Television

"Our aim is clear: creating content and news and distributing it as far and wide as we can" : Peter Chernin News Corp COO

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2014/08/20/a_26.jpg?itok=Gu_ymNpX

52-year old Peter Chernin does not come across like your typical media CEO. No flamboyance, no arrogance, no showing off. Just a regular business guy. The bespectacled chief operating officer of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch’s No 2 looks more like a number cruncher or an economist. An affable one too. Which he is.

He is behind such mega blockbusters as Speed, Titanic and Independence Day, which he steered when at the Fox film studio in the early nineties. Impressed with his ability, Murdoch gave him the responsibility of running the Fox Entertainment Group (80 per cent owned by News Corp) in 1998. Which he has done fabulously well with his charge accounting for 75 per cent of News Corp's overall operating earnings.

He is seen to be the perfect foil to the septuagenarian Murdoch. And also a tough negotiator as Disney found out when Michael Eisner bought the Family Channel from News for $5.2 billion, a billion more than he should have paid.

Chernin is also pretty well-informed about News Corp’s Asian and Indian operations in particular. In fact he reeled off details, which shows why News Corp remains one of the most solid media companies in the world today.

Indiantelevision.com's Anil Wanvari caught up with Chernin in Cannes’ Carlton Hotel during Mipcom. Chernin was awarded the Personality of the Year award by the Reed Midem. Excerpts from the interview:

What are your views about your pet initiative - the battle against piracy? And would you reinvest the savings in the business if piracy was reduced ?

The film business is going through a crunch time thanks to piracy. It is growing in single digits. If piracy was reduced, we could look at investing the money back. The movie business loves 20-30 per cent margins. Nevertheless budgets are going up. You can’t make a movie with a camera alone these days. The average price of a movie is $85 million. About $55 million goes into production, another $30 million is needed for promotion and marketing. It is a tough business. The movie business is not about charity. It will disappear if things are not controlled on this front.

From the consumer perspective if consumers don’t cut down on piracy, they will not have movies to watch. It is crucial they look at it from that aspect.

What are the expansion plans for News Corp? Would you buy a broadcaster in the UK now that laws are proposed to be changed to allow foreigners to own networks there?

We are very consistent that we are not interested in buying a broadcaster in the UK. We are interested in expanding the existing TV channel business. Hence, National Geographic, Adventure Channel, Fox Entertainment – which has moved in to Spain and Italy. We have invested less than $30 million for the new Fox entertainment channel we will launch in the UK.

As far as Sky Italia goes, it is very early days as yet. We launched only on 31 July there. The response has been very positive. The conversion has been very good: about 50,000 boxes a week. We also discovered that there was a lot of piracy when it was run by Telepiu. Almost 50 per cent of our new subscribers have boxes. But now that has been stemmed. There have been no cases of breaking in of our smart cards since we started.

Our aim is clear: creating content and news and distributing it as far and wide as we can.

With the Direct TV approval also to come, we have got a lot on our plate today.

We want to focus on the businesses we have. In Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Star TV India has a huge profit potential. In China, we are beginning to do well. We have moved into the middle east.

What about your plans to move into DTH in India? The group tried once in 1997, but it failed singularly then?

The only place in the new markets we see potential for DTH is in India. And we will abide by and live under all regulatory norms the countries that we operate in ask us to. You saw that in the Star News case. We see limits on ownership and those are fine by us.

"He (James Murdoch) has built up India into the fastest growing business we see. Let him come in (as CEO of BSkyB). The people in the UK will love him"



Paul Zilk & Peter Chernin at the Mipcom 2003- Personality of the year dinner in honour of Chernin

Hasn’t Zee TV beaten you to the launch of DTH in India?

Zee TV has not launched as yet. They keep making announcements. It is a soft launch. And you are not going to see a hard launch of Zee TV’s DTH.

What do you have to say about James Murdoch’s candidature to head BSkyB?

I’d like to see him as CEO of BSkyB. We could have gone through the process: hiring a recruiting firm, the nominating committee and the board. And I believe James would have fitted the bill. News Corp has in the past put in place candidates into BkyB and they have done well: Sam Chisolm, Tony Ball. Our track record has been good.

We will not put in an inferior candidate into place into what has been built into a huge business. There is a fair bit of noise being made about James. It think it is ironic. The media should quieten down. He is a very experienced executive. A professional. He has built up India into the fastest growing business we see. Let him come in. The people in the UK will love him. I am sure the BSkyB guys in London must be talking to their colleagues in Star Hong Kong to find out whether he is a good guy or a jerk. And the verdict is going to turn out to be very positive. At the end of the day we need a good guy for the job. Which he is.

End of part one….

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/Bomanbridge.jpg?itok=-F0FYgM0
CNN, EBS & Discovery buy factual programmes from Bomanbridge

MUMBAI: Bomanbridge Media, a Singapore-based content distribution and production agency , has announced sale of several significant factual programmes in the Asian region, including deals with Discovery Asia, EBS South Korea, and CNN Southeast Asia.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/GRB%20Entertainment-800x800.jpg?itok=Ts-XG-1q
Discovery acquires 'Untold Stories' & 'Cleveland Hustles' from GRB

MUMBAI: GRB Entertainment has announced sale to Discovery of their Latin America and US Hispanic channels. Both picked up several seasons of long-running GRB-produced medical show Untold Stories of the E.R. and Discovery Latin America acquired the new LeBron James series, Cleveland Hustles. Untold...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/DD2-800x800.jpg?itok=rlKSJPwO
N-E programmes can be submitted for DD Arunprabha till 31 Jan

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan has extended to the end of this month the final date for receiving proposals for commissioned programmes in seven different categories for its new DD Arunprabha channel being launched for north-eastern states. The proposals, which were to be submitted by 17 January 2017, can...

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/Supriya-Sahu-800x800.jpg?itok=Me0jGeSi
DD to offer 104 channels & MPEG-4 STBs by Mar-end

MUMBAI: Doordarshan is preparing to offer 104 channels by March-end, the pubcaster's director-general Supriya Sahu has said. Also, with the aim of expanding its DTH platform, Doordarshan is actively considering coming out with new set-top boxes having MPEG-4 technology. 'FreeDish', at present, she...

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/SONY-Story.jpg?itok=d10I7RwD
Sony targets 9m HD subs & diaspora with youth-focused Rox in Dolby quality

Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) has launched its second channel in music genre. The group has strengthened its position in the Hindi music space bringing in Sony Rox HD, a youth-focused contemporary Hindi music high-definition channel.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/big-ganga.jpg?itok=uF9WcB7n
Big Ganga strengthens weekend programming; four shows planned in Jan

Big Ganga has scheduled the launch four new shows -- Litti-Chokha, Ganga Sankranti, Buddha and Biraha in January.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/Ganesh%20Rajaram-800x800.jpg?itok=tjDzhz58
'Asia's Got Talent' s2 to air on AXN; multi-year deal with FreemantleMedia confirmed

MUMBAI: The search for "Asia's Got Talent" will continue in Season 2 this year after its successful first season in 2015. Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia, has finalised terms with FremantleMedia International for the talent show's rights.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/Barkha-Dutt_0.jpg?itok=NrqDV69-
Barkha Dutt bids adieu to NDTV; hints at new venture

NEW DELHI: It’s the season for saying good-byes and starting afresh. It’s now Barkha Dutt’s turn to do so.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/m-k-anand.jpg?itok=NtDCYt2p
Unsponsored 'Remonetise India' simulcast on all Times channels without ads

Times Network, the broadcast arm of the Times Group initiated, ‘Remonetise India - A Citizen's Pledge’, a nationwide crusader campaign, urging Indians to take the next step from demonetization and Pledge for Growth.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories