Miditech eyes partnership with broadcasters

NEW DELHI: The Alva brothers promoted Miditech, a TV software production house, is looking at joining hands with a broadcaster (like the one TV 18 had with CNBC earlier) to whip up niche content in a scenario where conditional access and DTH is rolled out uniformly in the country.

Pointing out that in a post-CAS scenario, there would be demand and marketability for niche products, Miditech CEO Nikhil Alva said, "We have held negotiations with a few broadcasters in this regard."

Refusing to divulge details about the broadcasters with whom talks have been held for a probable joint venture, Alva said that the company has set its eyes on spreading its wings in the entertainment software segment in a big way, apart from tapping the international markets like Europe and Australia with infotainment products.

"We have some big plans, as we get more aggressive in the entertainment segment, " Alva said, pointing out that at least four serials from the company are slated for debut on the mass entertainment Hindi channels in the first quarter of 2004.

In this regard, Miditech is also seeking to invest in additional office space in Mumbai and Nikhil, one of the Alva brothers, would relocate there with a view to tap the business more aggressively. The company, with over 100 employees, is already fairly big and with new plans unfolding, more personnel are likely to be added.

The channels that would see weekly episodic serials from Miditech, include Sony and Sahara. "The projects have recently been approved by Sony and Sahara and we expect the shows to be on air by March," Alva said on the sidelines of a press conference arranged here to announce the winners for Wheels Awards 2003. Wheels is an auto show that Miditech produces for BBC World.

Miditech's first big foray into entertainment programming, Saara Akash, at present airs on Star Plus.

Though Alva refused to divulge any financials, he maintained that the company has been annually growing at a rate of 75 per cent. Since the base of this growth is not known, it would be difficult to gauge the growth rate properly.

After having set up office in Singapore, Miditech is looking at exploring the regional Asian TV market and Indonesia appears to be a better bet than other South East Asian companies. "In Indonesia also, some exploratory talks have been held with buyers of content," Alva said.

Miditech has tied up with several distributors round the world, including Granada, for their infotainment products. Apart from NGC and Discovery, the products are being hawked in countries like Australia and some European countries. For NGC and Discovery, the company is doing some new shows, including an anthropology show.

"Though we want to get aggressive on the entertainment side, we are not giving up our forte which is documentaries and other such infotainment programmes, as fears about Asian countries not capable of coming up with global products is slowly getting dispelled," Alva explained.

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