Executive Suite - Television's Top 20'40


Maximum Impact! That is the principal criteria that has decided indiantelevision.com's definitive Top 20 list of the people who mattered in the television firmament in the year that was. This list is not about business as usual but those who made a difference, sometimes even in a negative sense. Read on...


For making a hugely extravagant $ 260 million punt on India cricket that blindsided the competition.

With this, Zee Telefilms CMD Subhash Chandra announced to the world that this time he would not be denied in his intent to get into the one area of the broadcast space that he has been unable to corner thus far.

And if we keep referring to $ 260 million, which was the first bid put in by Zee for the India rights (still $30 million higher than rival ESPN Star Sports' $ 230 million) there is a reason. It is because while the maverick media baron may have finally committed to paying a humungous $308 million (plus $ 21 million for the development of domestic cricket), there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Chandra would have legally challenged the extra $48 million in due course.

Still, when it comes to making big punts, there are few better at the game than the beedi-smoking, goateed CMD of Zee Telefilms. And he has everything to win and nothing to lose from this gamble. Whatever happens, one cannot envisage Zee going below the number three position in the pecking order that it currently occupies.

Chandra has been trying for some years to help Zee regain lost glory but has failed. Cricket could well give him that chance. And if he does succeed in getting onto the cricket bandwagon, one man who will be charged with the responsibility of monetizing the property would be Pradeep Guha, the Times Group's former advertising head honcho and president who joins Zee on 15 January.

Guha's hiring is arguably the most significant executive hiring in the industry in 2004. And is just another statement of Chandra's serious intent to get his network back into the reckoning big time.

For Year End interview with Subhash Chandra, Click here.


For a whole host of regulatory diktats that may have thrown the broadcast industry into turmoil in the short run, but which laid the groundwork for discipline and order coming into an industry that has not seen much of either.

With new content delivery platforms like DTH and IPTV and the slow move towards an addressable regime, no one can argue with conviction that a regulatory framework is not needed. The BIG IF in all this is how will this whole process be managed in a manner that does not restrict the industry's growth?

As a broadcast and cable regulator, he may not be considered close to the present I&B minister Jaipal Reddy, who has his own ideas on regulation, but Baijal has made sure that Trai is kept in the news.

He started 2004 by freezing cable prices and ended the year with okaying a minor hike. In both cases, he attracted criticism. "It's okay by me when people, especially the industry, criticise me. I am here to see that things run smoothly and that consumers don't get fleeced," is his riposte to critics.

That Baijal and Trai will see more controversies in 2005 is a given if ever there was one.


For managing matters cricketing in favour of national broadcaster Doordarshan.

If one were to point to only one thing that that DD achieved in 2004 that was worth crowing about, it was on the cricket telecast front. If the year began with Sarma in a face-off with Ten Sports on the telecast of the historic Indo-Pak cricket series in Pakistan, it ended with DD coming up trumps against ESPN Star Sports in a similar wrangle involving an Indian test team visit to lowly Bangladesh.

If India finally ends up with a downlink policy that would make it mandatory for certain listed events to be made available to DD and AIR, irrespective of who holds the telecast rights, Sarma will have had a big role to play in its happening.

If the face-off with Ten Sports, still pending a final verdict from the Supreme Court, put Sarma in the spotlight for "all the wrong reasons", what no one can crib about is the fact that the much-touted DD Direct Plus, a free DTH service, also got off the ground in 2004. No wonder Sarma exults, "We can actually look back on 2004 with satisfaction. The DTH service is certainly a big thing for Prasar Bharati despite the media being very critical of it."


For continuing to rule the roast in South India. For not being content with just that and announcing that he has set his sights on new terrain: first Bengal with his Bangla channel and next possibly other lingusitic states, including the mass Hindi belt.

Hedging his risk, he signed a $25 million joint venture with Malaysia's Astro All Asia Network to pan out his expansion. The JV will originate, aggregate and distribute television programming and channels for a global audience.

Unchallenged as the the southern TV market big boss, Maran aims to create content for filmed and other entertainment products in Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali for distribution to international markets.

He will also use the JV to develop a Tamil language channel for distribution on the Astro direct-to-home (DTH) satellite multi-channel television platform in Malaysia and other South East Asian markets.

The Bangla channel will launch in April and will be distributed in India, South East Asia and other markets within the Bengali diaspora.

Maran has won the battle on his home turf. He has now set himself the target to win the game outside, both internationally and domestically.

Latest Reads

VBS 2018: New tariff regime dominates discussion on Day 2

The second day of the Video and Broadband Summit started with a keynote speech from Times Network MD and CEO MK Anand where the media veteran shared his insights on how to keep playing when the game itself changes.

Specials Event Coverage IDOS
VBS 2018: Media & entertainment industry leaders address pressing issues on Day 1

Rapid advance in technology and infrastructure, entry of disruptive forces and changes in consumption habits have led the Indian media and entertainment industry to major conversion. The interesting developments are attracting international players to invest in the market, with traditional domestic...

Specials Event Coverage IDOS
IRAA 2019 announces appointment of Mujeeb Dadarkar as Awards Director

Indian Recording Arts Academy (IRAA) governing council consisting of Anil Chopra, Founder & Director, PALM Expo and Founder & Executive Chairman, IRAA,Pramod Chandorkar, Founder & Director of Soundideaz Academy and Honorary Chairman of the IRAA Award Committee 2019 and Ramesh Chetwani,...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
Video and Broadband Summit to focus on technology, media and telco convergence

The last two years have witnessed major transformation in entertainment and media industry in India and abroad. Entry of digital platforms, rapid rise in internet users, and disruption in the telecom industry have worked as catalysts. With the emergence of a new media, consumers are getting more...

Specials Event Coverage IDOS
India To Host Fourth Edition of Global Partners’ Forum 2018 in December

This year, India will play host to the largest-ever Partners' Forum on 12th and 13th December 2018 in New Delhi. PMNCH (The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health) will bring together 1,200 partners from over 100 countries dedicated to the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) movement and...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
SEPC pavilion makes waves at MIPCOM 2018

It was indeed a historic moment for India’s content creation, distribution and broadcast industry at this year’s MIPCOM which concluded at Cannes, France on 18 October 2018. More than 300 Indian delegates swarmed the French Riviera village – the largest delegation in the Reed Midem market-cum-...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
Casbaa becomes the Asia Video Industry Association

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of members today, Casbaa overwhelmingly approved the adoption of a new constitution and new name.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
Wizcraft’s 4th broadway styled bollywood musical stage show comes to kingdom of dream

After a glorious run in Mumbai with over 100 shows, Balle Balle - The Biggest and Craziest Indian Wedding Musical theatrical show, is all set to woo audiences in Delhi NCR.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
ConnecTechAsia Successful in Bridging the Digital Divide for Governments, Cities and Enterprises with Showcase of Latest Tech and Trends

ConnecTechAsia, the inaugural mega technology event comprising BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and the new NXTAsia wrapped up last week after an exciting three days of exhibitions and a summit covering the latest innovations in cloud, blockchain, AI, VR/AR, IoT, robotics, 5G, IP broadcasting, OTT and...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories