New entry norms for TV channels may weed out small players
Raising the networth criteria for uplinking and downlinking channels is unlikely to impact the bigger networks, which have committed huge sums of money for launching new channels.
At the same time, the new entry norms might weed out the non-serious small time local players and also lessen the huge clutter among television channels.
According to Mr Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India: “From the glimpse of it, there will be no difference to our network as we are already fulfilling the networth criteria. But fundamentally it will ensure that only serious players enter the business and invest into it to grow it.
“There are already 750 channels, which is more than any other country but the clutter is mainly due to the high number of local and regional language channels. The new entry norms would also ensure the quality of the players wanting to enter the business and grow it.''
MSM (Multi Screen Media), the owner of channels such as Sony, Max and Pix, is also unlikely to be affected by the new norms.
“The norms will affect only those channels which cannot sustain the business. It may to some extent impact some of the local channels. The larger networks should not have a problem as they already have a good presence.
“The idea is to ensure that only serious players enter the industry,” said Mr N.P. Singh, COO, MSM, having launched a new Bollywood music channel (MIX) recently.
Other players such as Neo Broadcast waiting to launch entertainment and Bollywood-oriented channels are not perturbed about the entry norms being tightened.
“Increasing the entry norms by a few crores of rupees is not going to impact a big broadcaster as their investments are not on that scale. At the same time, these norms may bring about some sanity in terms of capacity issues.
“In fact, it has been a joke when just anybody and everybody can enter the broadcasting industry.
“Now, at least the industry will attract more credible and worthwhile players and not just channels with smaller budgets,'' said Mr Prasanna Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports Broadcast.
Another new entrant, Reliance Broadcast, which has recently launched a slew of English GEC (general entertainment channel) channels such as Big CBS, is also hopeful about the Government taking the right measures.
“I am sure the Government has thought through this before tightening the entry norms for TV channels. In our case, our licences are in place,” added Mr Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network.
Source: The Hindu Business Line