Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Sep 29, 2004
Tara TV to explore new revenue streams
Mumbai , Sept. 28
THE success of the pan-Bengali approach adopted by the Rupert Murdoch-promoted Tara TV for both the Bangladesh and Indian audiences has led it to explore new revenue streams. While revenues exceeded the cost of running the channel by nearly 25 per cent last year itself, Tara is now exploring new opportunities to beef up the bottomline of its company, Broadcast Worldwide.
Mr Rathikant Basu, Chairman, Broadcast Worldwide, told Business Line, "We are looking at new revenue streams and apart from the DTH platform, we also intend getting into satellite radio through WorldSpace."
Having tied up with Ten Inc, a New York-based DTH company to beam its programmes into North America, Tara has also signed on another DTH company - ADD (Arab Digital Distribution) to make available its programmes to West Asian countries.
On the anvil are plans to tap the DTH platform for the Bengali-speaking community in Australia as well.
Other revenue streams being tapped by the four-year-old television channel includes that of venturing into satellite radio by being the exclusive Bengali music channel on WorldSpace. Added Mr Basu,
"We already have a collection of songs by various artistes as part of the music library belonging to Tara Music and we would be marketing this music brand through satellite radio on WorldSpace."
Besides, Tara TV is also contemplating expanding its bouquet and there could be a second channel in the offing for music and movies apart from spinning off a 24-hour Bengali news channel as well.
Sourcing its programmes from production houses such as those belonging to Ananda Bazaar Patrika and Bag Films, Tara TV had originally started off with four language channels but lack of funding resulted in the channel restricting itself to a single 24-hour Bengali channel.
"It was difficult to feed all the four channels, especially as the expected round of funding did not happen," said Mr Basu, who is still reluctant to disclose the channel's current revenue turnover in spite of making profits.
Besides, the dismal performance of the stock market also resulted in the channel staying away from its maiden IPO plans.
"Today, our pan-Bangla strategy has worked and we are looking at low-cost investment options to increase our footprint in this space," said Mr Basu.
Treating radio and DTH as low-cost investment options, Tara TV is now being cautious about every move it makes in the high-risk media business.
"Media stocks are looking up and we intend making the right investments," adds Mr Basu,who holds a 19 per stake in the company.
Attracting ad revenues still remains a challenge for the regional channel, which Tara TV intends overcoming with high-quality programming.
"Regional channels are still considered to be downmarket by media buyers and we are trying to change that perception," explained Mr Basu.
Meanwhile, after tasting success with its Tara TV channel in Bangladesh, Mr Basu has decided to host the first `Bangladesh Festival' in Mumbai and Delhi, which would get sponsored by Tara TV.
The festival is expected to showcase Bangladesh to Indian audiences through fashion, traditional and modern music and contemporary art and food.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line