Thursday, January 29, 2015

Star Movies India pulls out

After a few years in Sri Lanka, Star Movies India which replaced Star Movies Asia will be pulled out from Sri Lanka tomorrow. Star Movies India which is the only version of Star Movies operated by Star India, all others are operated by Fox International Channels was introduced due to a regionalization drive undertaken by Fox International. Star Movies Asia was rebranded Fox Movies Premium.

Now due to this move Sri Lankan movie fans are left without access to the movies that are distributed for broadcast by studios to Star Movies India & which is also released to Fox Movies Premium in the rest of Asia. The only access we have is access to movies released to HBO Asia which has faithfully stood by this region.

Due to this move a surge in movie piracy is expected. It's sad to note that a multinational like Fox would make moves that result in the increase of piracy.

Fox International should take immediate steps to release Fox Movies Premium to Sri Lanka since Star India is no longer interested in the Sri Lankan market. It should be noted that Fox Movies Premium is available in Maldives which also has access to the entire stable of channels operated by Fox in Asia. Sri Lanka should be included in the Asian feed for all Fox distributed channels and Indian feeds of Star should be halted.

Literally Star India should be kicked out of Sri Lanka.

Monday, January 12, 2015

ICC World Cup broadcast rights held by CSN in danger

It's a new year, new week and a new president. Even though we don't care too much about politics, it invariably has on effect on our day to day lives.In the midst of these political changes, we can't help but wonder regarding the status of CSN's World Cup broadcast rights and rights for the whole of cricket in Sri Lanka.

SLRC the state broadcaster with arguably the best coverage was robbed of it's broadcasting rights owing to political interference. Now under it's new chairman SLRC is itching to broadcast the World Cup and get back it's status as the National Sports broadcaster.

CSN has been awarded the rights, SLRC wants the rights. So what should happen? We sincerely hope that CSN will be stripped of World Cup broadcasting & all cricketing rights and these should be restored back to SLRC. Mr. President we hope to see the announcement soon.

In addition every sporting event for which CSN unethically obtained rights, should be stripped from them. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

We take this opportunity to wish all our fellow bloggers & the Management/Staff of all Media Institutions a

"Very Happy & Prosperous 2015"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exclusive - MTV Sports/New 1st faces identity crisis

In the wake of the launch of ADA Derana 24x7, MTV Sports / New 1st is facing an identity crisis. The channel which has a News 1st logo and MTV Sports logo displayed and telecasts everything ranging from sports, entertainment, etc doesn't seem capable of deciding what content to telecast. Initially MTV Sports biggest crisis was that they telecast many entertainment and less sports programming. After reports of the launch of a probable 24x7 news channel, then the News 1st logo was added compounding the problem even further. It seems that MTV/MBC was taken off guard and never expected a competitor to foray into dedicated news broadcasting.

So the only solution for MTV/MBC is to launch a channel for 24x7 news channel FTA, since ADA Derana is only available on Dialog TV at the moment, however expected to be on other platforms & FTA soon. Further MTV Sports should be dedicated to only sports or renamed as "MTV Sports & Entertainment". If it's renamed as "MTV Sports and News" it could be work but then again their news brand is "News 1st" which would be hard to incorporate into the name.

However the channel at the moment doesn't seem to have a sense of direction and has multiple logo's with all types of programming. It's facing an identity crisis and if rumors are to be believed there are a few that suggest that there are some severe management disputes over the direction of the channel. It looks like the Derana's are causing the Maharaja's to crack.

Let's not forget the bogus International Desk at News 1st where those who sit in there homes in Sri Lanka are asked to report as if from a major world city and the ones who do report from overseas are just some Sri Lankans who study or work in those countries who are known to staff members and are asked to read out a report prepared in Sri Lanka.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Football extravaganza start in a few hours

In a few hours the biggest football extravaganza will kick off "LIVE" from Brazil. Local television viewers have the options of watching the broadcasts on Free-To-Air television via the state owned SLRC channels Rupavahini & Channel Eye, or on pay television services via Sony Six, provided the service provides the said channel - If not then it's best to call your service and urge them to add the channel immediately.

The event which lasts until July will be undoubted followed by the sports loving lankan public where football has its fair share of hard core followers. The timings may not be very viewer friendly with many matches starting at 1:00am, 3:00am and a few at 9:00pm, however this isn't going to stop the lankan public from catching the action.

We hope local pay services such as Dialog TV which happens to be the only HD enabled service will provide Sony Six HD for its subscribers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thinetha TV - Sri Lanka's first satellite HD channel, press release

Press Release: Thinetha TV

Sri Lanka's First HD Satellite Television Channel "Thinetha TV" Commence Soon

Steps have been taken to initiate a satellite television channel called "Thinetha TV" with the view of informing the world on economical and social trends achieved by Sri Lanka after the 30-year-long war.

All programmes, which are telecasted in a national level television channel, are expected to be telecasted in this channel. Accordingly, programmes such as news and current affairs, tele dramas and musical programmes, documentaries, youth and women's programmes, sports and live shows will be telecasted. All these programmes will be new creations of Thinetha TV. A special attention has been paid to create these programmes to be complied with the World Television Charter, which is also signed by Sri Lanka, and to media ethics.

This will be the first satellite transmitted television channel of Sri Lanka, which covers 116 countries around the world. It expects to cover Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Australia. The channel, which aims to provide local information to migrant Sri Lankans and to uplift their taste, expects to telecast programmes in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Further details can be gained through internet on web page. 

Friday, May 02, 2014

Dish TV's Sri Lanka strategy

With Dish TV testing transmissions under a company known as Dish TV Sri Lanka, lets take a look at their possible strategy in Sri Lanka. It's quite clear that Dish TV has been testing some local FTA channels including some Pakistani channels indicating that this is part of a larger regional strategy. With Pakistani channels having no downlink permission in India, the easiest would be for Dish TV to operate the service using Sri Lanka since there is no permission required for any channel to downlink in Sri Lanka.

Dish TV we believe are targeting Sri Lanka and the Pakistan region at the same time, which explains why there are Sri Lankan & Pakistani channels being tested.

It's quite likely that Dish TV will only uplink Sri Lankan channels and Pakistani channels using Dish TV Sri Lanka and they will merge these with their present Dish TV offerings from India to provide a combined service to Sri Lankans as well as Pakistani subscribers.

The drawback to this is that 100% of the channels will be Indian feeds like HBO, AXN, etc unless Asian feeds of these specific channels are uplinked from the Sri Lanka centre, this seems highly unlikely and there is no indication of such a move. We don't know too much about the Pakistani subscribers but lets take a look at our Sri Lankan subscribers.

There are two types of Pay Television viewers in Sri Lanka, ones that crave Hindi entertainment and the other that demands Asian feeds of International channels. A majority of locals who have purchased black market Indian DTH services are those who crave Hindi entertainment and are not worried too much about the English entertainment channels. Some of these locals have subscribed to Sri Lankan pay services due to the lack of local FTA channels on these Indian providers, and are constantly demanding the addition of all local FTA channels and requesting more Hindi entertainment channels from local services. These types of subscribers are clearly to shift to services like Dish TV Sri Lanka once it launches.

The others also want local FTA channels from local services but are far more concerned about the quality of the channels provided and constantly demand quality Asian versions of channels which are generally commercial free. Sadly not all channels are available in this manner, Fox International Channels are withdrawing Asian feeds from Sri Lanka & are replacing them with Indian feeds, remember Star Movies Asia was removed and replaced with Star Movies India as part of a regionalisation move. The only Asian feeds available to us Sri Lankans from Fox International Channels is Fox Crime & Nat Geo People which may be replaced by the Indian version sooner or later. But not all Networks are following Fox International Channel's strategy, HBO & AXN still continue to offer Asian feeds for Sri Lanka & Universal which is not available in India is available in Sri Lanka.

As per Dish TV Sri Lanka's strategy it seems that they will be content to launch with all Indian feeds plus local FTA channels, it remains yet to be seen whether they will switch feeds of channels that allow Asian feeds and tap the market that demands it. That market is presently dominated by Dialog TV, LBN Cable TV & Peo TV. 

Recently Dialog TV ramped up their offerings with channels such as "Universal Channel Asia" & "Sundance Channel Asia", which will surely catch the attention of the subscriber who demands Asian feeds, this is in addition to some of the Asian feeds available namely HBO Network Asia Channels, AXN Asia, Fox Crime Asia, Nat Geo People Asia, Diva Universal Asia (no Indian version available), Cartoon Network Asia, Toonami (No Indian Version Available).

If Dish TV needs to successfully compete with local services, the market that demands Asian Feeds is a critical one. It all depends on whether Dish TV wants to provide Sri Lankans a service at a higher rental and make a quick buck or provide a quality service to locals. Success in India as a pay television service doesn't automatically translate to success in Sri Lanka. There is no doubt that local services will fight it out and will not easily allow Dish TV to dominate the market they created.