Hope For More

Sep 10 2013, 10:16 IST
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This year itself, about 40-50 channels are expected to debut across genres This year itself, about 40-50 channels are expected to debut across genres
SummaryThe current economic slowdown notwithstanding, broadcast companies are launching channels spurred by the new opportunities thrown up by cable digitisation. This year itself, about 40-50 channels are expected to debut across genres

The Indian broadcasting industry is surely on a channel launching spree. Only last month did the Rs 1200-crore Hindi movie genre

witness the entry of yet another movie channel from the Zee stable with the launch of &pictures; at the same time, the R400-crore Marathi television market too decided to welcome its twelfth player with Maayboli, a ‘music+comedy’ channel from the Sri Adhikari Brothers network. This month, Benneth, Coleman

& Co. Ltd (BCCL) will broaden its broadcast horizon one more time with Romedy Now,

its latest venture in the English entertainment category. The channel will cater to the urban upscale audience and will be positioned as the go-to-destination for ‘love

and laughter’.

This fling with new launches does not just stop here. Around May this year, Mahesh Samat, former managing director of Walt Disney India, along with a consortium of private financial investors, announced the launch of Epic—India’s first segmented

Hindi entertainment product with a focus

on historical/mythological content. The same month, Star India chose to launch the Hollywood action movie channel, Star Movies Action, to tap into the R600-crore

English movie genre. Go back a little further and one can easily recall HBO—another strong player in the English movie genre, launching two purely subscription-led movie channels, HBO Hits and HBO Defined, in February this year. Evidently, broadcasters are not just feeling competitive to move ahead and get the ball rolling but are also showcasing an exceptional eagerness to invest in fresh launches to expand their footprint across India. So, what is it that makes the Indian broadcasting industry so enthusiastic about new launches at a time when the Indian economy is battling one of its

worst crisis?

“Short economic panic attacks are going to happen and you don’t stop your business because of short economic panic attacks. We are here for the long term.”

Sunil Lulla,

Managing director and CEO, Times Television Network

Digitisation and its Power

According to industry experts, the year 2013 is expected to witness the launch of as many as 40-50 channels across various genres on the back of digitisation. Compared to the analog system which at best could accommodate 80-100 channels with poor reception quality afflicting the channels at the fag end of the queue, in a digitally addressable system (DAS), not only does the bandwidth capacity jump to 500 channels but the quality of reception for each of these channels is also equally good. Result?

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