Cable TV

Hathway expands role of Shirish Ruparel; Star India's NM Rao joins as head content & carriage

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MUMBAI: Hathway is restructuring its content vertical by expanding the role of executive vice president- content & VAS Shirish Ruparel, with the growing demands of the business in a move to strengthen its content team and to diversify its revenue streams.

While expanding Ruparel’s role, Hathway has also taken on-board N.M. Rao as head-content & carriage to handle all-India content and carriage with effect from 4 April, based at their corporate office in Mumbai, and he will report to Shirish Ruparel.

Ruparel’s portfolio will now include content and carriage, ad sales, OTT service offerings and value added services as Hathway looks to create new revenue streams in the new digitization era. As part of his expanded role, Ruparel would now oversee content and carriage and Ad sales monetization while also develop Hathways’ in-house channel bouquet into a series of strong pan-India and regional channels and improve the content portfolio for in-house and regional channel base by working with leading production and content providers.

Additionally, he will also be responsible for increasing the value pie of Hathway across new streams such as OTT (Over-the-top TV) services and offers and diversify the business into segments such as VAS (value-added services) including VOD (video-on demand), mobile streaming, EPG amongst other key monetization initiatives.

In his expanded role, Ruparel will continue to report to president-video business T S Panesar.

Rao joins Hathway from Star India where he was working as assistant vice president-affiliate sales looking after carriage and content for key MSO accounts as part of the broadcasters’ distribution set-up.

Having experience of over 15 years, Rao has been a part of the media and broadcast industry for more than a decade having worked across both print and electronic media in the areas of affiliate sales with Star TV (content, carriage, trade marketing) and advertising sales with The Times of India (print & special projects). As part of his new role, Rao will be responsible for negotiation and management of all content deals with broadcasters, both for content and carriage.

Commenting on this restructuring, Hathway Cable & Datacom CEO & MD Jagdish Kumar said, “In the digitization era, content will play an integral role for Hathway in defining and transforming customer experience and with this aim, we are bringing in a change in our content vertical composition. Shirish Ruparel has been one of the key members of the senior management and contributed immensely towards the building of our content team. We are expanding his role to utilize his vast experience and expertise in building wider content revenue streams in segments like OTT and VAS. We are also pleased to have N.M Rao on-board with us to look after content and carriage as we aim to create a strong vertical with multiple revenue streams that will set the business in the new fiscal. With his vast experience in distribution, content and carriage with Star, we are extremely confident that Rao will provide the right boost to our overall objectives and set new benchmarks.”

In February, Hathway had hired Anand Kamani as vice president- advertising sales to handle its ad-sales business at an all-India level, also reporting into Shirish Ruparel. With the expansion of Ruparel’s role and Rao joining the team to focus on content and carriage, Hathway is looking at an aggressive roadmap to build its content portfolio to increase revenue generation at a time when digitization roll-out is underway in Phase- III and IV and is targeted to complete by end of this year.

With DTH players also looking to offer additional value added services to its consumers, Hathway as one of the leading multi-system operators is also looking at the next level of customization by offering its subscribers products and solutions which will provide added entertainment and benefits to build better ARPUs.

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