Media Sector

KKR-backed Emerald Media invests USD 50mn in YuppTV

Mumbai [India], Oct.11 : Emerald Media, a Pan-Asian platform established by leading global investment firm KKR for investing in the media and entertainment sector today announced that it has acquired a significant minority stake in YuppTV for USD 50 million.

YuppTV is one of the world's leading over-the-top (OTT) video platforms for South Asian content offering live TV, catch-up TV and movies on-demand in 14 languages across the globe. The growth capital will enable YuppTV to further its global footprint, expand its content library through original productions and acquisitions, and rapidly grow its paid subscriber base.

Netflix partners with SoftBank: Reports

Netflix partners with SoftBank: Reports

According to reports, Netflix, a provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, has teamed up with SoftBank in order to launch its video-streaming service in Japan. The announcement was made by the company on Monday.

According to Netflix, SoftBank customers can sign up for Netflix via SoftBank's shops, website, in addition to call centers, and through big electronics retailers.

Netflix has also made an announcement regarding a pricing structure beginning at 650 yen per month, when it comes to the basic plan. It rises as much as 1,450 yen for the premium account that offers ultra-high definition streaming. SoftBank will start pre-installing of the Netflix app on its smartphones that are planned to be sold after October 2015.

NBCUniversal acquires stake in VoxMedia

NBCUniversal acquires stake in VoxMedia

On Wednesday, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal announced that it is making a strategic investment of $200 million in VoxMedia. Through this investment, it is increasing its stake in the digital media firm and also, creating a partnership to help the company to better connect with younger audiences.

Post-money valuation of the investment for Vox is around $1 billion. Comcast was already having around 14% of Vox and with the recent deal, it will increase its holdings, but then also it would remain a minority investor.

For now, the exact size of Comcast’s ownership stake is not clear. NBCUniversal is no different from other media companies and it also had to struggle hard with decline in viewership. Situation is this that younger audiences have been increasingly watching content online.

Appeals Court throws out FCC request for programming contracts

Appeals Court throws out FCC request for programming contracts

On Friday, a Federal Appeals Court threw out the Federal Communications Commission's request that some major TV programmers offer their contracts to third parties for comment. This could affect AT&T Inc.'s proposed acquisition of El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV.

The case is related to media companies together with Viacom Inc., CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. against the FCC since it was reviewing AT&T's deal for DirecTV. The FCC said that third parties could be allowed to review the TV channel owners' contracts with the pay TV providers and put forward comment for the record.

CEO of Al Jazeera America Ousted

CEO of Al Jazeera America Ousted

This week has been tough for Al Jazeera America, an American basic cable and satellite news television channel. Firstly, AJAM was sued for $15 million wrongful termination lawsuit by a previous employee. The previous employee claimed that the network was discriminating against women and others.

“Al Jazeera America does not tolerate any discriminatory conduct and we take great pride in the diversity of our organization and its leadership. The recent attacks on us as being anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd”, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi had said.

AT&T announces $48 billion takeover of DirecTV

AT&T announces $48 billion takeover of DirecTV

An announcement about a $48 billion takeover of DirecTV has been made by AT&T three months after Comcast made announcement about its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable last year.

Michael White of DirecTV, left, and Randall Stephenson of AT&T, center provided evidence about merger plans on Capitol Hill. According to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Netflix was requesting regulators to reject the AT&T-DirecTV transaction because it is currently proposed.

According to the company, a combined AT&T and DirecTV would have the capability and incentive to use its heft to harm online video distributors such as Netflix in order to protect its core TV business. According to Netflix, already AT&T had degraded customers' access to Netflix.

Media Companies protest over Verizon's 'skinny' programming packages

Media Companies protest over Verizon's 'skinny' programming packages

Earlier this week, telecommunications company Verizon Communications Inc, announced a new offering for its FiOS television service which allows users to choose smaller packages of television channels at lower price than a usual pay-TV package. After the company's roll out the 'skinny' packages, owners of some popular channels stand against Verizon Communications and accused it of violating contracts.

According to reports, after the new offer, customers will be able to subscribe Verizon's basic TV package that starts at about $54.99 a month. The package includes local broadcast channels, Food Network, HGTV, CNN and AMC.

Comcast’s $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable facing resistance from federal officials

Comcast’s $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable facing resistance

Federal officials are reviewing Comcast's $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. The cable giant is fighting an uphill battle to get approval for the merger as it is facing resistance from the regulators. The Justice Department has some serious questions regarding the merger.

People familiar with the matter said that Comcast might ultimately walk away if concessions needed to win approval are too strict.

Comcast is the nation's largest cable company and largest broadband provider while Time Warner Cable is the second-largest company and the third-largest broadband internet provider.

Sequel to Transformers could be released in 2017

Sequel to Transformers could be released in 2017

As per Hasbro, new part of Transformers could be in theatres in around two years. The idea is to have a deep story for Transformers 5, with multiple sequels and spinoffs.

Hasbro's chief executive officer Brian Goldner said, "Our plan with the studio and filmmakers you may have heard some writers being hired and Transformers Age Of Extinction we have in fact brought in Akiva Goldsman to lead a group of writers to really create a strategic plan around Transformers".

HBO to step up its Fight against illegal Downloaders

HBO to step up its Fight against illegal Downloaders

The United States cable television company HBO has decided to step up its battle against illegal downloaders. The company decided to take strong steps when it found that some Internet users have been taking advantage of any early leak of some episodes of television series 'Game Of Thrones' fifth season last week.

According to reports of Fairfax, the cable television company has been working with anti-piracy collaborator IP-Echelon. Through the collaborator, HBO has issued infringement notices across the world after the recent leak. As per the reports, the leak appears to have generated with a preview DVD that was sent to an approved outlet by the company.

NBC suspends 'Nightly News' anchor Brian Williams for 6 months without pay

NBC suspends 'Nightly News' anchor Brian Williams for 6 months without pay

New York, Feb 11 - NBC chiefs have suspended anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay for telling a false war story repeatedly, putting a major blemish on the career of one of America's star newscasters.

NBC News President Deborah Turness said that they have decided today to suspend Brian Williams for six months without pay and is effective immediately and so Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News, the New York Post reported.

Carnival Group to invest Rs 700 cr to expand multiplex network

Carnival GroupNew Delhi: Media and entertainment firm Carnival Group will invest up to Rs 700 crore this fiscal to add 175 multiplex screens mainly through acquisitions.

In order to fund its expansion programme, the group is in talks with two private equity firms based in Singapore and London to raise around Rs 350-400 crore.

"Our vision is to have 300 screens by end of this fiscal. We will invest Rs 600-700 crore to add 175 multiplex screens," Carnival Cinema MD Shrikant Bhasi said.

Prasar Bharati rubbishes reports of sacking RJs aged above 35

Prasar-BharatiNew Delhi, Aug 11 : Prasar Bharati today rubbished reports of sacking radio jockeys aged above 35, and said it was planning to conduct voice modulation tests.

According to the organization, the review panel of PrasarBharati has decided to subject the radio jockeys to a skill test, entrusting the task to agencies whose neutrality and credentials are beyond doubt. Those currently on the panel of Casual RJs, and also those who are aspiring to join the ranks, may take the skill test as and when it is held.

No plan to regulate media, says I&B minister Javadekar

Prakash-JavadekarNew Delhi, May 27 : The new government has no plans to regulate the media, said Prakash Javadekar who took charge as information and broadcasting minister Tuesday.

"The media has experimented with self-regulation in the past and it knows its responsibility. The government does not wish to impose any kind of regulation on it," Javadekar said after assuming charge.

Javadekar said that the government expected everyone's cooperation in running the country, including the media.

Shocked over media's alarming role in Lok Sabha polls, says Mamta

Mamata-BanerjeeKolkata, May 12 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday expressed shock over the "alarming role" of a major section of the media.

"There's hardly any room for doubt that a few major cash-loaded political parties have taken up control of media houses and engaged them to serve their narrow political interests, trampling down the ethics of democracy and voice of people," she said on her official Facebook page.

Facebook launches FB Newswire for journalists

Facebook-FB-NewswireWashington, April 25 : In a bid to make Facebook a more useful resource for journalists and news publications, the social networking site late Thursday launched FB Newswire that promises to offer scribes a repository of verified, real-time content for use.

"The Facebook page will have hand-selected and journalist-verified news stories from across Facebook's platform," Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnerships at Facebook, was quoted as saying.

Zee and Star dissolve their channel distribution JV MediaPro

Zee and Star dissolve their channel distribution JV MediaProEntertainment giants Zee Turner Ltd. and Star Den Media Services Pvt. Ltd. have decided to dissolve their channel distribution joint venture MediaPro in order to meet market regulator's new regulations.

Under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's new regulations, TV channel distribution companies can not bundle up channels of multiple broadcasters in one package.

In a recent filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Zee said their decision to dissolve the JV was pursuant to the change in regulations declared by the regulator.

Media should correct aberrations: PM

Manmohan-SinghNew Delhi, March 12 : Some aberrations have crept into journalism in India and the media should itself find ways to remove them, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.

"Vibrant and fiercely independent media in our country is an asset for all of us. It has served us well in disseminating information, educating the public and keeping a critical eye on the work of the government," he said at a function to mark 125 years of the Malayala Manorama group.

Manmohan Singh said that while the media had evolved and grown in size, some "aberrations" have crept in.

Must ensure freedom of media in country: P. Chidambaram

p-chidambaramNew Delhi, Mar 10 : Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday emphasised the need for freedom of media in the interest of the nation.

Addressing Kerala's Union of Working Journalists, Chidambaram said that the media serves a larger public and democratic interest.

India’s media & entertainment industry grows 12% in 2013: report

India’s media & entertainment industry grows 12% in 2013: report The Indian Media & Entertainment industry grew 12 per cent last year with its revenue touching Rs 920 billion, a fresh report by market research firm KPMG and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) said.

The film industry enjoyed a double digit growth in 2013, as a great number of movies scored big on box office collections.  Nearly 90 per cent of movie screens are now digitized in India, as the industry is focusing to tier II and tier III cities.

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