Television

Zee TV rescues millennium celebration broadcasts

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Zee Telefilms will be continuing with its millennium broadcast on 31 December. This is despite the collapse of the Los Angeles-based Millenium TV Network (MTN) in the US. Australian media magnate Kerry Packer had announced that the network had failed to raise funds for getting the 24 hour millenium TV show going. 

The show would showcase programming from 40-50 television networks worldwide for an audience in 130 countries. Zee TV sources say that once they got to know that MTN was going down under, the broadcasters spoke to each other and agreed to exchange programming with each other. "The spirit was bringing the world together and we decided to stick on with the concept." 

Zee TV will now be using its Hong Kong uplinking site in Clearwater Bay as a hot switching base for turning on and off programming from the Eastern hemisphere. Laxmi Venkat, the main executive behind the millenium show has dashed to Hong Kong to ensure things run smoothly. The programming from networks in the western hemisphere will be orchestrated from London by Zee TV's UK operations. 

Meanwhile, the show in Mumbai that Zee will be telecasting to the world as part of the millennium telecast has been expanded to seven hours and will have Bollywood personalities like Shahrukh Khan, Amir Khan and Mahima Chaudhary, apart from a host of other stars. They will be showcasing the best of Bollywood to the rest of the world. The Zee TV Millennium programming event begins on the network at 3:15 pm on 31 December. 

Kermit Channel's K2K plans for Y2K

The 40 year old Kermit Channel which entered India in 1999 has drawn up strategies for the year 2000. The Jim Henson Company's and Hallmark Entertainment Television's joint venture has drawn up a campaign which will be called "K2K" to design a creative platform to introduce viewers to the new programming that will be shortly premiered on the channel and to provide a timely and comtemporary platform to showcase the human characteristics of 'Kermit the Frog's' personality which viewers can identify with as a positive role model. 

The K2K campaign would be an image campaign and would have a seperate logo. It potrays Kermit as the world's greenest friend, hero, heartthrob and a celebrity. New shows like 'Jim Henson's Construction Site', 'Brats of the last Nebula' and 'The secret world of Alex Mack' would be introduced which have a blend of entertainment as well as educational value for the kids mainly aged between 2 and 12. The on-air and print campaigns for the K2K campaign have been designed in-house.

The 24 hour pay channel claims to have a penetration of over four million Indian households.

Euro RSCG goes buy-buy

The 14th largest advertising agency in India - Euro-RSCG Advertising Private Ltd is on an acquisition spree which it will be doing through a holding company for which it has got the necessary clearance.

The acquisitions here involve 100% eqity of Moulis Advertising Service (p) Ltd, which is Chennai based and Euro RSCG Interactive Pvt Ltd. Both the companies are in the same business as Euro RSCG & the shareholder`s consent as well as the board resolutions have been obtained. The Government approved foreign equity in Euro RSCG is 60% which is held by the France based Havas and amounts to $300,000 to $600,000 which would be increased to $2 million in about five to ten years.

Approval for foreign collaboration was given for a whole range of communications services like advertising, research, sales promotion, media planning & buying, direct marketing, corporate communications, public relations, financial & healthcare recruitment, advertising & strategic consultantcy.

The acquisions however will depend on the Government policy regarding FDI in advertising & film industries through approval route where FIBP will not be involved in giving permissions. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has however indicated that the FDI in the advertising sector be allowed till 74% and can be permitted through the 'automatic approval route'. 

Production House wants IPO

The television production, media marketing and event marketing company, Nimbus Communications has announced that it will go public in the first quarter of 2000. It hopes to raise Rs 1920 million is through the public issue. 

The money would be utilised for expansion activities such as television content business, media marketing business, export of television software. New businesses like FM radio channels as well as a television channel will be funded through the IPO. The issue which has the State Bank of India (SBI) as the lead manager will have a book building between Rs 300-400. 25 per cent of the total equity will be help by institutions as well as the public whereas the remaining 75 per cent will be distributed between the promoters and the employees. 

The company has applied for licenses for its FM channels in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. The television channel would focus on news and features from the entertainment and the glamour industry. The company is already executing the Rs 25 million order bagged earlier under which it is shipping more than 300 hours of Malyalam programming to Orion Entertainment Ltd. 

Nimbus is hoping its sales turnover to touch Rs 1300 million for the year ending 31 March, 2000. It is also hoping that figure to reach Rs 4500 million in the next three years once the expansion plans and the new businesses are implemented. 

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