SparkTv aims for first mover advantage in interactive television

Broadband may still be a while away but Gaurang Shah CEO, SparkTv, wants to position his company as one of the leading content providers to the media industry when it does happen.

"Interactive Television is one of the next big things coming and with the advent of broadband technology there would be a mad rush of channels trying to exploit this medium," says Shah. "Since we were among the first people to explore this area, we need not fear competition. A year or two from now others might acquire the technology but we still would be ahead since we have the technology as well as the knowhow," he says.

And Shah is confident the first mover advantage will keep Spark ahead of the competition. Shah's plans for SparkTv include interactive content production, repurposing existing video, interactive video authoring, virtual anchors, virtual stage and live and delayed webcasting. With a fully equipped studio, Spark presently provides facilities right from copy writing and design services to full animation and video creation, he says.

Shah said he had pumped in Rs 10 million into developing the idea. Since the set-up required for content creation was already in place, there was no additional investment in new equipment, he pointed out.

SparkTv was looking at producing 30 hours of programmes in a month, developing original content as well as re-purposing the content the channel already has to make it interactive. Shah said he expected a turnover of RS 500 million annually once broadband becomes a reality in India.

And when would this happen? Shah said he saw it interactive TV becoming a viable proposition within the next two years. Shah claimed deals had already been struck with three major players but he couldn't reveal their names because of non-disclosure clause in place.

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