No MTV-INCablenet deal on local adds in offing

MTV India threw cold water today on a recent report that it was seriously considering a proposal by the Hinduja-owned INCablenet whereby it would be able to insert local ads on the music channel carried on its cable network.

Sanjeev Hiremath, vice-president, network development, South Asia, licensing and merchandising, MTV India, while admitting such a proposal had come from INCablenet, said MTV had asked the MSO's officials to produce a practically workable model before taking matters ahead.

In the west, broadcasters enter into agreements with local cable operators since a single headend supplies the cable feed. In India, taking the example of an MSO like INCablenet, in a city like Mumbai it supplied its feed through mutiple headends which makes tracking how many times an ad appears, where it appears and when it appears, extremely complicated, Hiremath said.

According to Hiremath, ad insertion at local levels can be possible if:

1) There is consolidation - typically a single headend feed.

2) MSOs or cable operators install ad insertion equipment at individual headends. These are very expensive.

3) The broadcaster or channel has cue tone generation equipment (something no channel in India has at present) in place.

4) Broadcasters programme their channels such as to create bands for local ad insertion.

Despite repeated attempts, INCablenet officials were unavailable for comment on the issue.

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