Television
Report on Shemaroo

SPN India's Rajesh Kaul on TRAI tariff order, Sports Act amendment & OTT threat

Kaul also addressed the question of tech giants vying for sports rights

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2019/05/07/Rajesh-Kaul.jpg?itok=gIMgu1AW

MUMBAI: Broadcasters, advertisers and media agencies are currently grappling with the impact from the implementation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s new tariff order. Disruption in the distribution value chain of India’s broadcasting sector has raised several questions. While some ratings agencies have reported a drop in viewership and subscription revenues, there seems to be a lack of unanimity in terms of the overall assessment.

Sony Pictures Networks India chief revenue officer and head – sports business Rajesh Kaul probably understands the TV distribution ecosystem better than most. According to the media veteran, it is too early to comment on the subscription revenue numbers for his company’s sports cluster under the new regime.

“It’s just two months old and we don’t have the complete visibility in terms of reports. Once that happens, we will be in a better position to understand. But, based on what I’ve seen so far I don’t see a major impact,” Kaul said.

The roll-out of the new regulatory framework has resulted in a blackout of channels in several parts of the country. Several consumers have complained to the regulator about distribution platform operators (DPOs) not providing them their preferred channels and packs. Under such circumstances, there’s a theory doing the rounds that unavailability of channels on linear TV will lead to increased content consumption on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, especially when it comes to sports.

“We have put all our live sports content behind a paywall on SonyLIV. That was done because of the TRAI order. So, the consumer will have to pay irrespective of whether the content gets consumed on SonyLIV or our linear channels. So we are fine with that,” Kaul added.

 Earlier in the year, SPN India pulled the plug on Sony Ten Golf HD (along with Sony Le Plex HD and Sony Rox HD) citing “dispersed and niche viewership” as the reason. There’s a widespread belief in the industry that premium and niche channels are likely to be under pressure with the new tariff norms having kicked in. With the power now firmly in the hands of the consumer, are we looking at consolidation in the near future?

“It’s very difficult to say that and too early to answer. But at the same time, the amount of content that we have, roughly around 10,000 hours of live action, at times we feel handicapped with 10 channels. There are so many events taking place simultaneously, there’s sometimes a need for more channels. So, it’s too early to talk about consolidation,” Kaul argued.

Indian sports broadcasting is now an SPN India and Star India duopoly. While former is a dominant force when it comes to cricket outside India, the latter is in the ascendancy when it comes to cricket in India. Both broadcasters, however, have made significant investment with regards to sports rights.

In October last year, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) proposed an amendment to the Sports Act 2007, allowing Doordarshan to air ‘events of national importance’ on private direct-to-home (DTH) and cable networks apart from rebroadcasting on its own terrestrial network and free-to-air (FTA) DTH platform DD Free Dish.

While MIB had sought feedback from stakeholders and has since put the matter on the back burner, an amendment of this nature is likely to impact the revenue of broadcasters.

“I would not like to comment on that. The matter is in the ministry, so let it remain there. As of now they are quiet, so it’s fine,” stated Kaul.

Last year, social media giant Facebook acquired the La Liga’s media rights for the Indian sub-continent for a three-year period. The company also made a very serious play for the Indian Premier League rights, which were eventually snapped up by Star. Globally, e-commerce major Amazon struck a 10-match deal with the Premier League to stream these matches on Amazon Prime Video in 2019. In April 2018, Amazon had also secured the US Open rights for the United Kingdom.

Is it a matter of time before these tech giants bid for FIFA World Cup or ICC Cricket World Cup rights?

“As of now we are not seeing that. As a linear channel, I don’t see a threat from these platforms. Three-four years from now? Maybe, yes. India is a large country, I don’t see OTT as a threat to TV at this point in time, not for the next two-three years,” Kaul explained.

With the emergence of tech titans with deep pockets, there’s a possibility of content acquisition costs skyrocketing.

“I would not comment on that specifically. But overall, rights costs in the last couple of years have not gone up,” he concluded.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/15/photogrid_plus_1623742677416.jpg?itok=vueI17EP
upGrad ties up with Star Sports for upcoming WTC finals

New Delhi: Higher ed-tech company upGrad on Tuesday announced its advertising tie-up with Star Sports for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) finals: India Vs New Zealand and the 2021 Wimbledon Championship.

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/15/suntv.jpg?itok=kPE0_qOY
Sun TV Network's outlook for FY22 remains positive despite short-term headwinds

Sun TV Network has navigated the pandemic well through the FY21 despite initial setbacks as it ended q4 with Rs 449.88 crore profit, 80 per cent up year-on-year. While there could be short-term headwinds in ad revenue due to the second wave of the pandemic.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/14/photogrid_plus_1623667509809.jpg?itok=Oa_HtZmQ
Colors Tamil wins big at Promax India Regional 2021 conference

New Delhi: Colors Tamil has won six coveted awards at the first edition of the Promax India Regional 2021 Conference- The Art of the Pivot, announced this week. Competing across 25 categories, the regional GEC bagged four Gold in the Best Programme Campaign, Something for Nothing, Best...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/14/nai.jpg?itok=qz_ULDTK
Senior journalist Udayan Mukherjee joins India Today

New Delhi: The India Today Group is set to bolster its coverage of business news with a new show hosted by noted journalist Udayan Mukherjee. Mukherjee returns to the newsroom after a long hiatus. His comeback comes at a time when the world explores new ways of doing business in the post-pandemic...

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/13/photogrid_plus_1623566255979.jpg?itok=bZ-da9Fh
BARC week 22: Star Plus continues to reign pay platforms

Mumbai: Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Star Plus continues to maintain its hold on the top position in the list of channels on the pay platform, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) for Week 22 (29 May to 4 June).  The channel recorded an average minute...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/11/sun_tv.jpg?itok=fXtsNZPR
Sun TV clocks net profit growth of 11 %

Television broadcast major Sun TV Network Ltd on Friday said it closed last fiscal with 11 per cent growth net profit of about Rs 1,520.41 crore on reduced revenue.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/vik.jpg?itok=5eFPrtPy
Viacom18 ropes in Vivek Mohan Sharma to head branded content

New Delhi: Viacom18 on Thursday announced the appointment of Vivek Mohan Sharma as head of Branded Content. He will be reporting to head- Network Sales, Mahesh Shetty.

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/photogrid_plus_1623317456911.jpg?itok=nyoyMNes
Juggernaut Productions all set to begin work on its first international mini-series

New Delhi: Taking a strategic step towards international partnerships, IN10 Media Network’s production arm, Juggernaut Productions has joined hands with the UK based Nucleus Media Rights, a fast-growing television production and distribution company, and creator Brendan Foley, for the international...

Television Production House Post Production
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/photogrid_plus_1623313127999.jpg?itok=rkHl7HH9
SPN's Go-Beyond podcast endeavours to inspire and entertain

New Delhi: After becoming one of the first major broadcast companies to enter the audio streaming business, Sony Pictures Networks India continues to bring insightful stories of experienced minds from across different walks of life through its podcast service.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required