Television

Prasar Bharati CEO on convergence and public b'casting

Pubcaster needs to think ‘digital first’ to keep pace with evolving tech

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/12/07/Prasar-Bharati.jpg?itok=28zjhJed

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati’s CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, while dwelling on convergence and its relevance to India’s pubcaster, opined that it was important to understand the changes happening in terms of media consumption and distribution to evolve and plan for the future ahead.  

“As a public broadcaster, we really have to face these forces of convergence if we have to transform ourselves for the next decade and beyond. Historically, our work force was trained to operate in the world of broadcast engineering and now they have to make the shift to digital and information technology,” Vempati said, adding why it was important for his colleagues to think “digital first” in terms of creation, packaging and presentation.

Dwelling on the convergence happening at various levels of the Indian media and entertainment sector, Vempati said it was happening at three levels --- at the consumer consumption level, platform and distribution level and regulatory level.

“The convergence at the consumer level is way ahead of both the platforms and regulatory frameworks,” he stressed while delivering an address at the CII Big Picture Summit 2019 at New Delhi yesterday.

According to Vempati, while the industry debated convergence and its pros and cons, the consumer was embracing the trend without a fuss, adapting to the various ways of consumption of the media.  

Analysing the effect of these changes from a pubcaster’s point of view, he said Prasar Bharati was looking at the immediate outcome of the transformation on how content is discovered, measured and, more importantly, monetised.

Without mincing words, he admitted that the content industry was today kind of trapped in a binary outlook where content monetisation was restricted to either advertising revenue or driven by subscription.

Giving an example of consumer embracement of convergence, Vempati said Prime Minister Modi’s `Mann Ki Baat’ (Thoughts from the PM) was a prime example of convergence of technology. It is heard not only on All India Radio, which remains a primary source of dissemination of such messages but also consumed online and on traditional television.

Dwelling on the reach of media --- electronic and online --- Vempati said, on one hand, there was linear TV, which is measured with set sample panels, and on the other hand there was the digital platform where measurement happened real time. On the issue of audience measurement, he said, TRAI has recently issued a consultation on how there was a need to re-think audience measurement. “So, I think there is another area of transformation that is likely to happen in the near future,” he added.

On the topic of audience measurement and its fallout on ad revenues for TV channels, Vempati said experience has highlighted that the consumer wants a more flexible pricing model, especially when popular programmes like cricket matches are telecast by private sector TV channels, which demand that the consumer pays to watch.

There is a need to look at a combination pricing model, which enables consumers to watch popular programmes, including sporting events, at a comparatively lower price or on FTA platforms like Doordarshan.

“As a public broadcaster one of the greatest learning for me has been that if you have quality content there is an audience for it,” Vempati said giving an example of Rajya Sabha TV, a parliamentary news channel that is not actively marketed and promoted, but has over a million followers online.

The pubcaster has not spent a dime advertising it anywhere and it is not even measured by BARC India, but on YouTube Rajya Sabha TV has a following that’s legion simply because of quality content it produces, Vempati said.

Emphasising how technology and pubcasting can merge to deliver useful services, Vempati gave the example of a pilot project undertaken by Doordarshan in Bengaluru, in association with private sector players like Microsoft, to deliver to government-run schools educational programmes on DD’s digital terrestrial network that was lying under-utilised.

“It’s a great example of convergence and transformation,” Prasar Bharati CEO said, adding that it also meant regulatory framework had a lot of catching to do as policy-makers viewed broadcasting and telecom services in silos, which is not the case now.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/02/ashok.jpg?itok=8SblLKPX
Film, TV directors' association requests Maharashtra govt for changes in shooting guidelines

MUMBAI: The Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has sent a letter to the Maharashtra government seeking the removal of certain clauses in the guidelines for resuming shooting of films, OTT shows, and television serials as they are difficult to be adhered to. Chief minister...

Television Production House Film Production
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/02/jagdish.jpg?itok=Q19phizl
  •  
The Zoom Studios announces Intertainer 2020, India’s ultimate digital hunt for the best entertainer on internet’

As India continues to practice social distancing and safety measures amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital world has paved itself to be an enabler to continue with our social lives, connecting with the outside world and also serving a creative platform for many budding talents.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/02/news18.jpg?itok=JOVij5lL
News18 India lines-up exclusive interview with Defence Minister on 2nd June @4PM

New Delhi: As the Modi government completes the first year of its second-term, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will speak about the major decisions taken by the government in the last one year in an exclusive interview with News18 India.At a time when India is battling to contain the spread of COVID...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/02/asianet.jpg?itok=ednuCJtZ
Asianet starts airing popular serials

Prominent GEC in Kerala Asianet is back with some exciting entertainment for the audience. TV shoots which were stalled due to the Covid2019 outbreak have resumed following the guidelines issued by the government.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/02/studio.jpg?itok=PaZu6owM
Distressed studios ready to give concessions to producers

Huge financial losses, unbearable maintenance costs, the fear of impending rain ruining the sets... Studio owners in the country have been living with all these woes and challenges ever since the lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of Covid2019.

Television Production House Fiction
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/01/jd.jpg?itok=YudohhRA
Producers in Maharashtra gearing up to resume shooting

MUMBAI: Producers are gearing up to resume production after Maharashtra government on Sunday gave the official sanction in this regard. The government gave green signal for the resumption of film and television shootings in non-containment zones.

Television Production House Film Production
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/01/b4u_0.jpg?itok=R-1N_5yh
B4U Kadak celebrates a year full of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!

Hindi Movie Genre in the Television Space has seen an influx of South Indian movies dubbed in Hindi. With larger-than-life stories the south Indian industry has spurted to a new high in the past few years and played a major role in the content mix of all the top movie channels of the country as...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/01/zee_0.jpg?itok=LUi3GsKz
Bengal’s Road to Recovery with Notun Disha, a ZEE 24 Ghanta E-Conclave

Zee Media Corporation Ltd.’s regional channel ZEE 24 Ghanta conducted an E Conclave with 7 Ministers on 30 May 2020. Notun Disha, ZEE 24 Ghanta E-Conclave was a continuous 3-and-a-half-hour session with ministers participating from various departments of the West Bengal Government.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/01/zee.jpg?itok=FCGx33-S
ZEE Keralam resumes serial line-up with fresh content

MUMBAI: After a two-month break, the serials of ZEE Keralam are starting afresh with new content. The seven serials that were already running successfully in the channel will start its telecast from 1 June onwards. Adding to their list of entertaining programmes, ZEE Keralam is also bringing a new...

Television TV Channels Regional

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required