Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Hindi TV channels triumph over regional counterparts

TAM’s 2010 study finding contrasts with growth of regional print industry

According to television viewership survey agency TAM’s study titled 'The Impatient Generation'~ TV Consumption Behaviour Study 2010, Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) share has gone up, while regional GECs have taken a beating.

“Elderly women, housewives and kids with higher engagement time are showing more loyalty in terms of less switches or switches only within preferred genre(s). Chief-wage earners and youth are increasingly becoming more unpredictable by either watching less or switching across genres in an attempt to settle down on their content choice. This has proved beneficial for GECs, kids and big sports events or movies genre to grow while news, infotainment and music have come under some pressure,” said LV Krishnan, chief executive officer, TAM Media Research in the introduction to the report.

During 2009, Hindi channels comprised 42% of the total number of channels, and its share increased to 44% in 2010. Regional channels, on the other hand, observed a 2% drop to 34% from 36%. Hindi GECs were commanding 26.9% of viewers in 2009, but in 2010, it increased to 29.6%. In the Hindi speaking market, the share rose from 38.4% to 41.5%; while in the southern markets, Hindi GEC viewership increased to 4.7% from 4.4% the year before. Viewership of regional GECs, however, declined from 24.2% to 22.9%.

Overall, it is at odds with the print news readership trends, which have seen more regional players, emerge with increasing popularity. India Readership Survey shows that regional editions and magazines are becoming more popular, yet there seems to be no new entrants in news channels section.

There have been some 13 new entrants in the television world, with most of them belonging to the GEC, music or movies segment. Lifestyle had three new entrants.

However, the survey hints at increasing fragmentation. Apart from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, which have a most focused viewership of 13 channels, which account for 80% of viewership, all other states are witnessing fragmentation. However, over all, across India and the Hindi speaking market, viewership fragmentation remains unchanged.

“While expectedly with increasing number of channels (530+ in India, last count), the choice of content for the audience is also on increase but the much awaited hype of even more fragmented audience has not necessarily come true. This is because of two reasons: the analog distribution networks are running brim to capacity and hence are adding new channels only at the expense of old ones. So new channels are adding audiences only on the digital platforms, where we will see growing fragmentation. However, given analog’s 75% market share, fragmentation in decelerating. Secondly, market leaders in broadcasting with deep pockets are bringing high quality content. This has enabled them to skew audiences to few of the programs, bringing in higher returns. Thus we see two polarities in audience aggregation: few programs engaging large set of audiences on one side and a large set of programs engaging few audience on the other,” the report quoted Mr Krishnan.


ONGC withdraws papers for FPO, will file again if govt asks

“This (withdrawal of RHP) is technical. The document filed in September had a validity of 90 days and so we have withdrawn it... It is no reflection if the follow-on offer (FPO) is coming or not,” ONGC CMD Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters

New Delhi: State-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has withdrawn the papers it filed for a government share sale, but will file the red herring prospectus (RHP) again if instructed, reports PTI quoting chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva.

“This (withdrawal of RHP) is technical. The document filed in September had a validity of 90 days and so we have withdrawn it... It is no reflection if the follow-on offer (FPO) is coming or not,” he told reporters here.

“If and when required, we will file it again,” he said, adding that the timing will have to be decided by the Department of Disinvestment (DoD).

ONGC had in September filed the RHP for the follow-on public offer (FPO) through which the government plans to sell a 5% stake, or 427.77 million shares, in the company. The FPO was to open on 20th September, but was put off days ahead of its opening due to market uncertainty.

“We are ready for the share sale as and when it is decided by the DoD,” Mr Vasudeva said.

After the FPO, the government’s stake in ONGC will come down to 69.14% from the current 74.14%.

The government plans to raise at least a fourth of its Rs40,000 crore divestment target for the current fiscal from the 5% stake sale in ONGC.

The share sale has been deferred several times this year.

It is expected to happen in December, but this is unlikely because the company does not meet market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) listing norm for half of its board to be made up of independent directors.

Three of ONGC’s directors—S Balachandran, SS Rajsekar and Santosh Nautiyal—ceased to be directors on the company’s board on 10th November after expiry of their three-year term.

Their replacements are yet to be named as the proposal is awaiting a nod from the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC).

“I believe the selection process for the three independent directors has started and is in final stages,” Mr Vasudeva said, adding that the timing of the FPO will be taken by the Department of Disinvestment.

Oil secretary GC Chaturvedi said his ministry has agreed to the DoD’s proposal for sale of a 10% stake in Oil India, the nation’s second-largest state explorer after ONGC.

“We have agreed for an FPO of OIL after the share sale in ONGC is completed,” he said.

The government owns 78.4% of OIL.

“They (DoD) asked us about the FPO in OIL and we said we agree to it,” he said, adding that the timing would be decided by the DoD.


India to launch shale gas exploration bid in 12th Plan

As per the available data, six basins—Cambay (in Gujarat), Assam-Arakan (in the North-East), Gondawana (in central India), KG onshore (in Andhra Pradesh), Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangetic basins—hold shale gas potential, DGH director general SK Srivastava said

New Delhi: Joining the global race to tap unconventional hydrocarbon sources to meet energy needs, India will launch its maiden bid round for exploration of shale gas during the 12th Plan Period (2012-17), reports PTI.

“The Government of India is planning first round of shale gas during 12th Plan Period (2012-17) after assessment of resources is completed,” Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) director general SK Srivastava said at the Shale Gas India 2011 conference here.

Shale gas or natural gas trapped in sedimentary rocks (shale formations) below the earth’s surface is the new focus area in the US, Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.

As per the available data, six basins—Cambay (in Gujarat), Assam-Arakan (in the North-East), Gondawana (in central India), KG onshore (in Andhra Pradesh), Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangetic basins—hold shale gas potential, Mr Srivastava said.

DGH has initiated steps to identify prospective areas for offering, he added.

“Legislative changes will be required for shale gas exploration,” Mr Srivastava said, adding that simultaneous exploitation of different sources like shale gas and coal bed methane is required.

Currently, the policy allows exploration and production of conventional oil and gas and coal bed methane (CBM).

However, shale gas exploration faces several challenges such as the availability of water and vast tracts of land.

He said 3-4 gallons of water is required per well for hydraulic fracturing (pumping liquids down a well into subsurface under pressures that are high enough to fracture rocks to enable movement of hydrocarbons to the well bore).

Also, shale gas production requires drilling of large number of wells where land availability is an issue, he said, adding that disposal of water is also a challenge.

Oil secretary GC Chaturvedi said India’s gas demand is likely to rise from 290 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) in 2012-13 to 470 mmscmd in 2016-17. Against this, domestic supply will increase from 124 mmscmd to 220-230 mmscmd only.

The rest of the demand has to be met by either imports or through unconventional energy sources like shale gas, he said.

“Water availability and disposal will be a huge problem in shale gas exploration,” he said, adding that India has signed a MoU with the US for assessment of shale gas resource and developing policy framework to exploitation of the resource.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva said emissions from the use of shale gas are higher than natural gas or coal and so the environment impact too would need to be assessed.


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