Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jan 28, 2004

Port Info

Group Sites

Tenth Anniversary Special - Radio/TV

It is show time in media

Nithya Subramaniam

DIRECT-TO-HOME, video-on-demand, multi-media messaging service (MMS)... just some of the new media vehicles that have taken off in the last decade.

A sector that had remained closed and stodgy, exploded into action with a boom in the television, radio, print and films business. Not only this, several new modes of communication such as the Internet and mobile services are all set for a big take off. The industry is set to grow to Rs 41,900 crore by 2007.

The years gone by have seen media companies tapping the capital market, introducing a whole host of television and radio channels and the corporatisation of the chaotic film industry.

But the most significant changes have happened in the television broadcasting industry. From just 10 channels available in the country in 1993 to 220 channels by the end of 2003, the small screen has grown by serials and features. Now, to regulate the industry, the Government has seated the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the director's chair.

Cable television entered India when CNN brought home the first Gulf War; then ended the government monopoly on broadcasting. "Had it not been for Mr Subhash Chandra, Indian television industry would not have been what it is today. Consumers today enjoy a wide spectrum of programming that spans across a bouquet of channels and all this happened in a decade of launching Zee TV," said Mr Ashish Kaul, Vice-President (Corporate Brand Development), Essel Group.

This led to a wide variety of programming choices for consumers. Besides entertainment channels, a host of news channels has hit the small screen.

According to Mr Atul Phadnis, Director, S-Group, TAM India, "While the channel line-ups have changed so have the kind of programmes that were liked by audiences. For instance, as per TV ADEX, the top revenue grossing programme has changed from Chitrahaar (DD, 1994) to Hum Paanch (Zee TV, 1997) to Kaun Banega Crorepati (Star Plus, 2000) to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhie Bahu Thi (Star Plus, 2003)."

The decade has also been witness to several changes among corporates in the broadcasting. It has created rivals out of alliance partners. Zee and Star, which were partners at one point of time, spilt. So did the alliance between NDTV and Star.

In terms of technology too, there have been significant changes. The Government created a mess by trying to roll out the conditional access system (CAS). Along with this, others technologies such as direct-to-home were set to take off.

The good-old radio also went through a transformation. It was radio gaga all the way. About 10 years back, All India Radio (AIR) dominated with 283 broadcasting centres airing shows in 24 languages and 146 dialects, covering 90 per cent of the country and with a reach of over 98 per cent.

For about four decades, the Centre did not permit private radio stations to broadcast in the country. But in 1993, it permitted some private operators to buy slots on AIR. In 1998, this was stopped after Prasar Bharati decided not to review the contracts. Due to huge revenue losses, in July 1999, the Government announced that 150 new FM channels would be licensed across 40 cities. In 2000, licences were auctioned and the focus was the metros.

But the FM privatisation has not met with the success the Government expected it to be. The FM players have launched operations in just over a dozen of centres. The industry has been claiming huge losses. On revenues of just Rs 40 crore, losses have crossed Rs 115 crore. Amongst all the revolutions taking place, cinema has not been left behind. The way of doing business in this rather chaotic industry has also changed. "The explosion in media and the live coverage of news has completely transformed the lifestyles of people. It has impacted people's tastes in fashion, travel and the whole culture of the present population," said Mr Sanjay Bhutiani, Head of Leo Entertainment.

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication

Stories in this Section
Fixed-income investing — Fading glitter of debt

Telecom: Finally, the right connection
`Agriculture is backbone of livelihood security system' — Dr M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, MSSRF
Agriculture: Sowing the seeds of strength
The progression to prosperity
Auto revolution rolls on
A patient wait for change, rewarded
India Inc Shining bright
Reliance: Reaching out
Tata Motors: India's own wheels
Infosys: The growth program
Jet on golden wings
Dr Reddy's: Health capsule
Bharti Tele-Ventures: Wireless strength
Star Network: Shining bright
Corporate India, lean and mean
Disinvestment: A best-seller idea
`India is a bigger market for IT than any other' — Mr F. C. Kohli, former Deputy Chairman, Tata Consultancy Services
India in the era of economic reforms
The unfinished agenda
From crisis to confidence
Touching the rural landscape
Reforms, for and by a billion people
Engineering costs and going places
The fall and rise of mutual funds
UTI's stormy passage
Well of paradoxes
`Real liberalisation yet to happen for oil PSUs' — Mr K. N. Venkatasubramanian, Chairman, Gulf Oil
Health and glow of pharma
The politics of economics: Little pain, much gain
Power: Fixing the fuse
`Broadcast is just beginning to evolve' — Mr Kalanithi Maran, CMD, Sun Netowrk
It is show time in media
On a hard drive
Coding success in software
Cooperatives: Milking the challenge
HDFC: Strong financial franchise
National Stock Exchange: The real bull
NSE: Clicking on with investors
A rare moment
No shying away from enterpise
For Indian industry, a leap of faith
Breaking the barriers, to globalise
The Maharaja is grounded
After a rich harvest
For rural India, opening a new chapter
Reaching for the pot of gold
A jump of joy at first signs of peace in Kashmir
Longing for that cup
More power from the sun
Clouds there are but sun will shine through
Window to a different world
Barrelling along to a faster age
Financial and business media — Facing the future, filling new niches
Secondary market: Up from the downs
Primary market: Reforms after excesses
Offers that left a mark
From badla to derivatives
Small investor, big risk appetite
Hate it, fear it, but equity's the way to go
Regulators: Lording it over, benignly
When consumers flexed their muscle
Advertising: Where change is a constant
The Korean high tide
All are necessities of life now
Coffee: Life in a new brew

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | 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