Friday, July 31, 2009

BBC Over To You in blog

Hallo and let me say first of all what a delight it is for Over To You to have a new avenue of communication with World Service listeners. I've been presenting the programme since its inception and this, I'm confident, will be a quantum leap in our ability to reflect your thoughts and feelings about programmes and news on the English language network.

With the possible exception of World Have Your Say, the agenda of Over To You is more driven by listener input than any other programme. And with this blog we can increase the level of interactivity. Whatever your reactions to a new documentary, a news report or a radio play, we want your feedback and will then endeavour to create a conversation between you and the programme maker concerned.

One editor recently asked me about our listeners' response to a programme maker admitting they had made a mistake. Well in virtually every case it has been one of great appreciation - you like it when someone is humble enough to concede that the BBC is made up of human beings who, gasp, can make a wrong judgement call. The recently-appointed director of the World Service has talked about breaking down the walls of the fortress that many news organisations and journalists have created between themselves and their audiences. I believe this Over To You blog page can be very much part of that process - along of course with the individual programme wesbites and blogs.

Two things always intrigue me about World Service listeners when I talk to you on the programme or meet you on my travels. Firstly - just how well-read, intelligent and curious about the world they are and how internationalist they are in their approach to everyday issues. (I'm not fawning to you, I promise!) Secondly, how media savvy and interested they are about the process of broadcast journalism and and programme-making. And again we try to give you an insight into that process by going behind the scenes at flagship World Service programmes. Hopefully this blog will enhance our ability to do that.

And we also like to explore significant changes in the media world at large - for instance around issues of citizen journalism, the suppression of news organisations in certain regimes around the world, the obsession with celebrity stories and so on. To that end this coming week you may want to find out more about the lifting of the ban on the BBC in Zimbabwe by the power-sharing adminstration. What does it really mean in terms of independent reporting of the situation in jails, hospitals and the legal system? Will old habits be hard to change on the part of the authorities? Does the Zimbabwean government have ulterior motives for this change of policy?

So from now on this blog - with contributions also from my colleague Cathy Packe - will be reminding you about what the big issues of the week are - both in terms of your reaction to output, and changes inside the World Service at Bush House. In terms of the latter this is clearly something we will want to ask Peter Horrocks, the Director of the World Service when he comes to the Over To You hotseat in the near future.

On this week's programme, one Nigerian listener worries about the effect of the repeated use of terms like "Islamist militant" in news reporting when applied to the perpetrators of violence in the north of his country. The acting head of the newsroom gives her reply. We also look at the new playwriting competition and go behind the scenes to examine the power balance between reporters and editors. Fascinating stuff - give it a listen!

OK - that's the introductions over and done with - now lets get on with discussing what makes the World Service a genuinely unique broadcaster, for better or for worse, we're waiting for your comments...

Rajan Datar is Presenter, Over To You.

Welcome to the BBC World Service blog, Over To You, the place for you to engage us in a dialogue about our programmes and websites.

This blog is jointly run by the Over To You programme, and the BBC World Service website team. We encourage you to send us comments, which we'll moderate, publish - and do our best to respond to.

We'll be posting here about the issues and themes you're discussing on the Over to You programme, multimedia projects and seasons, and new developments on the site.

Please use this blog to tell us about what you'd like to see discussed both here and on the programme. We'll do our best to go behind the scenes and find the right the person to answer your questions. And we may get back to you to arrange an on air interview.

Kate Goldberg is Editor,

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GERMANY(non) Summer A-09 of Media Broadcast(ex DTK T-Systems).Part 1 of 4:

Voice of Croatia:

0100-0500 on 9925 NAU 100 kW / 325 deg to NWAm Croatian/English/Spanish
2200-0300 on 9925 WER 100 kW / 240 deg to SoAm Croatian/English/Spanish
2300-0300 on 9925 WER 100 kW / 300 deg to NEAm Croatian/English/Spanish

Radio Japan NHK World

0330-0400 on 6130 WER 250 kW / 045 deg to RUS Russian
0430-0500 on 6130 WER 250 kW / 060 deg to RUS Russian
0530-0600 on 9850 WER 500 kW / 195 deg to WeAf French
0530-0600 on 11750 WER 500 kW / 180 deg to WeAf French
0830-0900 on 15190 WER 500 kW / 105 deg to WeAs Persian
1200-1230 on 9790 WER 250 kW / 300 deg to WeEu English
1300-1345 on 17595 WER 500 kW / 075 deg to SoAs Bengali
1345-1515 on 17595 WER 500 kW / 090 deg to SoAs Hindi/Urdu

Polish Radio External Service

1030-1100 on 11915 WER 100 kW / 300 deg to WeEu Polish
1030-1100 on 11995 NAU 100 kW / 100 deg to EaEu Polish
1100-1130 on 13745 WER 100 kW / 060 deg to EaEu Russian
1100-1130 on 13840 WER 100 kW / 090 deg to EaEu Russian
1130-1200 on 5965 WER 100 kW / non-dir to WeEu German
1130-1200 on 5975 WER 100 kW / 040 deg to WeEu German
1200-1300 on 7330 NAU 100 kW / 005 deg to WeEu English
1200-1300 on 9525 WER 100 kW / 300 deg to WeEu English
1300-1330 on 11835 WER 100 kW / 060 deg to EaEu Russian
1300-1330 on 13690 WER 500 kW / 060 deg to EaEu Russian
1330-1430 on 9440 JUL 100 kW / 060 deg to EaEu Belorussian
1330-1430 on 11975 JUL 100 kW / 070 deg to EaEu Belorussian
1430-1500 on 11750 JUL 100 kW / 085 deg to EaEu Ukrainian
1430-1500 on 11955 WER 100 kW / 045 deg to EaEu Russian
1500-1530 on 9440 JUL 100 kW / 070 deg to EaEu Ukrainian
1500-1530 on 11750 WER 100 kW / 075 deg to EaEu Ukrainian
1530-1600 on 5975 WER 100 kW / 045 deg to WeEu German
1530-1630 on 9670 JUL 100 kW / 085 deg to EaEu Polish
1630-1700 on 9670 WER 100 kW / 060 deg to EaEu Belorussian
1700-1800 on 7265 WER 040 kW / 300 deg to NoEu English DRM
1700-1800 on 9790 ISS 100 kW / 025 deg to NoEu English
1800-1830 on 6140 WER 100 kW / 075 deg to EaEu Russian
1800-1830 on 9695 WER 100 kW / 120 deg to EaEu Hebrew
1830-1900 on 6175 WER 100 kW / 075 deg to EaEu Ukrainian
1830-1930 on 6140 WER 100 kW / 075 deg to EaEu Ukrainian
1900-1930 on 6050 WER 100 kW / 045 deg to EaEu Russian
1930-2000 on 6030 WER 040 kW / non-dir to WeEu German DRM
1930-2000 on 6135 WER 100 kW / 040 deg to WeEu German
2100-2200 on 6155 WER 100 kW / 055 deg to EaEu Polish
2100-2200 on 7245 NAU 250 kW / 220 deg to WeEu Polish

WYFR (Family Radio):

1800-1900 on 3975 WER 100 kW / non-dir to CeEu Hungarian
1800-1900 on 9635 NAU 250 kW / 230 deg to SoEu Spanish
1800-1900 on 9895 WER 100 kW / 105 deg to SEEu Romanian
1900-2000 on 3975 WER 100 kW / non-dir to SEEu Serbian
1700-1900 on 9565 NAU 250 kW / 065 deg to EaEu Russian
1600-1700 on 11670 NAU 500 kW / 105 deg to WeAs Persian
1700-1800 on 11850 WER 500 kW / 105 deg to WeAs Persian
1600-1700 on 13645 WER 500 kW / 120 deg to N/ME Arabic
1700-1800 on 11885 WER 500 kW / 120 deg to N/ME Arabic
1800-1900 on 11600 WER 250 kW / 150 deg to NoAf Arabic
1900-2000 on 9590 WER 500 kW / 150 deg to NoAf Arabic
1900-2000 on 11840 WER 500 kW / 210 deg to WeAf French
2000-2200 on 6115 NAU 250 kW / 210 deg to WeAf Arabic
2200-2300 on 7420 WER 250 kW / 210 deg to WeAf Arabic
1700-1800 on 13840 WER 100 kW / 180 deg to NEAf Arabic
1800-1900 on 13790 WER 500 kW / 180 deg to WCAf Hausa
1900-2200 on 9610 WER 500 kW / 180 deg to WCAf English
2000-2100 on 9595 WER 500 kW / 180 deg to WCAf French
2100-2200 on 9720 WER 500 kW / 180 deg to WCAf French
1600-1700 on 15750 NAU 500 kW / 155 deg to EaAf Amharic
1700-1800 on 15750 NAU 500 kW / 155 deg to EaAf Swahili
1400-1500 on 13605 WER 250 kW / 075 deg to CeAs Uzbek
1300-1500 on 15255 NAU 500 kW / 084 deg to SoAs Bengali
1400-1500 on 13660 WER 500 kW / 090 deg to SoAs Sinhala
1400-1600 on 15670 WER 500 kW / 090 deg to SoAs Hindi
1400-1600 on 15715 WER 500 kW / 090 deg to SoAs Kannada
1500-1600 on 13830 WER 250 kW / 075 deg to SoAs Gujarati
1500-1700 on 15370 NAU 500 kW / 095 deg to SoAs Tamil
1600-1700 on 11680 WER 500 kW / 090 deg to SoAs Hindi
1700-1800 on 11730 WER 250 kW / 075 deg to SoAs Punjabi
1400-1500 on 15690 ISS 500 kW / 088 deg to SoAs Malayalam
2200-0100 on 11965 GUF 250 kW / 170 deg to SoAm Portuguese
0000-0100 on 9760 GUF 250 kW / 215 deg to SoAm Spanish
0200-0300 on 9760 GUF 250 kW / 215 deg to SoAm Spanish

- Ivo Ivanov.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Radio Pakistan spreads propaganda about Dalits in India

Radio Pakistan, in its recent Punjabi Durbar programme, has said Scheduled Castes (SCs) children are being denied admission in schools in India, but nothing can be further from the truth.

Shyam Lal Arora, the district president of the Recognised and Affiliated Schools Association, Punjab termed the report false and malicious propaganda.

"The Dalits are not being discriminated or ill treated here in India. The Dalit children have been given equal rights and status in every school, college, office and department. Pakistan is making such statements to create tension in this country," said Arora.

"In villages also, Dalit children are being given admission without any discrimination. Pakistan's statement that the Dalit community is being stopped from taking water from community taps in the country is completely wrong. Here, people of all religions and Dalits take water from the same tap," Arora added.

Pakistan is trying to create a divide in this country by asserting that casteism is dominant in India.

Radio Pakistan's propaganda on casteism in India stands exposed by the fact that since independence, the Indian Government has taken several initiatives to improve the socio-economic and literacy conditions of the less-privileged in the country.

For instance, the strategy of the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP), which was evolved in 1979, is one of the most important interventions through the planning process for social, economic and educational development of Scheduled Castes and for improvement in their working and living conditions.

As far as reservation of seats in educational institutes are concerned, the Central Government has reserved 27 per cent of higher education seats, and individual states have been given freedom to legislate further reservations.

In 2008, the Supreme Court had upheld the law that provides for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in educational institutions supported by the Central Government, while ruling that the creamy layer among the OBCs should be excluded from the quota.

This shows that the caste system as it existed in the past has been formally abolished.

Radio Pakistan, therefore, needs to study the Indian Constitution before airing baseless allegations about India. - ANI
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India

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Radio stations face small town problems

A little while ago, Airtel launched a massive radio campaign in Uttar Pradesh, specifically for the western UP market, where the company was facing tough competition from Idea. The media plan included all kinds of radio stations -- those belonging to the large networks as well as the individual, small players.

Unfortunately, this is one of the very few instances, where a national advertiser has used the individual or small radio network to promote its product.

Out of the 245-odd private FM stations in the country, more than 60 per cent belong to the large networks, such as Radio Mirchi, Big FM and the lot. These stations garner the lion's share of the advertising revenue that goes to radio. The preferred ones also include stations that are part of a network and primarily have a presence in all four metros.

Out of the Rs 880 crore (as per GroupM) of advertising money that goes to radio, these large networks corner around 80-85 per cent. The other 82-odd stations are either not part of any large network, or have presence in a maximum of five or six small towns.

These stations have to largely depend on local advertisers – this contributes 70 per cent of their revenue.

When the private FM stations entered the 90-odd small towns in India, with each station airing its unique content, radio emerged as a localized medium.

Drawing out the role and relevance of small and local radio stations, Abhishek Thakur, manager, marketing, Radio Mantra says, "Local and standalone radio stations provide a closer and more personalised feel to the audience, because they are closer to the sentiments of the town/state they are present in."

"Smaller radio stations also enjoy more acceptability in their area of operation over larger radio networks for their in-depth knowledge and better understanding of the area's language, customs, likes and dislikes."

However, this doesn't reflect in the way radio is being bought by national advertisers. Why do they shy away from these small radio stations?

"Larger networks offer a quick-fix media plan to planners," says Nabhojit Kuila, director sales, Radio Indigo. However, he admits that big radio networks provide wider reach, especially when the national advertisers look at a pan-India campaign.

Looking at various types of advertisers, FMCG and consumer durables, by and large, prefer larger networks for their reach. Retail, local telecom circles, vernacular media channels and promotions for local events, at times, prefer single-city or smaller network stations.

Media planners obviously do not agree with Kuila's point of view. Satyajit Sen, managing director, North and East, ZenithOptimedia, says, "The decision to go along with a single, large radio network is not based on convenience alone. It's the overall rate benefits that one gets on buying a bunch of stations from one single network."

However, this is not the only issue, for the small radio operators also have to wage the battle of perception and unfamiliarity with media planners, when it comes to getting advertisers on board. "A large network has brand credibility, which the individual stations lack. This makes it tougher for the latter to convince the advertisers – who are also metro-based – on their core competencies. It is difficult for them to overcome the perception biases and remove the advertisers' apprehensions," says Harrish M Bhatia, chief operating officer, My FM.

The other disadvantage for the small-town, standalone stations is that the media planners do not consume these stations as consumers, which, in a way, could have changed the perception.

Nishant Mittal, chief executive officer, Radio Misty, hits the nail, when he points out, "The biggest handicap in selling small radio stations is the limited geographical awareness on the part of media planners and advertisers. In our industry, any campaign beyond Kolkata implies moving into the north-east. And within that, a majority of industry representatives fail to recognise territories other than Assam."

In the case of smaller radio networks, suggests Mittal, "One has to first sell the city and then the product."

For those radio stations, which are part of a large media group, the job becomes easier, as they already share a great rapport with planners and advertisers. "In fact, when it comes to sales, package deals are the order of the day, where both print and radio come bundled together," agrees Kamal Krishnan, head, sales and marketing, Radio Mango.

But for several other radio networks, maintaining independent sales team across the country is unfeasible.

That's why they either end up outsourcing their sales function, or prefer forming a consortium with a larger player, which again, is a positive move for the industry. A case in point is Radio Mantra and Radio Misty, which have sales alliances with Radio Mirchi and Radio One, respectively.

For larger radio networks, these smaller radio stations prove to be an economical answer to any local requirement of their clients, which the network itself is unable to fulfill when it does not have presence in a particular region or smaller city.

In addition to perception and accessibility biases, smaller radio networks have to battle the price war too.

As Kuila of Radio Indigo, says, "Larger network stations hold their rates on key markets such as Mumbai and Delhi, and either give away smaller markets at very low rates or as free add-ons. On the contrary, smaller networks try to hold on to their rates, as those few stations are their bread and butter."

This creates tremendous pressure on smaller networks to sustain their rates, as constant comparisons are made with the rates of the larger network stations.

© 2009 afaqs!

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J&K gets 92 transmitters for DD and 10 for AIR

As part of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Special Plan Phase-I approved in 1999, Doordarshan (DD) has set up 92 transmitter projects in the state. Terrestrial coverage has become available to 95 per cent population of the state.

All uncovered areas of J&K along with rest of the country (except Andaman & Nicobar Islands) have been provided with multi channel TV coverage through DD's free to air DTH service 'DD Direct Plus'.

Under the J&K Special Plan Phase-II approved in September 2007, the J&K government has been provided with 10,000 direct-to-home (DTH) sets along with TV sets for the state's uncovered areas.

As part of the J&K Special Plan Phase-I, All India Radio (AIR) have also set up 10 new transmitters and upgraded 2 transmitters in J&K. Similarly under J&K Special Plan Phase-II, 11 number of DG Sets and 7 number of UPS have been approved for AIR.

During the current financial year, an amount of Rs 390.9 million has been allocated to Prasar Bharati for improving television and radio facility in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Out of the Rs 390.9 million, Rs 300 million will be provided as grants in aid (GIA) and Rs 90.9 million as loan.

For the financial year 2009-10, Rs 1 billion has been introduced for improvement of FM & TV coverage in J&K border areas. This includes setting up of three FM/TV High Power transmitters at hilltops. Additionally, Low Power Transmitters (LPT) have also been proposed in uncovered regions.
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SLBC - Empowering the new transmitters and opening the digital archives in the national radio

Empowering the new transmission equipments and opening of the new digital Archives at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation will be taken place under the patronage of Minsiter Anura Priyadarshana Yapa this morning. SLBC has increased its broadcasting capacity by fixing 6 new transmission machines in the Colombo premises. Main Engineer of the SLBC Wimal Priyadarshana says this heighten the listening quality of national radio. New digital archives has also been set up in order to conserve old and important tapes and records of the national radio. SLBC archives is the leading electronic media archives in the Asian Region.

Meanwhile SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe says media can achieve an enormous task in enhancing relationship between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. National radio has started several projects in order to achieve this responsibility. MR.Samarasinghe revealed these facts at a media briefing held Colombo to introduce the latest radio drama series produced by Young Asia Television Company. These dramas will be broadcast on Wednesdays and Fridays both Sinhala and Tamil National Services. He further said that measures have been taken to increase quality of broadcast by fixing modern equipments. The national radio will give priority to enhance relationship among the ethnic communities. (SLBC Press Release)
Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi, India

Monday, July 27, 2009

High royalty fees continue to haunt FM radio industry in small towns

The going is getting tough for the FM radio industry, especially in smaller towns, due to the royalty rates paid by them.

The FM radio industry is currently paying around Rs 75 lakh -100 lakh per annum as royalty fees. This is 20% of the total station revenue as music royalty fee, whereas internationally the fee is relatively low. The FM radio industry is represented by the Association of Radio Operators in India (AROI) and there is no organisation representing the entire music industry. The Supreme Court, in its judgement on May 16, 2009, said that the Copyright Board would decide on royalty rates for the industry. The FM players and the music industry is waiting for the Copyright Board hearing scheduled on July 28 and is quite hopeful for a positive solution.

Apurva Purohit, president AROI and CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM said, "The royalty fee in large and small cities is the same and there are multiple bodies who claim the copyright ownership for the music. This is not viable for radio operators, especially in smaller towns. We have proposed a revenue share rate of 0. 25 % to 5 % for different radio stations, which should be based on their advertising revenue potential. A favourable verdict on the music royalty issue will further help in the growth of the radio industry in India, especially in non-metros."

The ministry of information and broadcasting and the HRD ministry have also expressed their interest in resolving this dispute. Moreover, Purohit feels that a lot more needs to be done to resolve this dispute, which is critical for the development of private FM radio industry in the country..

The FM radio industry expects that with phase III round the corner, multiple frequencies, broadcast of news and current affairs, increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and networking will be additionally allowed to the stations. In phase III, further deregulation and changes in policies for the stations will be allowed by the government.

"In phase III, it is expected that several frequencies will be available for bidding especially in smaller towns. This inadequate share of royalty rates will be the single cause that will hold back the radio industry from bidding for the new frequencies," added Purohit.

However, if this issue is not resolved, many of the smaller operators will have to close their business and none of the FM players will be further interested...

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sony India to spend Rs 10 cr to increase MP3 market share

Chennai: Aiming to increase its market share of MP3 players in the country, consumer electronics major Sony India on Thursday said it would spend Rs 10 crore on promotional activities this year.

"We have proposed to invest Rs 10 crore as part of our communication strategy for this year. It will be utilised for executing promotional activities, including print and TV commercials, and online activities in a bid to increase our MP3 players market share to 30 per cent by 2010," Sony India Consumer Audio-Visual General Manager Sunil Nayyar told reporters here.

He said the company, which launched its ''W' series players today, planned to sell 1.8 lakh units of MP3 players by next year. It sold around 85,000 units of MP3 players last year and was currently holding a market share of 14 per cent in the Indian MP3 market, he said.

With the significant investment the company has set a target of increasing its marketshare from 14 per cent to 30 per cent. Besides this, the company had also aimed to increase the retail outlets from the present 1,000 to 3,000 by 2010, Nayyar said.

"We are also focusing on expanding channel network.

Walkman was sold in 1,000 outlets in 2008 and this year it will be increased to 2,000 outlets and by 2010 it will reach 3,000 outlets", he said. To a query, Nayar told PTI that Tamil Nadu contributed 10 per cent of the company's overall sales figures.

Commenting about the W Series MP3 player, priced at Rs 4,990, Nayyar said it can playback upto 90 minutes with only a three minute battery charge.

"The battery comes with 12 hours continous music playback and it also comes with USB cradle to charge the MP3 player", he added.

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Draft Broadcasting Bill allows Govt to regulate content

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is examining the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill in consultation with various stakeholders, including State governments.

This was stated by Mr C.M. Jatua, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha

The draft Bill proposes to set up an independent Broadcasting Regulatory Authority of India whose main functions will be to regulate and monitor content.

"The proposed regulator will be empowered to issue regulations regarding the places, types and quantity of equipment to be provided by the service-providers free of cost, for monitoring of content and the manner in which such monitoring may be carried out by the licensing authorities or authorised officers under the Bill," said the Minister.

The draft Bill allows the Centre to prescribe guidelines and norms to evaluate and certify content.

If the Bill is passed, the Government can "under exceptional circumstances" direct a service provider to stop broadcasting or ask it to transmit in a manner that it suggests.

It also proposes "Authorised Officers" who will have the power to inspect, search and seize equipment of offending broadcasters.

The proposed Bill also allows the Government to prescribe eligibility conditions to restrict accumulation of interest or monopolies either across media segments or within geographical regions, at national or state level.

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I&B Secretary to give final shape to Broadcast Bill

A Committee headed by Information and Broadcadting Ministry Secretary Raghu Menon is to hold discussions with various stakeholders to give a final shape to the long-pending Broadcast Services Regulation Bill 2006 so that it can be introduced in Parliament as early as possible. I&B Ministry sources said various Programme, Advertising, and Content Codes will also be discussed. Sources said no decision had been taken yet on whether the Codes including the one drawn up by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) would be amalgamated.

The Bill, drafted in 2006 and available on the Ministry's website, also provides for a Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India, which is expected to be an improvement over the Broadcasting Council envisaged in the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 (promulgated in 1997) which was never constituted. At the time of promulgation of Prasar Bharati Act, the then goverrnment had promised a comprehensive Broadcast Bill. Thereafter, the successive government had set up a Group of Ministers to study a Convergence Bill and a Convergence Commission but was unable to arrive at a consensus.

Subsequently, the United Progressive Alliance Government drafted the present Bill and then I&B Secretary Asha Swarup had begun a review of the draft Bill in view of exchanges with the stakeholders.
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BBCWW £1bn sales, profits fall

BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, saw yearly revenue hit £1 billion (E1.16bn) for the first time, but profit fell because of write-offs on Kangaroo and damage from the collapse of its video distribution joint venture with Woolworths. In the year to March 31st, revenue rose 9.5 per cent, while profits were just £85.7 million.

BBC Worldwide made more than half of its revenue from abroad, from just below half last year. Five per cent of revenue came from online activity.


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195 AIR substations to come up in 11th Five Year Plan

MUMBAI: 195 All India Radio Sub-Stations will be set up in the country during the 11th Five Year Plan. 50 new sub-stations will be set up in 18 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Also, the government plans to put up 145 FM transmitters – a hundred in the North East Region and 45 in rest of the country. The Government has allocated Rs 1639 million for setting up of these stations, according to an official release.

This information was given by Dr S Jagathrakshakan Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

S.No. - State/UT

1. Andhra Pradesh - 4
2. Arunachal pradesh - 5
3. Assam - 3
4. Gujarat - 1
5. Jharkhand - 1
6. Madhya Pradesh - 1
7. Maharashtra - 2
8. Manipur - 3
9. Meghalaya - 1
10. Mizoram - 3
11. Nagaland - 3
12. Orissa - 1
13. Punjab - 2
14. Rajasthan - 2
15. Tripura - 4
16. Uttar Pradesh - 4
17. Uttarakhand - 6
18. West Bengal - 4
Total - 145 FM Transmitters


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Govt prepares satellite radio guidelines

India will soon have a satellite radio policy. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has framed the draft satellite radio policy guidelines based on the Trai recommendations, Minister of State for I&B CM Jatua told Parliament today.

Companies wanting to provide satellite radio service in India and setting up network and infrastructure will be eligible to get permission, subject to certain conditions. The government will issue licences to those willing to start satellite radio service in India.

The draft policy also provides for permitting companies to seek registration of radio channels to be carried on such service.

Jatua also clarified that the draft policy provides for eligibility conditions, licence fee, foreign investment norms and other regulatory provisions.

The Ministry had in June 2008 accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's final recommendations, with some modifications. The sector regulator had recommended a 74 per cent FDI on satellite radio. Currently, satellite radio operator WorldSpace has a 100 per cent foreign holding.

Among the various recommendations submitted by Trai, the Ministry has also accepted the government's proposal in the draft policy on restrictions on news and advertisements in satellite radio service.

Satellite radio service refers to the distribution of single or multi channel radio programmes by using a satellite system which provides encrypted digital radio signals direct to the subscriber's receiver sets.
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Winners of Jade Mountain Competition

Grand prize (digital camera): Brigitte Hamer (Germany), Liang Ming-shen (Indonesia)

First prize (digital radio): Eddy Setiawan (Indonesia)

Second prize (backpack): Sapna Bain (India); Majid Farazx, Zawwar Hussein Janae ,Farid Rahatn (Pakistan); Noble S. West (USA).

Third prize (T-shirt): Abid Farasatc, Asim Fahadx, Nadima Mumtazc, Wasim Yousafc, Aqeel Yaqoobn, Aslam Zahidx, Jamila Munirz, Shanawar Abbas (Pakistan); Jadah Pereira (USA); Marwan Ahmad Hussein (Jordan); Condell L. Simmons (Trinidad-Tobago).

Consolation prize (water bottle): Fulmala Bain, K.M. Soundararajan (India);Tahsin Ara Khanam (Bangladesh); Faisal Niazix, Naveed Anjumx, Nazar Jawadx, Amina Samadx (Pakistan).

Consolation prize (cowboy hat): A. Mannaathan, Paraber Maity (India); Nooreddin Ibn Ahmad, Sahar Alhusain (Jordan); Isabelle Salvignol, Carole Bonnet (France); Syed Khizar Hayat Shah, Asghar Wastib, Mureed Jabbarx, Laiq Ahmedx, Afroze Bashirx (Pakistan).

Additional prize (RTI souvenir) :Ian Baxer

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ABC Radio completes management restructure

THE shake-up of ABC Radio's management structure is complete, with the announcement last week of new national managers for metropolitan and regional radio.

The current head of 702 ABC Sydney and local radio NSW, Jeremy Millar, is the new manager of the metropolitan local radio division, and present manager of network development Tony Rasmussen has been appointed head of regional local radio. Former head of local radio, Michael Mason, will take on the role of group program director, the first time the ABC has had such a position, and will focus on talent and content development across all ABC radio platforms, AM, FM and digital.

The new appointments by Kate Dundas, who is the ABC's director of radio, come after she took over from Sue Howard this year and coincide with a review of the organisation's radio strategy plan. They also come as the regional radio division prepares to expand its reach with the launch of new regional broadband hubs, to which the federal government committed $15million in the May budget.

ABC regional radio's future role as an emergency broadcaster is also expected to be addressed in preliminary findings of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Meanwhile, the local radio network will consolidate its digital offerings and strong 2009 ratings performances across the country. ABC Local Radio is a strong third in Sydney (ABC702) and Melbourne (ABC774) and has won the past three ratings surveys in Adelaide (ABC891).

Millar said the national broadcaster was preparing to enable the audience to have more influence over the content it put to air. "One of the things facing all media today is people wanting the content they want, when they want, on the device they want," Millar said. "In the old days, a program director would say, 'here's a best estimate of what you should consume' and that model has gone.."

As a consequence, ABC Radio is ramping up online content, where the audience tells the broadcaster what it wants to listen to. The ABC recently trialled an online program with ABC702 afternoon presenter James Valentine, in which callers spoke over the internet via Skype. The result was promising and displayed ways in which the ABC could enhance its new role as "the town square".

"Complacency is a real danger, that's why we're trying to keep up with the wave rather than get left behind," Rasmussen said of the digital initiatives.

"So we'll put stuff out there and some stuff may stick."

Interactivity with regional and rural audiences will be a key push in the short to medium term, Rasmussen said.

"The rollout of fast broadband will be of big impact to regional Australia, so there will be major demand for people in rural Australia for rich content," he said. "We're very well placed to provide that content."
- Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pvt FM stations again denied right to broadcast news

The government has no plans to give any fresh concessions including broadcast of news to the private FM stations operating in the country, though it has not taken a final position on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Phase III of FM radio expansion.

Both Trai and the Ficci Radio Forum have been recommending permitting private FM stations the right to broadcast news, though the former added some conditions to its recommendation.

A total of 248 private FM radio stations and 171 FM transmitters of All India Radio stations are operational in the country, according to official figures.

Maharashtra has the largest number of private FM stations – 31 – followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with 21 each and Rajasthan with 19. Kerala has 17 stations, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have 16 each. West Bengal has 15 channels, Karnataka has 14, Andhra Pradesh has 13, and Punjab has 12 stations.

Delhi has eight private FM stations, followed by Jharkhand with seven, Haryana with six, and Chhatisgarh and Orissa, with five each. All the other union territories besides Delhi have a total of five stations. Assam has four, Goa has three, and Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, and Sikkim have two each, while Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura have one each.

Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Uttarakhand do not have any private FM station at present.

While Maharashtra has 17 AIR FM transmitters, Karnataka has 14, and Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have 13 each. Rajasthan has 12 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 10. Tamil Nadu has nine, followed by Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal with eight, and Kerala and Orissa with seven each. Assam, Gujarat, and Jharkhand have five AIR transmitters, and all union territories besides Delhi have a total of five transmitters. Bihar, Chhatisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh have four each, while Haryana, Punjab and Tripura have three AIR transmitters. Delhi, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland have two each while Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand have one transmitter each. Sikkim is the only state which does not have an AIR FM transmitter.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

DTH growth: ISRO to double transponder capacity to 500

The economy may be witnessing a downturn, but the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is hopeful of registering a 25 per cent top line during 2009-10. During 2008-09, it achieved revenues of Rs 1,000 crore.

Thanks to all the buzz being created about quality digital television, growth in the direct-to-home (DTH) space has been phenomenal, which indirectly helps the ISRO to grow. The five private DTH players have together garnered nearly 16 million consumers and there are at least three more players readying to get into the fray.

ISRO is betting big on its transponder business to help the agency continue to grow rapidly in the future, and it plans to more than double its transponder capacity to 500 by 2012. Each transponder can provide between 15 and 25 television channels on DTH. A DTH operator would require about 6-12 transponders to sustain its commercial operations.

The explosion in the number of DTH players has meant more demand for satellite transponders. This bread and butter business for ISRO contributed 61..20 per cent of ISRO's revenues in financial year 2009, up 50 per cent from the previous year.

G Madhavan Nair, chairman, ISRO; chairman, Space Commission and secretary, Department of Space, said, "We see more potential in the DTH segment. We will progressively increase the transponder capacity to 500 from the present 211 by 2012 through addition of satellites and new frequency bands."

For long, DTH service providers complain about the insufficient number of transponders on Indian satellites. DTH providers consider the KU-band ideal for commercial launch of DTH services in India. They are also prevented from leasing transponders on non-ISRO-controlled satellites.

When asked if the reported delay in launching satellites by the European Space Agency would lead to some orders coming India's way, Madhavan Nair said, "It may lead to more countries using Indian Polar Satellite Landing vehicles. Revenues might also increase on account of increased use of satellite services by DTH and telecom providers."

ISRO will also expand transponder offering to other countries in Africa, West Asia and South-East Asia. At present, it offers services only in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"We are now exploring newer markets such as Latin America and Africa in both government and private sector. However, getting growth abroad will take time," Nair added. (Via Vipin Bajaj - | Mumbai)

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Raghu Menon tipped to be I&B secretary

Raghu Menon, former Air India CMD and ex-civil aviation special secretary, is tipped to be the next Information and Broadcasting (I&B) secretary, industry sources say. Menon is expected to take over from tourism secretary Jawahar Sircar, who has been holding additional charge of the I&B ministry, soon. Menon, a 1974 batch IAS of Nagaland cadre, has earlier served three stints with the I&B ministry. He was additional secretary in 2006.

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