Sify capitalises on TV's talent hunt craze as auditions go online

MUMBAI: Aspiring contestants waiting for endless hours in maddeningly long queues, organisers struggling to cope with the logistics pressure and complications - all kinds of chaos break loose when television channels conduct their national auditions for talent hunt shows.

Sify Limited has spotted a good revenue opportunity here and is offering to make the whole process much simpler with the use of its national Iway network.

The company has already associated with national networks such as Star India and Zee to offer them online solutions for the audition process. For example, Zee TV has associated with Sifymax for the video auditions of its upcoming talent hunt show Cinestars. The auditions will be held in 154 cities across India using the technology edge of Sify's 3400 plus iWay cyber cafes.

Similarly, Star India's Vijay TV conducted video auditions for its comic hunt Kalakka Povadu Yaaru 2 (KPY 2) through Sify Iways in June.

"Sify is ideally positioned with the Sify Iway network (over 3000 Iways across 154 cities) and the broadband portal, SifyMax.com, to manage massive customer video interaction activity like the Zee CineStar activity. The customer can take the tutorial on SifyMax and the auditions can be recorded at the Iways or uploaded online on SifyMax.com. The customer is charged for these services," explains Sify Ltd Portals president V Sivaramakrishnan.

Zee TV marketing head Tarun Mehra agrees, "Zee Cinestars is an all India contest and understandably the auditions demand a lot of hard work. But, with the help of Sifymax, we have simplified the whole process. The technology lessens the load and this helps us to channelise our resources to the other areas of the project."

Sify will be soon exploring the facility for an in-house talent hunt, the Net Jockey Hunt. The contest will be conducted at popular Malls in Mumbai for its city specific broad band portal www.mumbailive.in.

Speaking on the strategy, Sivaramakrishnan offers, "Without any registration /subscription fee, we reach out and offer value added services (entertainment and information content in video format) to this segment. Almost 34 per cent of the Sifymax users access the internet via cyber cafe, through the Sify Iway cyber café chain. Hence we are leveraging on this huge strength."

On the revenue front, Sify is expected to push this revenue model to deliver this fiscal. However, Sivaramakrishnan refuses to divulge the target. "It is early days to comment on this," he says.

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