Television

CNBC distribution team in place

MUMBAI: CNBC TV18 has set up a distribution team to take care of the positioning of all its channels, an indications of the hot battle broadcasters are engaged in to occupy prime slots on cable networks.

 

 

The task of the 17-member dedicated team, many of whom have been poached from NDTV India, will involve negotiating and paying "placement fees" to cable operators. Piyush Goyal is at the head while three regional managers have been appointed to take care of the north and east, west and south.

Though Zee-Turner distributes the CNBC TV18 bouquet of channels, the internal team will focus on the band positioning of the channels. Continuous interaction with cable operators and mapping of the placement of the channels will form part of the affiliate management responsibility.

 

 

The CNBC TV18 team will also take care of the channels to be launched by Broadcast News, a newly floated Rajdeep Sardesai-Sameer Manchanda venture backed and funded by Raghav Bahl's TV 18. Sources say CNBC's focus is to pay largely for S-band positions on cable networks.

NDTV also has an internal team to maintain relationship with affiliates, despite being distributed by SET-Discovery's One Alliance. The company has made payments to cable operators for grabbing prime band positions on many networks across the country.

It is not only news channels that are creating and expanding their distribution teams, even though they have struck alliances with platforms for distribution of their channels. Sources say The Walt Disney Company (India) is also planning to expand its internal team. Though distributed by Star India, Disney had set up a dedicated team with a head and regional managers to monitor the carriage of its channels.

Even distribution platform Zee-Turner has created a special team within the organisation to deal with band placement of channels. "With more channels competing within the same genre and cable networks lacking bandwidth, placement is hardly available and become important. Distribution companies, who were earlier focussing on sales, are realising that they need to change," says a senior executive of a leading distribution company.

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