Executive Suite - Television's Top 20'40


For making the big leap to Walt Disney to head its diversified operations in India.

Contending for that coveted crown were Sunil Lulla from Sony and Alex Kuruvilla from MTV, among others.

What stood in his favour was the way he widened the audience base for the ICC Cricket World Cup with an extended band of programming before and after the match to lure female audiences. Sony managed to push its distribution and advertising revenues on the back of not only the live cricket telecast but also cashed in on Mandira Bedi who stood out on a show called Extraa Innings.

Jain launched the two Walt Disney channels in December 2004, soon after Star struck a distribution deal. So far, it has been a low key affair with distribution being the main focus. The channels will have to find a way on cable networks before Disney opens its purse and starts spending heavily on advertising.

Slow and steady growth seems to be the approach. Jain does not want to rush things by paying carriage fees to cable networks, a precedent he feels will do more damage in the long run.

Jain has the opportunity to prove that he can weave the Disney magic among Indian audiences. He needs to be given time to tell us how the final story will evolve in India.


For daring to take on the might of well-entrenched global players in the kids genre with Hungama TV.

He defied the laws of gravity and drew up a programming lineup which focussed on live action rather than animation.

His other innovation included using kids as a research input for shaping the channel's content. He put kids on the creative board to decide on the kind of programming that should go into the channel.


Hungama TV has garnered 5 per cent audience share in the kids genre within just three months of launch, running ahead of Animax and Nickelodeon.


Screwvala promised to take UTV public, but the initial public offering (IPO) never took off. He sold UTV's stake in Vijay TV to Star Group, cleaning up the losses that his company incurred from the broadcasting business.


Perhaps he will be less cautious this year and finally manage to see through UTV's IPO for raising resources to expand his content and broadcasting business.


For continuing to reign as the Queen of Soaps in Indian television and getting Star to take a hefty stake in Balaji Telefilms.

Her shows on Star Plus dominated the ratings and Balaji remained the top production house in India.

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kasautii Zindagi Kii sustained their dream run for the fourth year with new twists and turns. Her experiment with thriller genres met with limited success.

No surprise that Star Group found Balaji Telefilms a lucrative catch and invested Rs 1.23 billion for a 21 per cent stake in the company. Confirming this strong confidence on the Hindi entertainment soap factory was Star Group CEO Michelle Guthrie, who was quoted in a recent interview to World Screen News as saying: "The people at Balaji are so focussed, with their attention to detail and quality. We've worked together for four years already, but I think going forward it's going to be pretty extraordinary what we can do together."


How the script of Balaji Telefilms' growth with Star as an equity partner unfolds this year could well be the production house tale of 2005.


For finally taking the plunge out of the safe environs of the print space in which the Times group has been safely navigating all these years into an uncertain future that is television.

The launch of non-fiction entertainment and lifestyle channel Zoom in 2004 was meant to be the first of a number of channels the group hoped to launch. If it all works out according to the script that was written down at the concept stage, the Times aims to build on its print media assets to form a bouquet of unique and different television channels.

The next course on the menu are a spiritual channel and a "broadbased" business news channel that will leverage the Economic Times brand. That is the plan. Zoom's trajectory hasn't exactly been going to script. So whether that will have an impact on how the two "next-in-line" channels roll out will be known in due course.

Latest Reads

MIPCOM 2016 sets new records

CANNES: Record attendances at MIPJunior and MIPCOM, more World Premiere TV and International Screenings than ever, a remarkable Japan Country of Honour programme, a Personality of the Year, Shonda Rhimes, who packed delegates into her keynote interview and a tour de force opening keynote from Sony...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
BidSlate offers film buyers, content-owners negotiation platform

What if filmmakers didn’t have to rely solely on film markets and sales agents to sell content? And international film buyers had continuous access to a 24/7 international marketplace populated by an ever-growing catalog of content?

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
Two popular BMX content creators join XTreme video multi-platform network

XTreme Video, the leading Multi-Platform Network (MPN) for extreme athletes and creators with over 200 million views each month and more than 50 million social followers, today announced the addition of two of YouTube’s top BMX creators, KinkBMX and Boqer123, to the XTreme Video network. Heading...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
INsight-Flare to produce reality competition 'The Line'

INsight TV has commissioned yet another new original format in Ultra HD, partnering with Flare Media to produce the reality competition The Line.

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
FremantleMedia brings 'Familiar Taste' to MIPCOM

FremantleMedia is bringing a brand new title to MIPCOM 2016, which promises to leave viewers feeling warm inside. Familiar Taste sees well-known faces thanking those people who have had a major impact on their lives by sharing with them a surprise meal they have cooked themselves.

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
MIPCOM: Beta Film delivers interactive TV-event 'The Verdict' throughout Europe

The interactive TV-event The Verdict continues its roll-out throughout Europe and will be simultaneously broadcast in six countries with additional territories to follow. The MOOVIE production by Oliver Berben (“Shades of Guilt”, “Hotel Adlon – A Family Saga”) will be screened in Germany, Austria,...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
'Inside the Masters of Dirt' on INsight TV to have non-scripted reality series in ultra-HD

INsight TV has commissioned a new, non-scripted reality series Inside the Masters of Dirt with XTreme Video, which follows the crew that produces the popular freestyle motocross arena show of the same name. Featuring fearless leaders in extreme motorsports, XTreme Video will be the first to present...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
MIPCOM: Cyber Group Studios signs deals with broadcasters, digital platforms

On the heels of MIPCOM Junior, Paris-based producer and distributor Cyber Group Studios continues to establish a strong presence worldwide by signing new agreements with buyers including major broadcasters and digital platforms for more than ten series of its catalogue. Deals cover players such as...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
Bloomberg Media Distribution signs Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, El Financiero, STAT as partners

Bloomberg Media Distribution today announced a partnership with a raft of premium publishers to provide business, technology, entertainment, music, lifestyle and health news to global audiences. Launched at MIPCOM, Bloomberg Media Distribution will distribute The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, El...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories