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Today, the broadcasters have tens of new options to add extra revenue, thanks to the digital age and platforms like OTT, international markets, sponsorships and services like video on demand (VoD). Helped by technology, they have every way to exploit their content. Agreed that there are people who misuse technology to pirate the content but counter technologies also get developed at the same speed. There is no fool proof protection to a broadcasting content and no amount of regulations can protect the broadcasters from piracy. Even then Broadcasters want protection and are lobbying hard using the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), an international organisation’s platform.

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The telecom regulator TRAI, on April 7, released the “Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report” for the quarter ending December, 2016. The report provides a broad perspective of the Telecom Services in India and presents the key parameters and growth trends of the Telecom Services as well as Cable TV, DTH & Radio Broadcasting services in India for the period covering 1st October, 2016 to 31st December, 2016 compiled mainly on the basis of information furnished by the Service Providers.

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The name ‘Rupert Murdoch’ may inspire a sense of awe and inspiration for the young generation, but the industry insiders know him and his ‘questionable ways’ very well. Yet, many of them surrender before his enormous global clout which comes with money and nexus with political powers in several countries. High on ambition, Murdoch has always tried to rule the broadcast and entertainment sector by buying everything including his opponents; for him all is saleable. The Big Brother - that he is, Rupert eyes India as the most lucrative and promising market where he believes he can (and he has many success/notorious stories to tell) overpower his rivals with his great powers, strategic moves and big money.  Indeed, Murdoch treats business much like a war, and for him everything seems to be fair in this war, though he may not be that much ‘fit and proper’.  

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 07:33

Content is booming, so does IPTV piracy

Pirates are not found only in oceans; they are everywhere, stealing and selling, and their businesses are growing parallel to the main industry they target. In the TV industry, piracy has become a lucrative big business. As per latest data, more than 2.7 million advertisements are given to illicit streaming devices while top 100 pirate IPTV sites generate more than 16 million visits per month. 

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OTT has literally made consumer -the king! All over the world, people’s content viewing locations are constantly changing, thanks to the massive reach of internet, cheaper smart-phones and competitive data charges. People want content as per their own convenience and choice. In India, Reliance Jio’s free net services have brought tectonic shift in the way people consume content, as users could watch their favourite movies and TV serials or enjoy live cricket matches while they are mobile, at negligible rates. Earlier, it was not achievable given the high internet charges by the established telecom operators.  Governments’ special focus and initiative to strengthen its Digital India program and introduction of 4G have given a big boost to the new media and OTT segment, forcing advertisers to shift their focus on this new trend to attract the new-age consumers. 

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Issues checklist to all Authorized Officers to take action against defaulters

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Do you want to retain your audiences? 

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On 28th April, the Madras High Court declined Star India and Vijay Television’s request for stay on TRAI tariff order. Them, Star India knocked at the door of the Supreme Court to give them an early hearing, but it also declined their request. Now, the broadcasters needed to publish the RIO (reference interconnect offer) rate of their channels on May 2. 

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The 19th century’s Industrial Revolution had changed everything in people’s life globally. The 20th century also witnessed several inventions which impacted human life worldwide. But the speed at which technologies are changing in modern times is mind-blowing. Every12month, something new comes, replacing the existing product and practice. This phenomenon has attractive as well ugly aspects, attractive because people get newer things which liberate them, ugly because it kills businesses of those who fail to change quickly. How can we throw the old stuff every now and then to buy the new ones? Upgradation ability is deliberately not ingrained in most of the technologies because it would not benefit the technology inventors and the corporate houses which invest huge money in producing these technologies.

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The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), on 21 April, issued an Advisory to all authorized officers to initiate action against any defaulting MSO/Cable Operator who transmits analogue signals on Cable TV network anywhere in the country as the deadline of 31 March 2017 for the last phase of mandatory Digitisation has gone past. The main question is - what will happen to millions of people who have not been given access to digital signals or they are unable to afford it? According to Ministry’s own statement, only 70% seeding has been achieved in Phase III & IV leaving millions of households with analogue cable. Also, 20 % India is poor; can a government force them to go without television because they cannot afford a technology which the Government wishes to enforce for its own gains? 

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On 30th March 2017, a notification from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) declared the Phase-IV (final phase) of digitization as to be closed on 31st March 2017. The Ministry also directed all stakeholders to switch off analogue signal everywhere in the country from April 1, 2017. With this, came the end of digitization of Cable TV Networks in the country, which had been going on for the last five years. This means the country is fully digitized as far as television is concerned. But, is it true?

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 06:46

Bahubali 2 India’s answer to Hollywood

When 2000 technicians work for 5 years, creating and recreating elaborate sets, searching the best shot positions and managing the mammoth project at a cost of Rs 500 crore (both Parts), we get a film like Bahubali. The first Indian film to release in 9000 theatres worldwide including 1100 in the US and 1500 in other countries, Bahubali 2 is mightier than part 1. Director Rajamouli has taken the Indian film to global level in all areas including visual wizardry, set, cinematography and action. Rajamouli is truly India’s Ridley Scott. 

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Diverse exhibitors from furniture to screen makers made the show eye-catching With the growth of China’s movie market, the cinema and theater industry is also being taken more and more seriously, and the scale of Asia Theater & Cinema Technology Facilities Fair (Asia Theater & Cinema) has also been correspondingly enlarged every year. 

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Monday, 01 May 2017 07:52

TRAI’s Authority Challenged

The Madras High Court declined Star and Vijay TV’s request for stay on TRAI’s Tariff Order and other regulations. The broadcasters had amended their petitions soon after TRAI notified the Tariff Order in March this year. The plea taken by them is that exploitation of content comes under the Copyright Act and TRAI has no jurisdiction over it to decide the tariff for TV channels. 

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On March 29, country’s telecom regulator TRAI released its recommendations on “Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector”. TRAI’s recommendations came after a reference letter was sent to it by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) in April 2016 directing TRAI to examine the issue related to the sharing of infrastructure. “The sharing of the infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector would not only help in enhancing available distribution network capacities but would also result in reduced Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operative Expenditure (OPEX) for the service providers thereby bringing down the price of broadcasting services to subscribers,” it noted.  

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TRAI issues Consultation Paper on ‘Introduction of UL (VNO) for Access Service authorization for category B license with districts of a State as a service area’

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As per TRAI's quaterly report released In Feb 2017, the number of broadband subscribers increased from 218.27 million at the end of Nov-16 to 236.09 million at the end of Dec-16 with a monthly growth rate of 8.17%.Top five service providers constituted 83.93% market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of Dec-16. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd (72.16 million), Bharti Airtel (43.56 million), Vodafone (35.02 million), Idea Cellular (27.04 million) and BSNL (20.36 million).

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Accounting 11.5% of all advertising, sports sponsorship again posts a bright picture. While advertising grew 11.89% in 2016, sports registered a whopping 19.33% growth. In a cricket-crazy nation, this can be accepted as a natural phenomenon, but the good thing is - other sports are also registering a positive growth in advertising, thanks to the good performances by Indian women players at the Olympics, and government’s special emphasis on indigenous games like kabaddi. The advertisers are now willing to spend big money on major events; mobile phone brands are at the top. The year 2016 saw advertisers spending Rs 6400-cr on sports sponsorship, according to the fourth edition of Sporting Nation in the making,  a report jointly published by  ESP Properties, GroupM and SportzPower; the study was released on 16th March 2017.

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Considered as India’s biggest tax reform since Independence, the path of GST is clear now. The Union Cabinet, on March 20, approved 4 legislations required to implement the goods and services tax (GST), and the Lok Sabha, on March 29, passed these four bills, putting the government on course for the launch of the same on July 1 this year. 

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“The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has initiated discussions with the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, on the modalities of setting up a Copyright Board which would oversee strict implementation of IP laws for the entertainment industry, particularly the film sector,” said Ajay Mittal, Secretary, Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, while inaugurating the 18th edition of FICCI FRAMES 2017, in Mumbai on 21st March 2017. 

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