launched in 2010 with skepticism, is now starting to enjoy critical acclaim. Read more...
 
Trai sounded out on regulating e-commerce
BS, Jan 9, 2015
An inter-ministerial panel has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to take up the role or suggest if there is a need for a separate regulator for e-commerce. At present, Trai regulates telecommunications, media and broadcasting industries. The need for an e-commerce regulator was felt after the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) sought the commerce ministry’s intervention over ‘predatory pricing’ strategies of e-tailers during festival sales last year. Deep discounts by e-commerce companies have riled brick-and-mortar retailers. CAIT asked the government to set up a taskforce to “probe into the working and business model of e-commerce companies” and to set up a regulatory authority to monitor the business. Read more...
 
Carnival expands presence in North through Stargaze business acquisition
BS, Jan 9, 2015
Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd’s venture capital arm Capital18 Fincap has entered into an agreement with Carnival Films Private Limited to divest its stake in Stargaze Entertainment Private Limited. Stargaze operates multiplexes in emerging urban centres of India under the brand name of 'Glitz Cinemas'. Capital18 is a majority shareholder (75%) at Stargaze and the transaction, expected to be completed within the current financial year, will result in a profitable exit for Capital18. Read more...
 
Jaitley vs Rajan is a media creation
BS, Jan 9, 2015
The demands and aims of their respective jobs mean that the Finance Minister and the Reserve Bank Governor, under whichever ruling dispensation, tend to be at loggerheads from time to time. While one of the objectives of the FM is to ensure that the economy is on a growth slope and investments keep coming in, some of the monetary policy steps that an RBI governor may have to take to curb inflationary pressure does lead to higher interest rates, which in turn may not be wholly conducive to investing. The policy journalists out of New Delhi and Mumbai lap up any hint of a difference between the two most powerful posts in India’s financial system. And reporting is usually fair and unbiased. However, there are instances when differences are artificially created and played up. Read more...
 
The remarkable journey of Carnival’s Shrikant Bhasi
Mint, Jan 9, 2015
Shrikant Bhasi’s remarkable journey started in a rather unremarkable Kerala town called Angamaly. He was looking at doing something in the Malayalam movie industry when he spotted an advertisement by Kerala State Industrial Development Corp. Ltd, an industrial and investment promotion agency of the Kerala government, seeking to lease out 17,000 sq.ft. on the fifth floor of a bus terminus complex. Bhasi and his friends successfully bid for the space. “When we announced that we would be constructing a multiplex, the state government officials laughed at me,” says Bhasi. “There was no concept of multiplexes in Kerala. We brought a team from Mumbai and constructed a multiplex in that Tier III city.” Carnival Films Pvt. Ltd began its meteoric rise to prominence from there with just three screens in 2010. The company now operates more than 50 screens with an additional 75 screens expected to come on stream in the next two months, taking its total portfolio to 125 screens. Read more...
 
Media embracing digital TV with strings attached
Reuters, Jan 9, 2015
Media companies that are starting to allow their programs onto Internet-delivered TV and mobile devices are putting limits on digital rights as a safety hatch if problems arise with the new distribution systems, executives say. The debate over digital rights that determine how and when content is consumed is adding a new layer of complexity to negotiations between media companies and distributors, leading to drawn-out wrangling and programming blackouts in some cases. Read more...
 
The CEO Of Sling TV Defends His Company's Radical Plan To Change TV Forever
Business Insider, Jan 9, 2015
The traditional pay-TV model as we've known it for years finally looks like it's going to change. Satellite TV company Dish is releasing "Sling TV" a new $20-per month internet-based subscription service that gives users the following 10 channels: TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and ESPN2. Read more...
 
Journalism’s tech divide
Mint, Jan 8, 2015
The vocabulary is changing and becoming more loaded. Print and TV journalists are now called legacy media. As opposed to being part of the expanding digital dawn. New digital properties emerged over the last year and claimed mind space. Indian start-ups of international media sites such as Quartz, Scroll and The Huffington Post, India Today’s DailyO.in, Raghav Bahl’s new venture Quitillion Media, and at one end of the conceptual spectrum, P. Sainath’s People’s Archive of Rural India. Other ventures helmed by legacy media journalists who are out of jobs will see the light of day this year if the funding comes their way. Read more...
 
IPL digital media rights up for grabs next month
Mint, Jan 8, 2015
The global Internet and mobile telecast rights of Indian Premier League (IPL), the popular Twenty20 cricket tournament organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), are up for grabs for the next four years beginning this year, as the board’s contract with Times Internet Ltd comes to an end. Read more...
 
'We believe in the importance of a free media'
BS, Jan 7, 2015
“Well, let me start by saying that there is no legitimate act of journalism, however offensive some people might find it, that justifies an act of violence, particularly an act of violence on the scale that we saw today. None. That said, it is up to media organisations to make their own decisions about what they choose to publish, about what stories they choose to pursue, and what sort of commentary they want to broadcast about the world and about their government. And we believe very deeply in the importance of a free and independent media.” (Edited excerpts from US Press Secretary Josh Earnest's briefing to the press aboard the Air Force One, en route to Detroit, Michigan, January 7, 2015) Read more...
 
US-based Broadcom pledges support to cable TV digitisation in India
HBL, Jan 7, 2015
Broadcom Corp, the US-based chipmaker, has pledged support to India’s ambitious move of developing its first home-grown Conditional Access System (CAS) for cable television. It is already in discussions with Bengaluru-based ByDesign India, which was selected last year to build the Indian CAS for a total project cost of ₹30 crore by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeiTY). Read more...
 
Google unveils a tool to check if users are looking at video ads
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 7, 2015
Google Inc. wants to make sure people are looking at online video ads. “Advertisers will be able to tell whether clips delivered via Google’s DoubleClick ad services are skipped or ignored, letting marketers fine-tune their campaigns,” Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display and video advertising, said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The world’s biggest web-search provider is looking for new ways to show off the effectiveness of digital-video advertising as the industry seeks to attract more marketing dollars from television. While online-video ad spending is projected to climb 30% to $7.8 billion this year in the US, the TV market remains more than nine times larger, according to EMarketer Inc. Read more...
 
IS supporters hack US television’s website, Twitter feed
The Hindu (AP), Jan 7, 2015
A news station says its website and Twitter feed were hijacked by hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group. WBOC-TV in Maryland says hackers calling themselves CyberCaliphate took over the website and Twitter feed on Tuesday before the station wrested back control of their website, which briefly displayed the extremist group’s black-and-white flag and a message saying, “I love you, ISIS.” Read more...
 
Suspected Islamists kill 12 in Paris attack on satirical magazine
Reuters, Jan 7, 2015
Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine known for lampooning Islam and other religions, shooting dead at least 12 people, including two police officers, in the worst militant attack on French soil in decades. One of the assailants was captured on video outside the building shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) as shots rang out. Another walked over to a police officer lying wounded on the street and shot him point-blank with an assault rifle, before the two calmly climbed into a black car and drove off. Read more...
 
Sony CEO sees no major financial impact from cyber attack
Reuters, Jan 7, 2015
Sony Corp Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai on Tuesday said he does not expect the November cyber attack on the company's film studio to have a significant financial impact, two weeks after the studio rolled out the movie at the heart of the attack. The studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment, said separately that the film, "The Interview," has generated revenue of $36 million. Read more...
 
Why PK is OK
BS, Jan 6, 2015
Rajkumar Hirani's PK (2014) is a banal satire on godmen. An alien's remote control is stolen the moment he lands on earth. He is told that only god can help him. Desperate to go home, the alien (Aamir Khan) does whatever he is told - pray, genuflect, offer money, to gods of different faiths. The Hindu right thinks PK denigrates Hinduism. There are calls to ban it and theatres screening it are being vandalised. Both the Censor Board and Supreme Court of India have stood by the film. Read more...
 
LBT department raids TV advertisement company
ToI, Jan 6, 2015
The local body tax (LBT) department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Monday conducted search and seizure operation at M/s Chitransh Technology Pvt Ltd at Indora Chowk. Sudhindra M Mathur is the managing director of the company involved in advertisements through cable television. The company installs TVs at business establishments on security deposit of Rs35,000 and pays Rs7,000 per month to the owner towards space rent. Read more...
 
Bangladesh Pulls Plug on TV Network for Airing Zia's Son's Speech
Outlook, Jan 6, 2015
Bangladesh authorities ordered a television network off air and arrested its boss today after it broadcast a speech by the son of the opposition leader, who remains locked in her offices following deadly political violence. While police said the detention of the ETV chairman was prompted by its airing of "pornographic" material, a senior editor at the channel dismissed the official explanation as a smokescreen. Read more...
 
David Carr: How 'selfie' culture challenges media companies
BS (The New York Times), Jan 6, 2015
Sometimes you don't need an analyst's report to get a look at the future of the media industry and the challenges it will bring. On New Year's Eve, I was one of the poor souls working in Times Square. By about 1 pm, it was time to evacuate, and when I stepped into the cold that would assault the huddled, partying masses that night, a couple was getting ready to pose for a photo with the logo on The New York Times Building in the background. I love that I work at a place that people deem worthy of memorialising, and I often offer to help. My assistance was not required. As I watched, the young couple mounted their phone on a collapsible pole, then extended it outward, the camera now able to capture the moment in wide-screen glory. Read more...
 
TV makers out to ignite market with super high-definition
HT (AFP), Jan 6, 2015
After several years of sluggish sales, television manufacturers are pegging growth hopes on new technologies that deliver a more immersive and interactive experience and stunningly realistic image displays. As new TVs were unveiled at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was clear that so-called 4K "ultra high definition" televisions are gaining traction with consumers amid lower prices. Read more...
 
Engage the super fans
BS, Jan 5, 2015
When US retailer Target was launching its deluxe edition of Justin Timberlake's album 'The 20/20 Experience,' it brought together 20 of Justin's biggest fans to make a video of their own performance of Justin's new single. It created a YouTube sensation when Justin walked in and joined them on-set. This is just one example of the rise of the super-fan. The explosion in digital/mobile communications and social media is driving an upsurge in the number, influence and revenue potential of the 'super-fans' who are the most passionate consumers and advocates of entertainment and media content and brands, says PWC's global entertainment and media outlook. Read more...
 
New age hiring
BS, Jan 5, 2015
With matchmaking of jobs and candidates gaining importance, recruitment in 2015 would be characterised by increased usage of social media and analytics. Read more...
 
Why journalists should be more afraid of Sebi
BS, Jan 5, 2015
Imagine that a man walks into a party with a gun in his hand. He may smile and assure everyone that he has no intention of using it, but people are still going to step carefully around him. And chances are the room will empty out pretty quickly. The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s new set of research analyst regulations, which seek to regulate disclosures, conflict of interest and compensation practices for research analysts, has the potential to do something similar. Sebi subsequently released a set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which sought to provide clarity on the new regime. It clarified that journalists would come under the research analyst regulations. It also said that they would not need to register themselves with the regulator – like other research analysts are now required to – but would nonetheless need follow relevant sections of the regulation wherever applicable. Read more...
 
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg starts reading program
BS (AP, PTI), Jan 5, 2015
The Facebook founder and CEO announced on his page recently that he has vowed to read a book every other week in 2015, with an emphasis on learning about different beliefs, cultures and technologies. Zuckerberg created a page called "A Year of Books" and urged his friends to join him in the project. As of late yesterday afternoon, it had more than 100,000 likes. "I'm excited for my reading challenge," Zuckerberg wrote. "I've found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I'm looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books." Read more...
 
Sexual harassment 2.0
BS, Jan 5, 2015
A sexual innuendo, some social media and a smart phone walk into a bar one night… Sexual Harassment 2.0 comes out the next morning. A cautionary tale… Read more...
 
Net neutrality: Trai's paper to give insight into what future holds for freedom of internet in India
ET, Jan 4, 2015
Just as 2014 was coming to a close, one Indian company tried to do something no one else has attempted anywhere in the world. Bharti Airtel, the nation's No. 1 telecom operator, made an effort that internet activists called a violation of the principle of network — or net — neutrality, which has been backed by everybody from sundry consumer groups to the US president. As public anger to the move to launch voice over internet protocol (VoIP) packs at a differential rate of Rs 75 for 75 MB for 28 days stirred up the virtual world, and with the possibility of a nudge from the regulator looming large, the company aborted the plan before it took shape. Read more...
 
The three ‘Ls’ for 2015
Mint, Jan 4, 2015
It’s that time of the year when business pundits, technology geeks and thought leaders unite to make predictions for workplace 2015. Cloud is the future, digitization will be the buzzword, social business is here to stay, flexi work will be in vogue, wearable devices will quantify our existence to the next nano second, and more. While these predictions are exciting, what’s not clear is how organizational culture will make all this possible. Truth be told, the mindware, or mindset, is more reminiscent of the 1800s than the 21st century. Read more...
 
No entry, media
BS, Jan 4, 2015
Officials and ministers are not always eager to entertain the media. Indeed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear to his government that he does not expect them to have any unscripted interaction with the media. Read more...
 
Preserving credibility biggest challenge before media: Narendra Modi
Mint (PTI), Jan 3, 2015
Preserving its credibility is the biggest challenge before the media, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he emphasized the importance of criticism in “purifying” democracy but deprecated the practice of levelling accusations. “Democracy will come to a standstill if there is no criticism. Water is clean when flowing but dirty when still. Criticism is the best way to purify democracy,” Modi said during an event here. Read more...
 
Sony hack: US slaps new sanctions on North Korea
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 3, 2015
President Barack Obama on Friday tightened US sanctions on North Korea, targeting 10 individuals and three state agencies in response to the hacking of Sony Corp. and threats of violence against theaters and movie-goers. In an executive order, Obama authorized the Treasury Department to block the individuals and agencies from accessing the US financial system and banning US citizens from engaging in business with them. Read more...
 
AAP, BJP workers clash in Delhi after debate show on TV channel
FirstPost (IANS), Jan 3, 2015
Many people were injured Saturday in a clash between AAP and BJP workers following a debate show on a Hindi television channel, police said. Read more...
 
You are the problem
Mint, Jan 2, 2015
At the end of the day, fried chicken doesn’t jump out of buckets on its own to choke our arteries. That is why, as resolutions go, this is as good a time as any to make one—that in our long-term interests, we will consume information deliberately, much like we choose to consume healthy food. To do that though, let’s begin at the beginning and admit that the problem doesn’t lie with information arbitrators like journalists. It lies with you. Read more...
 
Empowering teachers and trainers through technology
Mint, Jan 2, 2015
India needs to create some 115 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to raise its people to a minimum acceptable standard of living. But productive jobs need skilled workers, and India’s schools, colleges and polytechnics are not geared to the task. While technology is not a panacea, we see excellent opportunities to harness digital technologies to make teachers, trainers and school administrators more effective. Read more...
 
Should mobile VoIP services be charged extra?
FE, Jan 2, 2015
Airtel has hastily retreated from an earlier decision to charge extra for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls being made using applications such as Skype, Viber, etc. This is good news for those who rely on these services, especially to make long distance calls, which would otherwise be expensive. It will prevent a rather brazen challenge to network neutrality, which requires that network operators do not discriminate between different types of internet traffic. But the original decision and its hurried withdrawal highlight serious inconsistencies in the telecom licensing provisions that will hurt the growth of data services in India. Read more...
 
Amazon India may start offering music, movie and video streaming services in India
ET, Jan 2, 2015
Amazon India may start offering music, movie and video streaming services later this year besides debuting its Prime subscription service as it looks to expand offerings in the country, key to its global expansion strategy. The Jeff Bezos-led company is currently evaluating the feasibility of such services while building up a content library, which would be a critical element of Amazon Prime. Read more...
 
Airtel’s OTT tax: Free WhatsApp, Facebook are an equal threat to net neutrality
FirstPost, Jan 2, 2015
Airtel’s recent announcement that it may levy an additional charge for using VoIP services used over its 2G or 3G data service was met with significant outrage across India. Most consumers believed that it was unfair for a telecom company to charge an additional fee apart from the data charges it already collects, just because a consumer used a VoIP based app. Net neutrality advocates were up in arms as Airtel’s plans meant differential pricing for data service based on the app used. Two days ago, Airtel finally rolled back its controversial decision upon TRAI’s promise of consultation paper on issues relating to services offered applications providing messaging and calling services using an Over-The-Top (OTT) mechanism which utilizes the data service provided by the telecom company. Read more...
 
Maha Governor for curbs on misleading TV ads
BS (PTI), Jan 2, 2015
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao today praised the contribution of American doctors of Indian origin in America's healthcare system and appealed to them to involve themselves in teaching, research and continuing medical education programme in India. The Governor also called for curbing misleading advertisements appearing on television that promise magic cure for diabetes and other ailments. Read more...
 
Public outcry over govt ban on 32 websites
BS, Jan 1, 2015
A public outcry erupted over social media as the government issued orders blocking 32 websites, including Vimeo, Dailymotion, archive.org, Pastebin and Github. Vimeo and Dailymotion are popular video-sharing sites that have been banned in the past for other reasons. Pastebin and Github store important tools for developers and coders. These sites have come under the scanner for the first time. Read more...
 
Trai sets 3G reserve price at Rs 2,720 crore per MHz
ToI, Jan 1, 2015
Telecom regulator Trai has announced a reserve price of Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz (MHz) of 3G airwaves for the upcoming spectrum auctions in February and sought sale of four blocks of 5MHz spectrum each in the coveted band instead of one that is being worked out by the Department of Telecom (DoT). Read more...
 
Live Television Coverage of Anti-Terror Operations Likely to be Banned
NDTV (PTI), Jan 1, 2015
The Home Ministry is reportedly considering a ban on the live coverage of anti-terror operations and has asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to amend rules to stop the airing of such events. The development comes in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks where the National Security Guard or NSG operations were covered live. Read more...
 
Sony’s ‘The Interview’ lands on pay TV and in 580 theaters
Mint (Reuters), Jan 1, 2015
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. added more viewing options for its provocative comedy “The Interview,” making the film available through US pay television operators and nearly doubling the number of independent theaters that will show the movie. The film, blamed for triggering a massive cyberattack on Sony’s movie studio, will also be sold through Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s digital on-demand service, Vudu, and on Sony’s PlayStation Network, Sony said in a statement on Wednesday. Read more...
 
Snapchat raises $485.6 million to close out big fund-raising year
Mint (Bloomberg), Jan 1, 2015
Snapchat Inc., among a pack of elite technology start-ups that has attained a valuation of $10 billion or more, capped the year with a filing that disclosed it raised $485.6 million. The Los Angeles-based company, which makes a mobile application for sending annotated photos that disappear within seconds, said in the filing that it raised the money from 23 investors. Snapchat, led by chief executive officer Evan Spiegel, didn’t disclose the investor names or the company’s valuation. The filing is the first disclosure by Snapchat about its fundraising, which has been in process for months. Read more...