Saturday, June 13, 2009

Neetu Chandra performs live for Vijay Awards

Actress Neetu Chandra, who recently courted controversy for her alleged Lesbian Shoot, is all set to sizzle on stage tomorrow. The actress is currently in Chennai to perform live for a medley of songs for the Vijay TV Awards. The ‘Yaavarum Nalam’ girl will be doing a medley of three songs from the film for her on stage performance and is excited about it. “This should be a difference experience for me, and I really love being back in the city,” says the actress, who has just signed up her second Tamil project. The film, titled ‘Theeradha Vilayaatu Pillai’, has Vishal in the lead, and she plays a bold sexy role in the flick. It is said to be the role that was originally offered to Bipasha Basu. The movie is being directed by Thiru and Shriya plays the other heroine of the film.
“Work for the film will begin in August, and I am also busy with a film for Aneez Bazmi. People in North say I should concentrate on offers there but I really like coming down to the South and doing films here,” says the actress.

Vijay Awards update

The third annual Vijay Awards will be presented on June 13 at Nehru Indoor Stadium, 6.30 p.m. onwards. Top film personalities will be present at the award ceremony, which will recognise the 118 films released in 2008. The jury comprises Yuhi Sethu, Prathap Pothen, Madan and Lizzy Priyadarshan. The nominees for Best Film are ‘Abhiyum Naanum’, ‘Anjathey’, ‘Subramaniyapuram’ and ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’.

The Best Actor-Male nominees are Dhanush (‘Yaaradi Nee Mohini’), Jeyam Ravi (‘Santhosh Subramanyam’), Kamal Haasan (‘Dasaavatharam’) and Surya (‘Vaaranam Aayiram’). The Best Actor-Female nominees are Asin (‘Dasaavatharam’), Genelia (‘Santhosh Subramanyam’), Parvathi (‘Poo’) and Sneha (‘Pirivom Santhippom’). Special awards such as ‘Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan’ Award, ‘Entertainer of the Year’, ‘Best Find of the Year’, ‘Contribution to Tamil Cinema’ and ‘Best Crew’ will also be given away.

The event will be telecast on June 18 and 19, at 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Watching films on your cell phone ?

With a clutter of over 100 films being released every year, it's a number game out there. Today, audience has access via mobile telephony, Internet or social networking websites. In a rapidly changing tech scenario, it has become critical for Indian filmmakers to engage with audiences even before a film releases. Moreover, the returns are palpable. Says Rajnish, India-head, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, "With a majority of urban youth forming perceptions online, it is the most cost-effective medium for segmenting and targeting specific audiences."

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, the digital partner of Slumdog Millionaire, has worked on the digital space making the film available through such platforms. NFDC streams movies produced by the film promotion body on their website. Says Anand Gurnani of Yash Raj Films, "Our objective is to reach out to our consumers through as many touch points as possible. These new digital mediums act as interactive platforms." "Mobile TV has the potential of impacting regular TV watching and the cinema-going habit in a positive way, as the mobile's small screen could act as a trailer medium for the larger screen," feels Sunil Rajshekhar, president and COO, Times Internet Ltd. Says Madhu Manthena, producer of Ghajini, "Technology makes it convenient for viewers to see a movie on demand. All we need to do is to find a way to monetise it."

4 TV channels violate Child Labour Act

Four television channels will be dragged to the court on the International Child Labour Day on Friday for violating the Child Labour Act. Maharashtra labour minister Nawab Malik said on Thursday that legal proceedings would start against producers of eight TV serials for hiring child artistes.

The serials are Chotte Ustad, Balika Vadhu, Jai Krishna and Utaran (all aired on Colors), Chak De Bachche (9X), Chotta Package Bada Dhamaka and Mayka (aired on Zee), Baap Bahu Aur Baby (aired on Star Plus) and Jasubhen Jayantilal Ki Joint Family (aired on NDTV imagine). The producers are accused of not furnishing details of remuneration paid to a child below 14 years to the labour department. Under the Act, offenders face simple imprisonment of six months or a fine of 10,000, or both.


Shantanu in Warmup round..

This week in ungalil yaar adutha Prabhudeva it would be Warmup round for the top 4 finalists.. with the live grand final getting closer the show is giving them this warmup round. Shantanu is the celebrity judge for the show. He had already appeared in the show earlier and I remember he asking Sai Pallavi whether she is interested in acting in movies.. Shantanu even came in for Vijay awards few weeks back with actress Swathi and Parvati.. This week in ungalil yaar adutha Prabhudeva, the show first will have snippets of top 3 finalists PRemgopal, Sherif and Nanda speaking in Hello FM and then giving some performances..

Its Prajin-Sandra Marriage

This week in Namma veetu kalyanam it will be Prajin-Sandra marriage.. I am little surprised that after their marriage it took a while to get the photos even since they had a secret marriage.. after opposition from the family.. I tried for some photo and :(..I even read in some websites that their parents later accepted their marriage and things have become normal.. Sandra who is from Trivendrum is in Vijay TV's Rojakootam serial. hope you guys will not miss this week's NVK..

UYAP finalists go RJ..

This time it is Hello FM, 106.4 FM station that had Sherif, Nanda and Premgopal who are the finalists of ungalil yaar adutha Prabhudeva show.. these top 3 contestants came in to speak with the RJ (name I donno) and shared their experiences with the show.. it was not that all.. they even spoke about their personal life and what they do.. and their career goals..I was shocked to know that Sherif got married and he conducts a dance school in Coimbatore.. and he trains ppl in that school.. no wonder why he dances so well.. Nanda, who is acting in films also said few words about his film. this show was similar to Super Singer 2008 show which had the top 3 contestants Ravi, Renu and Ajeesh speaking for a radio station.. I like Sherif's dance style and his quick dancing skills..

Whats up with Miss Chennai & Chennai Man..

This week in Viba Miss Chennai and Chennai Main program it would be contest for Mr and Miss beautiful skin.. the show will also make the contestants as chef.. I really dont like this show at all and I feel this selection of Miss Chennai and Chennai Man judges are even not so good.. its not that they are not celebrities but still their questions were pathetic in one week which I saw.. this week there would be rain dance kind of events in the show even..

Super Singer Finals Video

Google and Intel use power of 'internet buses' Correspondent

Some call them "internet buses", and they are turning out to be a powerful medium to educate folks in smaller towns about the power of the computer and the internet. The bus is a specially designed one that travels across selected schools and crowded market places, parking itself for a few hours. The bus typically is equipped with plasma screens connected to keyboards, having 24 hours internet connectivity, headphones and mobile devices for visitors to experience the internet.

After a successful trip around Tamil Nadu, an internet bus sponsored by Google is now doing the rounds of Karnataka. It will cover 15 towns, including Kolar, Mandya, Mysore, Hassan, Shimoga and Tumkur, in the next 50 days. The internet bus is looking to familiarise people with the use of search, email, social networking, online maps and mobile, the content of which is available both in English and Kannada. An initiative on similar lines, Net Yatra, was launched by Intel last year. The initiative has covered more than 53 cities across India, reaching the internet experience to 85,000 Indians. The Intel bus is present for 2 to 3 days in each city. In Karnataka it was in Hubli, Belgaum and Tumkur in October last year.

"A vast majority of the people did not have access to the internet. We also conducted pilots with women users who were excited to get information about online education, because they realised they could go for further education with correspondence courses," says Prakash Bagri, marketing director, Intel - South Asia. Prasad Ram, head of Google R&D India, says the response has exceeded the company's expectations. "As a first step we will look to create awareness about popular services like email, search and videos," he says. The Google internet bus also has mobiles connected to the internet as people in tier 2 and 3 cities are well versed with mobile phones. "Moreover, content is available in the local language which makes the experience richer," says Ram.

Intel started off with demonstrations of applications that simplify day-to-day life, such as booking a train or bus ticket online, visiting Indian language news sites and online education for school students and teachers. Google has seen professionals, housewives, students, job-seekers, senior citizens all visiting the bus. A local artist visited the bus and was impressed after being taught how to upload pictures and advertise it. "The artist was keen to visit a cyber cafe and upload his paintings to sell them online across the country," Ram says. A student of Devaraj Urs Medical College (dental) used search to locate job listings, which suited his profile, while an owner of a printing press was said to have been surprised to read information about printing machines online. "Such initiatives have definitely increased internet awareness even in tier 3 and remote towns. Indians comprise almost a fifth of the world's population but only a minuscule section are connected to the internet." says Bagri.

Vijay Awards 2008 - A Recap

The second Annual Reliance Mobile Vijay Awards 2007 was held on May 3, 2008 at Jawarharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium amidst much glitz and glamour. The ceremony witnessed the most popular faces and technicians assembled together for the grand spectacle. The Rasigan Expresss, the publicity vehicle traveled across the state and collected votes from the public for their favorite stars. These awards gives the viewers an opportunity to choose their favorite star as the winner.

Amidst much fanfare... The award winners were announced...

The award for the 'Favorite HERO' was given to the one and only Super Star Rajnikanth (Sivaji). The special award - 'Entertainer of the Year' declared by the Jury was given to Ilayathalapathy Vijay (Pokkiri & Azagiya Thamizh Magan). The 'Best Music Director' award was bagged by A R Rehman for his foot-tapping numbers in Sivaji. The prestigious 'Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan award for excellence in Tamil Cinema' was presented to Maniratnam; a man who has taken Tamil cinema beyond the borders of Tamilnadu and overseas. The Award for the 'Favorite HEROINE' was given to the ravishing Nayantara (Billa), the current heart throb of Tamilnadu. The award for the Best Actor (Male) was given to Satyaraj for his outstanding performance in Onbadhu Roobai Nottu and the Best Actor (Female) award was given to Priyamani for her memorable performance in the film Paruthiveeran. Award for the Best Director was bagged by Vettrimaran; for the slick and very different 'Polladhavan'. This year, the media agencies and advertisers voted for the 'Icon of the year' award which was unanimously given to the actor Suriya. The award for the Favorite FILM was bagged by the blockbuster Pokkiri and the award for the Favorite DIRECTOR was bagged by Prabhu Deva for the same film.

The award for the 'Contribution to Tamil Cinema' was given to 'Film News' Anandan. Special jury Award for the 'Face of the year' was given to Actor Silambarasan; whose venture into Tamil television; took the industry by storm. Paruthiveeran, the rural love story with its raw emotions was adjudged the Best Film by the Jury. The award for the Best Comedian was bagged by the popular comedian Vadivelu (Marudamalai). 'Polladhavan' won 3 more awards in the Cinematography (Velraj), Stunt Direction (Rambo Rajkumar) and the Best Villian (Kishore) category. Best Playback Singer Male award was bagged by Krish for the song June Ponal (Unnalae Unnalae) and the Best Playback Singer Female Award was won by the VIVA fame Neha Bhasin (Song: Pesugiren, Film: Satham Podathey). Best Find of the Year award was given to the debut director Venkat Prabhu (Chennai - 600028) and the Award for the Best Crew was given to the 'Chennai - 600028' team.

The super star starrer 'Sivaji' bagged two awards, the Best Lyricist Award went to Na Muthukumar (Ballelakka) and Best Art Direction went to Thota Tharani for his grand sets. Best Supporting Actor award was given to Prakash Raj (Mozhi) and to Sujatha for her commendable performance in Paruthiveeran. The award for the Best Dialogue Writer was given to Viji (Mozhi) and the award for the Best Choreographer was won by Dinesh (Pokkiri - Vasantha Mullai). The award for Best Actor Male in a debut performance was bagged by Karthi (Paruthiveeran); while the award for Best Actor Female in a debut performance was given to Anjali for the film Kattradhu Thamizh. The Best Editor award was won by Srikar Prasad (Kattradu Thamiz). In addition to the glittering line up of stars present; the show was peppered with sizzling performances by the gorgeous Sada, the sexy siren Ragasiya, the stunning Neha Bhasin, and the dazzling Kamna; these ladies added that extra quotient of style with their grooves. The popular rap artiste BLAZE joined in the celebrations with his many foot tapping numbers

Non Competitive Rounds..

This week in Boys Vs Girls it would be non competitive round.. the show is now in the final moments and now they give the contestants to have a warm up round.. Semifinals of the show got over and now its only the finals that is left.. looks like they will drag it for a while so that ungalil yaar adutha Prabhudeva schedule for finals doesnt clash with boys vs girls..this week we will also see Deepak and DD performing with the contestants since being a non competitive round..

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DTH snatching share of IPTV interactive services

With an already good consumer base on the DTH platform, players spice it up further with value-added services. The much-touted internet protocol TV, or IPTV, was expected to arouse enough interest among consumers who wanted interactive services like videos on demand, online movie ticket booking, ability to record, pause and schedule recordings of TV shows. However, consumers like Kaustubh Deshpande from Mumbai are getting impatient. Even six months after using the much-hyped IPTV service in Mumbai, he isn’t too kicked about it — part of his angst arose from the teething troubles he had to endure when he got an IPTV connection.

Meanwhile, his friends alerted him to Bharti-Airtel’s launch of interactive services like ordering a pizza via a set-top-box. From selecting the pizza topping to deciding the side orders, Airtel digital TV subscribers can use their TV sets as a menu card. The service, which has been launched in New Delhi and will be soon replicated countrywide, adds a new chapter to interactive services on the DTH platform. Kaustubh is now sold on this service. Indeed! Players like Airtel are not relying solely on IPTV for interactivity any longer. Not willing to take chances, they are directing some of the value-added services (VAS) to Direct-to-home (DTH) users too.

And why not? IPTV has made a small beginning. But the problem, say analysts, is that IPTV providers are still testing the platform. Despite IPTV being launched as early as 2006, there were just about 30,000 households (0.03 million) in 2008. This number is set to touch 2.5 lakh households in 2009, as per the 2009 KPMG-Ficci study, while the DTH households will touch a whopping 16 million in 2009. Moreover, the Direct-to-home (DTH) market is all set to reach 28 million subscribers in the next four years, far exceeding internet protocol television (IPTV) numbers that are expected to touch a mere 4 million subscribers over the same period. Ajay Puri, director & CEO (DTH), Bharti Airtel believes that interactivity on DTH can be game-changing for the service providers. He describes the latest interactive service from Bharti Airtel which allows users to “browse through various pizzas on offer, and place your orders as well. All you have to do is select what you want to eat and send an SMS to the nearest Pizza Hut contact centre.”

Dominant DTH provider Dish TV, too, is luring consumers with its 25 feature film collection for children. Movies like Ghatotkacha, Aladdin Ka Chirag, Krishna, Prahlad, Prithviraj Chauhan, Taare Zameen Par and The Pied Piper of Hamlin, will be available on the movie-on-demand (MoD) platform by Dish TV. The films are priced at just Rs 25 per movie. MoD, which was the most-touted feature of the IPTV platform, is being replicated by DTH players too. Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV says, “Globally, niche content acts as the core differentiator but in India the regulator has ruled out content differentiation, so value-added services (VAS) become the differentiator.” Families spend up to 20 per cent of their TV viewing time on such interactive services on Dish TV, says Kapoor. The gaming segment on the DTH platform is yet another area that has adopted interactivity. Recently, Microsoft launched an advertising campaign for its gaming console Microsoft Xbox 360 Arcade on the gaming portal of Dish TV in order to reach out to 25 million potential gamers across India. Alok Shende, principal analyst, Ascendia Consulting, opines that “DTH as a platform allows building business models around it. Almost the similar way as IPTV. Its just that in IPTV you have triple play — voice, broadband and entertainment.” He claims that with IPTV market in a limbo, it is natural for service providers to focus on interactive value-added services.

However, telcos admit that the IPTV story cannot be written off in a hurry. Players like Reliance, Aksh or Airtel remain committed to their IPTV offerings. And so does Airtel, which still touts its IPTV interactive services that include online movie ticket booking, ability to record, pause and schedule recordings of TV shows for up to 7 days and interactive movie-on-demand services with options to choose from hundreds of movies. Gradually, though, these offerings are becoming available on the DTH platform too.

- Business Standard

Vijay Times - Vallamai Tharayo audio launch

Vijay Times - Laadam crew interview

Vijay Times - Unnaipol Oruvan Press Meet

TV leads Internet and newspapers in attracting movie goers

TV has gradually taken up a leadership position over the print media in attracting movie buffs, suggests a research initiative carried out by, a social networking portal dedicated to movie enthusiasts. The research aims to gain insights into the movie viewing behaviour (MVB) of the Indian youth. According to the research, 78 per cent of the audience are passive information receptor on movies since they are exposed to exhaustive movie promotions by different media while the remaining 22 per cent are active information seekers. Referring to the information tools, the results suggested that 80 per cent was being targeted by television followed by 11 per cent by print media, four per cent via Internet, three per cent family influence and one per cent each by radio trailers respectively.

Govt looks Tamil film industry issues

Concerned over benefits extended to the film industry not reaching the public, the Tamil Nadu government has announced the constitution of a seven-member committee to go into the entire gamut of issues relating to the industry like abolition of entertainment tax and reduction of outdoor shooting charges. M Karunanidhi, chief minister, Tamil Nadu, said that noted film producer AVM Saravanan, producer and president of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners' Association 'Abirami' Ramanathan, Coimbatore mayor R Venkatachalam, former chairman of Alandur municipality RS Bharathi and the secretaries of home, commercial taxes and information departments would be members of the committee. Karunanidhi said the government was receiving complaints from local bodies that their tax revenue had been affected following the waiver of entertainment tax to films. The DMK government had waived the 15 per cent entertainment tax levied on Tamil movies, adding a rider that the waiver would be application only if the film's title was in Tamil.

This was a measure largely aimed at encouraging producers to name their films in Tamil. It was introduced at a time when it had become fashionable for films to be given English titles. Entertainment tax, however, is applicable to English and other language movies and films dubbed from other languages. The government had also brought down the charges for outdoor shooting. During the previous AIADMK regime, the charges had been hiked in a big way. Karunanidhi expressed his disappointment that the benefits of these measures had not been passed on to the public by the industry which enjoyed these concessions. The committee will give its suggestions on review the continuance of these concessions. It will also give its views on entertainment tax, films, cinema complexes, outdoor charges and other important issues, after holding consultations with the film industry, representatives of local bodies and the public.

MediaE2E is now What's-On-India

MediaE2E, the electronic programme guide (EPG) solution provider, which works with many major Indian television networks and various distribution platforms, is now re-branded as What's-On-India. Founded in 2005, the organisation now covers more than 300 television channels and powers millions of set top boxes of DTH, cable and IPTV, including Hathway, Digicable, Den, Airtel digital, Big TV, Airtel IPTV and others, with its EPG content. Atul Phadnis, founder and chief executive officer, What's-On-India, says, "With the TV industry going digital, consumer choice and content diversity continues to multiply rapidly. In this context, TV guidance is a very interesting space for What's-On-India."

Phadnis has been associated with Rediffusion Y&R, Mindshare, Starcom and TAM Media. He adds that the company's EPG vertical runs India's largest multi-platform, multi-device consumer search and guidance service for TV video content. What's-On-India has roped in names such as Sequoia Capital India and Nexus India as investors. Nexus India Capital is a leading India centric venture capital fund, whose other investments include Komli, Dimdim, Netmagic, Suminter, Dlight and Speedera; and Sequoia Capital, is a pre-eminent investment firm, which has partnered with entrepreneurs to create market leaders such as Google, Yahoo, Apple and Cisco. "We feel that What's-On-India is addressing a much needed problem in the Indian media industry. The company has got full-fledged support from us." says Suvir Sujan of Nexus India Capital. "The growing digital television market presents a unique and vast opportunity that What's-On-India can tap with the TV guidance concept." says Sandeep Singhal, managing director, Sequoia Capital India.

What's-On-India also plans to foray into broadcasting and has plans to come up with India's first TV guidance channel by the third quarter of this year. Since the concept of EPG solution is not so widely known in India, it had to build this concept in the market. In a short span of time, the company has tied up with various broadcasters, including Star India, Multi Screen Media (MSM) India, Discovery, INX Media, Times Now, Viacom18, ETV Network and Network18. Correspondent | Mumbai

Ad revenues could fall 8 per cent, says Publicis

Publicis, the group which owns Saatchi & Saatchi, predicted more pain for the beleaguered advertising industry yesterday, saying revenues will fall as much as 8 per cent around the world this year. Its chief executive Maurice Levy made the dire predictions at the group's annual meeting yesterday, saying the second quarter would be worse than the first in a year that "will not be... a great vintage". He added that the group should perform ahead of its rivals, however.

He said: "At this stage we are confident we will do better than the sector's average and than the top Tier but we do not know by how much." This follows ZenithOptimedia, the group's data arm, warning that ad spending would drop 6.9 per cent worldwide two months ago. Other data providers have similar predictions. The World Advertising Research Center found in March that spending was down 9.6 per cent in the UK in the last three months of 2008. The group warned of further falls this year. Mr Levy added yesterday that there would be an improvement in the last six months of the year. WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell said in April there could be a relative improvement in the second half, but added there would be no recovery before 2010.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rising Star

Star TV's hoping to make it big in regional markets. Can it take on its well-entrenched rivals?

Even as it battles Colors on the national front, Star TV’s savouring some success in the states. For the last five weeks, Star Jalsha, launched in September last year, has been the most watched channel in West Bengal, overtaking Zee Bangla. According to TAM Peoplemeter, Star Jalsha’s been leading competitors by about 50 GRPs (gross rating points) on average over the past month or so. In Kerala, Asianet, in which Star holds the majority stake, is the market leader by a long shot. But the story in other regional markets hasn’t been quite as exciting — in the lucrative Tamil Nadu market, Star Vijay is way behind Sun TV with just a three per cent share (source TAM). In Karnataka, there’s a 400 GRP gap between Star’s Suvarna and the market leader Udaya, while Star Pravah, launched late last year in Maharashtra, hasn’t really taken off.

But Jagdish Kumar, president, South India, Star, isn’t disheartened. Kumar is convinced that advertising revenues from these markets could grow at around 15 per cent compounded annually in the next few years and that there’s money to be made. That could be true. After all, nearly 45 per cent — or 34 million — of India’s estimated 75 million cable and satellite households are reported to be in the south. And with purchasing power on the rise, marketers simply can’t afford to ignore these markets. Says Rajni Menon, business director, Zenith Optimedia, a media planning agency and part of the Publicis Group, “The south is a critical market for advertisers because the viewership levels are high. Also, states such as Tamil Nadu contribute heavily to volumes and have a high growth potential.”

Disparity and potential

It’s also true that the cost of advertising as measured by the CPRP (cost per rating point) is lower in regional markets than it is for the Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs). As Menon points out, even the cost of advertising on Sun TV, which is the market leader in three out of four states, would be about one-fifth of what it is for the Hindi GECs if you compare rates and half if you compare CPRPs.

Indeed, there is tremendous disparity even within the regional markets. Nitin Vaidya, COO, Zee Entertainment, reckons that, on average, a 10-second spot in Tamil Nadu would fetch a premium of about 40 per cent over Maharashtra and around 50 per cent over West Bengal. Taken together, advertising spends in the six main regional markets — the four southern states, Maharashtra and West Bengal — today account for an estimated Rs 1,700-2,000 crore.

Kumar believes that marketers are waking up to the potential of regional markets and that it will be possible to monetise the GRPs. That’s why Star continues to invest in the Rs 500-600 crore Tamil Nadu market, where its Star Vijay notches up GRPs of just 150 compared with 1,500 for Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun TV (source: TAM). So far, Star Vijay has been something of a niche channel — more urban-centric and targetted at a slightly younger audience. But Kumar realises that the strategy needs to be revisited. “There’s a limitation being a niche channel because it’s mainly fiction or soaps that audiences want and which bring in the GRPs,” he concedes, adding that while it wants to crack the serials piece, Star doesn’t also want to be seen as simply copying Sun.

Short on demand

Star is at a huge disadvantage because in a market in which audiences breathe films, it doesn’t have a film library, whereas Sun has the rights to some 7,000 plus films. Kumar defends the strategy. “Movies cost way too much so we’re not buying too many. Our average GRPs, which were around 150, are now closer to 200 possibly because we’re on air for a longer time and show more original content. And every cable operator has to show Vijay TV,” he says, adding that Star is buying some Kannada films.

Even Eenadu, a strong number two in its home market Andhra Pradesh after Sun’s Gemini, saw the potential of regional television years back but didn’t cash in because it didn’t have a big enough library.

Films in themselves may not be a paying proposition, but they help push up GRPs which can then influence advertisers. Says an industry insider, “Films today cost Rs 2-3 crore and can be broadcast just a few times, so there’s no way these can be monetised. But they do pull in GRPs and Andhra is one of the biggest movie markets in the country.”

Not surprisingly, Star is lying low in the Rs 300-350 crore Andhra market — after all Zee has been in the state since May 2005 and is barely among the top five. Star’s Sitara ranks almost at the bottom of the heap but Kumar believes it’s necessary to hang in. He may have a point. Zenith Optimedia’s Menon believes that advertising revenues in regional markets could grow faster than the Hindi GECs, though growth would not be disproportionately high. “After all, given the historical skew to Hindi-speaking markets and the population there, it’s hard for regional broadcasters to up their rack rates disproportionately, advertisers simply won’t bite. But they would look at markets like Andhra for products like shampoos and foods,” she points out.

Fast-growing markets

Markets like West Bengal and Maharashtra, estimated at between Rs 200-250 crore and Rs 250-300 crore respectively, may grow faster. And that’s where Star Jalsha’s conquest of the West Bengal market, with GRPs of 300 plus, is creditable because Zee Bangla has had a remarkable reign at the top.” We’ve upgraded the quality of content, tried to make the storylines more contemporary and of course made sure the channel is reached,” says JC Giri, executive vice-president, Star. Both Zee and Eenadu, a strong number two before Star arrived on the scene, are fighting back. fEenadu, which is watched widely across Bengal, is believed to be revamping content across regions and has an edge because it’s venture in the state is a profitable one. Zee’s Vaidya admits it became a little complacent but says it is making amends with a new comedy serial and a blockbuster show with cricketer Sourav Ganguly. Since it’s local fare that audiences want, Zee has built up a film library — as has Star which now has over a hundred Bengali films in its kitty.

Star will perhaps need to do the same in Maharashtra where Star Pravah, launched in November last year, ranks a lowly 15th (source TAM) behind Zee Talkies — Zee’s movie channel. The Maharashtra market is attracting a lot of advertising — revenues have grown four-fold from around Rs 70 crore way back in 2003 to around Rs 300 crore in 2008. But broadcasters need to focus on local content. In 2003, for instance, the channel share for all Marathi channels was less than 10 per cent compared with around 34 per cent for Hindi GECs. Last year, Zee Marathi alone commanded a 20 per cent share of the Maharashtra market with the share of Hindi GECs slipping to 24 per cent. Before it takes on Zee Marathi though, Star will need to fight eMarathi whose business in the state is close to breaking even.

As of now, it would appear that Star makes money only in Kerala where it has a 1,000-strong film library and where it pulls in an estimated 70 per cent of the ad spends. However, it’s also a fact that regional channels can be profitable because content costs are far lower. For example, a single Hindi GEC episode could cost Rs 10-12 lakh, whereas an episode for a Bengali or Marathi channel would cost barely a lakh. Even if distribution costs — carriage charges — are high, operating profit margins for regional channels, says Star’s Kumar, could be higher by as much as 1,500 basis points.

Also, all broadcasters are eyeing subscription revenues, which today may account for less than 20 per cent, but in three years could fetch as much as 40 per cent of revenues, especially in states where satellite penetration is high. And overseas markets are another potential revenue stream. Also, Kumar’s hoping to gradually leverage Star’s national footprint and bundle advertising inventory, making it cost-effective for advertisers. Media buyers, however, say it’s not always easy to bundle advertising inventory in television like it is in the print media.” Even a strong player like Sun sells its channels separately,” they point out. And Star, of course, is no Sun. At least not yet.

Shobhana Subramanian | Business Standard | Mumbai, June 09, 2009

New programs

There are several new programs lined up in Vijay TV and here is a glimpse of the same.. I have also included some existing programs' mega events..

Ungalil yaar adutha Prabhudeva
Grand final on June 26

Anbe Vaa
From June 15, Monday to Thursday 8 PM

Kana kaanum kalangal
Early August

Anu Alavum Bayamillai

Paatu Paadavaa
From July 3, Friday and Saturday, 10 PM

Vijay Awards announcement
June 13

Monday, June 8, 2009


Yesterday in Airtel Super Singer 2008 it was repeat of the grand finals and I guess this will be going on this week.. I was expecting the show to have some celebrations round or some other round but nothing happened.. its only the retelecast of live show. I remember the same was also telecasted last saturday afternoon.. They could start Junior from last week itself or given a proper ending to the Super Singer 2008 show which was for more than a year..

Anbe Vaa from June 15

At a time when family dramas and tear-jerkers dominated TV screens, Vijay TV was a pioneer in launching a daily soap with romance as its central theme. ‘Idu Oru Kadhal Kadhai’ and ‘Kadhalikka Neraam illai’ were two such soaps that dealt with love in an unique fashion. Banking on the success of these shows, Vijay TV is set to launch its next love series, ‘Anbe Vaa’ from June 15, 2009 onwards.

Anbae Vaa is a story which has three friends (Jeeva, Jana and Adi) who are on the verge of taking the plunge into the real world and is also experiencing their first loves.

Jeeva a bank executive, who wears his heart on his sleeve, has a childhood friend Sandhya who loves him dearly. Jeeva doesn’t reciprocate her love as he is pinning his love for Priya. How does love traverse between this trio makes for interesting viewing.

Adi, an advocate and revolutionist, comes from an orthodox Brahmin family and holds high regard for his mother. He falls in love with a Christian girl, Angel and how they win each other’s love breaking many obstacles forms the story.

Jana, a Kabaddi player, is in love with his relative Devi. The building family feud between the two families is a major challenge for their love to blossom. Adding confusion to this brittle love is Jana’s passion for his sport which dilutes his love.

The love stories of these closely-knit friends cross each other and are deftly handled by Venkat Ramanan, the director who has also penned the script and screenplay. Balagurunathan, cinematographer for this serial, captures the mood on camera. Rattan has scored the title track which is already popular on radio stations and websites. The track can be downloaded from popular websites too. With Khaki fame Arjun doing the lead role, there are many fresh faces who have been handpicked for the roles. Launching from June 15, 2009, the serial will air every Monday – Thursday, 8 p.m. in Vijay TV. Fall in love with “Anbe Vaa” from June 15, 2009 every Monday – Thursday, 8 p.m. in Vijay TV.

Vijay TV's plans

STAR Network’s Tamil general entertainment channel, Vijay TV, is preparing to entertain its viewers with a pot-pourri of music and dance, comedy, fiction and reality. The channel is readying to unravel a mix of shows to keep the viewers occupied. K Sriram, general manager, Vijay TV, says, “Riding high on the success and the enthusiastic response to our just concluded show, Airtel Super Singer 2008, it's an opportune time for us to consolidate our gains by dishing out equally (and more) engaging entertaining fare for our viewers.

“Our next biggest property will be Amul Ungalil Yaar Adutha Prabhu Dheva (Who is the next Prabhu Dheva) – a dance reality show which we intend to take on ground, and air the grand finale of the show live on June 26.” The regional channel will also launch a few fiction shows to spruce up its primetime lineup (7 pm-10:30 pm). Anbe Vaa, a love story with fresh faces, will be rolled out on June 22. It will be aired on Monday-Thursday at 8 pm. A fresh season of popular show Kanaa Kaanum Kalangal is scheduled for an early August launch. The series this time focuses on adolescent children in a village school. The last season of the show portrayed the school life of city kids. In addition to these two fiction shows, the channel is experimenting with an exciting format show called Anu Alavum Bayamillai. It's a reality show to be wrapped up in 45 days, starring celebrity actors who will be seen performing daring acts exhibiting their courage, stamina and will power. Vijay TV, after hosting three popular editions of Jodi No.1, has this time renamed the show as Boys vs. Girls and introduced fresh elements of competition to ward off the fatigue experienced by the audience.

Elaborating on the programming mix, Sriram shares, “The idea is to piggyback on the success of our recently concluded reality shows by launching new, strong shows in different genres. We begin unravelling our fresh programming lineup by presenting two comedy shows. “The first, Amman Try Anda Kaalam Inda Kaalam (Those Years, This Year), a hilarious and interesting debate between the older and the younger generations over the quality of entertainment, movies and songs of yesteryear in comparison with the current entertainment fare. The second show was V-Guard Adhu Idhu Edhu, a comedy game show.” Sriram adds that another show to be watched out for is Paatu Paadavaa (Bol Baby Bol). It is based on the international format, Don't Forget Your Lyrics, and will be a version of the Hindi show, Bol Baby Bol. Paatu Paadavaa is a unique musical game show in which, without missing the lyrics of at least 10 songs, the contestant stands a chance to win the prize money of Rs 5 lakh. Paatu Paadavaa will go on air on July 3. It will be aired on Friday and Saturday at 10 pm. Sriram sounds enthusiastic at the prospect of getting a positive response from viewers for the third edition of the Vijay Awards – which will see big Tamil film stars wooing the audience. The awards will be announced on June 13.

What happen to Government Cable TV ?

The Government announced the formation of Government Cable TV Corporation and even appointed officials as M.D. and Regional Directors. Having distributed lakhs and lakhs of colour TV sets to the public, it is indeed a step in the right direction to provide cable TV by the Government itself so that the facility reaches the poor at a nominal monthly rate. Unfortunately, nothing happened further. In Ramanathapuram, the present monthly subscription for cable TV is Rs. 130, which is abnormal and beyond the reach of the middle-class and the poor.

It is expected that the above rate may increase further. There are no address and name of the operator in the receipts issued for collection and no one knows as to who is the operator in Ramanathapuram. I appeal to the officials concerned to check the excess monthly charges and direct the service-provider to issue proper receipts for all collections. It is better if the Government starts its own cable TV service.

Vijay Times

These days whenever Vijay TV doesnt have any show to fill in the space they start with Vijay Times which is quite interesting.. they come up with clippings of their favourite shows (take for Super Singer or Ungalil yaar adutha Prabudeva). there were some interviews with actors/directors of upcoming films even. similarly they have another show called "Time Pass".. this even has something to pass the time ;).. but I think its time for Vijay TV to properly fit in programs in those spaces.. its good for a while to see programs of this kind but I dont think this would work for longer run.

After Rose.. its Namitha...

Glamorous heroine of tamil film industry Namitha, who was seen in the Boys Vs Girls program for quite sometime was missing from the show. She was initially introduced in the show and later suddenly she was replaced by few heroines and Mumtaz took his place for last few weeks.. now in Kalaignar television the popular dance show Maanada Mayilada season 4 is getting started and Namitha is roped into that program as judge for the show.. After Rose its turn for Namitha to jump from Vijay TV to Kalaignar TV. might be its like After Namitha its Rose... This is not the first time we see people who become popular in Vijay TV are roped into Sun TV or Kalaignar TV. it all started well early during "kalakapovathu yaaru"..

Juniors from June 22

With the successful completion of Airtel Super Singer 2008.. Vijay TV is all set to start its junior version.. Airtel Super Singer Junior 2. First level of auditions held in Coimbatore last week and it had got overwhelming response from the kids.. it was supposed to be 1 day event and later the same was extended to 2 days on saturday and sunday. From June 22nd 2009 Vijay TV will start its junior version show. It might be even that the show would be for 4 days in a week rather than 3.. it might be from Monday to Thursday.. Get ready for the junior event.. This will be rocking for sure..

Internet advertising slumps in first quarter

Spending on Internet advertising took a big drop in the first quarter of 2009 as troubles across the broader economy took their toll. For the three-month period, Internet advertising revenue in the U.S. was $5.5 billion, down a notable 5 percent from the $6.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a report Friday from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Internet ad revenue, 2001-2009(Credit: Interactive Advertising Bureau/PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Aside from a handful of smaller quarterly declines, Internet advertising revenue has risen steadily since the middle of 2002, as the sector began to recover from the dot-com bust.

The IAB put a positive spin on the first quarter's downward motion.

"Consumers are spending more and more time with interactive media. For this, and other reasons, interactive media continues to gain share of marketing spend." Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, said in a statement. "We're confident that growth will resume as the U.S. economic climate improves. Interactive advertising is the most accountable way to reach consumers--and in this economy, digital media will be a core component of any successful marketing campaign."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Airtel Digital TV & ESPN to launch new channel

Sunil Mittal-led DTH firm Airtel Digital TV has partnered with sport channel ESPN to launch an interactive channel 'iSports' on its platform with an aim to garner more viewers for the ongoing ICC Twenty20 Worldcup. Going ahead, Airtel will also introduce more than six interactive channels on its platform this year. “These channels (interactive) will serve as the differentiating factor for us from not just cable TV services but also other DTH players...We plan to l aunch more than half a dozen such channels this year,” Bharti Airtel Director and Chief Executive Officer (DTH) Mr Ajai Puri said. The company is looking at education and business as potential subjects for the channel, he added.

Airtel has recently added 'iSports' to its offering and has partnered with ESPN for content. The channel will provide highlights, match updates, schedule, trivia and statistics about cricket on iSports. “iSports has been launched in line with the World Cup T20. Cricket fans can watch matches as well as get other information on this platform,” he said, adding that the company is offering the sports bouquet at Rs 60 (plus taxes) for three months as compar ed to Rs 45 (plus taxes) charged earlier. At present, Airtel offers nine interactive channels, including iShop, iPizza, iMatinee, iTravel and iCity. Mr Puri declined to comment on the subscriber base and the targeted volume.


India's win at T20 smashes TV rating records

Delivering an average television rating of 3.9 per cent on STAR Cricket, the highest so far in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup being played in England, the tournament’s third match played between India (winners) and Bangladesh on June 6 also turned out to be the most watched one. Over 13 million viewers tuned in late at night. Also, the 3.9 rating stood out as the most-watched match among the first 24 played in the two ICC T20 World Cups so far—first played in South Africa in 2007 that India won and the second tournament underway — says the data released by the overnight television ratings agency Audience Measurement and Analytics Ltd (aMap). This is even higher than the average ratings of the top three matches in the recently concluded domestic India Premier League (IPL2) tournament, despite those being viewed in India during prime time (4pm-7:30 pm and 8 pm till midnight), shows the aMap data.

The India-Bangladesh T20 match has recorded the second-highest viewership among all 30 matches played so far in the two T20 World Cups, next only to the India-Pakistan final played in South Africa in 2007 during the inaugural, that India had won, says the aMap data. That final in 2007 had generated a viewership of over 14.4 million and record ratings of 6 per cent for cable viewers over 15 years of age, considered the key demographics for cricket by media planners. For this reason, media planners are encouraged by the high ratings of the India-Bangladesh match. “India matches are expected to give higher ratings. But the fact that viewers are watching it even past midnight is extremely encouraging for the advertisers,” says a senior media planner in a leading agency at Gurgaon. A total of 27 advertisers, the highest so far in the tournament, consumed over 2,000 seconds of on-air advertisment time during the India-Bangladesh match on June 6 on STAR Cricket, says aMap.

In the second T20 World Cup currently underway in England, the first two matches—Holland (winners) versus England on June 5 and West Indies (winners) versus Australia on June 6 generated ratings of only 1 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively, in the cable homes and among viewers over 15 years of age, says the aMap data. ESPN STAR Sports, host broadcaster for the ICC T20 World Cup, expects to raise around Rs 225 crore from advertising revenue during the 17-day tournament.

-Business Standard

Where is Rose ??

Ippadikku Rose, was one of the many firsts from Vijay TV. For the first time in India, a Transgender was a hostess of a chat show. Ramesh venketasan who became Rose, is well read. She is a Mechanical Engineer [ satyabama univ. Chennai] and a Ms in biomedical Engineering from Louisiana USA. She worked as an American accent trainer in some BPO's was a web Developer and also a Trainer. She had hosted a show in a Tamil TV called Vectone TV, London [ about 30 shows],and had her articles published in the Hindu, new Indian express and DNA. She appeared in some interviews in other channels and will be part of series in National geographic[ what is a gender?] soon.

Rose venketasan had the advantage of the curiosity element to get instant TRP's for her earlier episodes. Though she did not falter a lot, there was some pep missing. She did remove most of her shortcomings in the later episodes, but the show was wound up,after about 50 episodes. She is quite comfortable as an anchor but may have to link herself with the environment here rather than her Louisiana. She is pursuing a degree in Loyola college now, her first after becoming a TG and is a key participant in some gay event being held in June in Chennai. She will be the chief guest of an Oscar film festival on June 22ND and then

From July 4Th, if everything goes by her plans , SHE WILL REAPPEAR IN KALAIGNAR TV. Every Saturday at 10 PM in Kalaignar TV from July 4Th will be Ithu Rose Neram, for which she is the creative head and producer. The plot of the program is supposed to be based on Oprah Winfrey and SHE SAYS THAT " The show is designed like a wholesome magazine aimed at entertaining the audience and informing/educating them without the feeling of learning, but actually enjoying the whole process.".

Whats up with Junior 2

The search for junior vioce of Tamil Nadu had started.. Airtel Super Singer Junior 2 had successfully started sterday.. the auditions took place in Coimbatore on saturday at the Hindustan College of Arts and Science.. there were more than 500 children coming in for the auditions.. the competition has the age restriction of 6 to 14 years of age to take part.. With many children turning up the audition was extended today even. Vijay TV always try to provide atmost chance for the competitors to prove themselves..
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