Television

DD Free Dish emerged as enabler of competitiveness in M&E industry: Prasar Bharati CEO

Shashi Shekhar Vempati addressed the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) 2022 on Wednesday.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/19/vbs.jpg?itok=VbYamklS

Mumbai: With a presence in over 40 million households, DD Free Dish has emerged as an enabler of competitiveness in the media and entertainment industry, said Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati on Wednesday, highlighting the stupendous growth recorded by the platform in recent years.

Vempati delivered the keynote address at the 18th edition of the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) organised virtually by Indiantelevision.com on Wednesday. The day-long summit was co-powered by broadpeak, with Disney Star as the presenting partner and Nxtdigital as the summit partner.

Talking about the growth of DD Free Dish, the Prasar Bharati CEO said it was present in two crore households when he joined the public broadcaster in 2017 and has since doubled its base. “It was because of the Free Dish audience that channels like Dangal and genres like Bhojpuri have come of age,” he remarked. “There have been new, upstart channels that have challenged the incumbent bigger media houses. It has created a platform for people to sample content and subscribe to whatever they want to watch.

DD Free Dish now in 40 million households

During his five-year association with the public broadcaster, Vempati shared that he has observed striking changes in the way that the TV and video viewing market has evolved. According to him, the key factors that are driving this change are regulatory interventions, the decision by the government to phase-out analog terrestrial TV and the rise of OTT and digital.

“The pandemic had a tremendous impact on the way we work,” he elaborated. When I joined the organisation, everything was paper-based but now we’ve become IT-based. The situation has forced us to think innovatively and put technology first.”

Public Broadcaster’s Digital Turnaround

Prasar Bharati’s digital growth has doubled every year with its YouTube channels clocking more than a billion views every month. The public operator which operates more than 400+ radio stations is now delivering its radio services via the News On-Air app. “While the app has several million downloads and an active listener base, it has also become a proxy for us to understand what people like to listen to on the radio,” said Vempati. “Analytics from the app gives us insights like which is the top city for online radio listening (Pune) and which streams do people prefer in every city. It also lets us know what time people are listening and which programmes they love the most.”

He added that it was astounding that India has not leveraged its strength as the biggest media market and largest English-speaking market to build a local ecosystem for technology that can support the M&E sector. “As a public broadcaster, we invest (capital spending via government grants) up to Rs 100-200 crore in technology and it is very saddening to see this infusion of funds leaving the country,” he noted.

Need for indigenous technology-development

Most of the technology requirements of the M&E industry in India are imported and royalties go to entities in other countries. “We need to build a local ecosystem of technology vendors to supply the industry with all kinds of equipment,” said Vempati. “That’s why it is important that we focus on indigenous standards development.”

For example, most of the 5G tech stack has been framed by entities in other markets. Prasar Bharati has recently signed a MoU with IIT Kanpur to develop IIndian-specific standards for 5G that allow for convergence between broadband and broadcast. This will allow for new opportunity areas such as direct-to-mobile broadcasting that will be in line with India’s unique needs to deliver content directly to mobile.

Prasar Bharati developing next generation broadcast solution

“With millions of people live streaming every event, it is going to raise the costs of the network and the pipes are going to choke. The telcos will not be able to handle so much traffic and that will lead to buffering. The way out is having the ability to offload steaming traffic to broadcast infrastructure if necessary. This benefits everyone including big OTT platforms,” he added.

Another opportunity area that Vempati sees is innovation in the supply-side economics of content. “Why is content so expensive?” he asked. “There is a need to deliver higher quality content at lower cost and India should be cost leaders in terms of creating content, seeing the enormous talent base that we have. The M&E industry in India is looking for its “Walmart moment” when it comes to bringing down the cost of content. We should find innovative means, technologies, and approaches that can bring down the cost of content.”

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/28/1.jpg?itok=I8fxP_2y
Berklee Valencia and Netflix India jointly present Music Supervisor Workshop

Berklee Valencia and Netflix India have joined forces to create a Music Supervisor Workshop. The workshop aims to train the next generation of music supervisors to support online content production. 

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/28/tim-davie.jpg?itok=QzlSo1_z
UK based broadcaster BBC plans to build 'digital-first' focused services

UK pubcaster BBC director-general Tim Davie shared his plan to build a “digital-first” British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The plan will see the broadcaster prioritising its apps and websites over traditional broadcasting channels, said in a company statement.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/27/sun-tv.jpg?itok=SQlCBx6-
Sun TV Q4 consolidated revenue up by 12.84%

Sun TV Network has announced its fourth quarter and yearly results for the financial year ended 31 March 2022.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/27/starsports.jpg?itok=_d0stJrS
Star Sports launches new campaign ‘#ChaseTheRecord’ with Amir Khan

Star Sports Network has launched a new campaign, #ChaseTheRecord, featuring Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/27/isobar.jpg?itok=nrYemR7n
Sony Pictures Television India & Isobar make spider-man fans tap into the multiverse

Mumbai: Sony Pictures Television India and Dentsu’s Isobar have launched a campaign to give the audience an experience of the multiverse, a physics theory that is barely known to the layman. Through this campaign, the duo has created a multiverse on mobile devices to bring the essence of the movie...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/27/starq.jpg?itok=9jyoL78n
Disney Star registers FIR against piracy group Tamil Rockers, Tamil MV, Tamil Blasters and Pikashow

Disney Star has registered a FIR (First Information Report) against piracy groups Tamil Rockers, Tamil MV, Tamil Blasters and Pikashow on Wednesday at the Bengaluru cyber cell.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/27/vijay-bhanushali.jpg?itok=_XsvhbSx
Shemaroo Entertainment elevates Vijay Bhanushali as deputy vice president

Shemaroo Entertainment has elevated Vijay Bhanushali as deputy vice president – animation, kids, digital, licensing and merchandising. He has been associated with the company for over 14 years.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/26/punit-goenka.jpg?itok=wDumE6xW
Uptake of free DTH has come down since major broadcasters left: Punit Goenka

The uptake of free direct-to-home services has come down since the major broadcaster networks collectively left the platform on 1 April, stated Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited managing director and chief executive officer Punit Goenka during an earnings call.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/05/26/zee-hindustan.jpg?itok=jaVhWtIV
ZEE Hindustan launches marketing campaign to create brand recognition

Zee Hindustan has launched a prelude for the marketing campaign with 3D model installation of 8feet tall mic in prime locations of Delhi, Lucknow, and Indore such as Nehru place market, Indore Airport and Lucknow. This is also followed by a brand campaign in Delhi across three metro lines, 300 cabs...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting