India Video 360 – Broadcasting, Satellite, Telecoms

The India Video 360 – Broadcasting, Satellite, Telecoms forum organized by the Asia Video industry Association (AVIA) is a closed-door roundtable for members of the Association, regulators, and the broader broadcast industry. This full day seminar will bring together senior government officials and industry leaders to explore key themes including:

– India’s burgeoning broadcasting industry – what path for regulation?

– Key roles of satellite communications in the India video ecosystem

– How can broadcasting and satellite help bridge the digital divide? Opportunities, problems and solutions

– Bringing 5G benefits across all of India

– Development of India as a Teleport hub

Our Distinguished Industry Leaders

Dr R.S. Sharma
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari
Additional Secretary
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
Dr. P.K. Jain
Associate Director, Frequency Management & SatCom Planning
Shri Shri Syed Tausif Abbas
Advisor (Network, Spectrum & Licensing)
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Roger Tong
Sunil Lulla
BARC India
Megha Tata
MD - South Asia
Discovery Communications India
Rajat Nigam
Group Chief Technology Officer
Network18 Media
Rohit Bansal
Group Head of Communication
Reliance Industries Limited
Anil Malhotra
SITI Networks
Thomas Antony
Director, Sales
APT Satellite (APSTAR)
Vanita Kohli-Khandekar
Author & Consulting Editor
Business Standard
Vikram Tiwathia
Deputy Director-General
Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI)
Pankaj Krishna
Founder & CEO
Chrome Data Analytics and Media
Surender Singh
Vynsley Fernandes
IndusInd Media Communications
Vivan Sharan
Koan Advisory Group
Ajay Jain
Group CEO
Lamhas Satellite Services and Lamhas Digital Services
R.C. Venkateish
Lex Sportel
Ashwin Rao
Sales Director
Limelight Networks India
Prashant Butani
Senior Sales Director
Chiranjeev Singh
Head of Marketing APAC
Joy Bhattacharyja
Pro Volleyball League
Parag Kar
VP Government Affairs
Qualcomm, India & South Asia
Ashhar Farhan
John Huddle
Director, Market Development, Asia, SES Video
Arjun Chatterjee
Commercial Manager, Indian Subcontinent
Stats Perform
Anil Lale
General Counsel
Viacom18 Media
Shobhna Bajaj
Executive Director, Senior Counsel
WarnerMedia Entertainment and Networks, South Asia
Karan Ahluwalia
Senior President & Country Head, Media & Entertainment, Fine Arts, Luxury & Sports Banking Group
Shaji Mathews
Cable TV Sector Analyst & Consultant
R. Jai Krishna
News Broadcasters Federation, TMT Analyst
Louis Boswell
Asia Video Industry Association
John Medeiros
Chief Policy Officer
Asia Video Industry Association

Speaker Highlight

Megha Tata
MD - South Asia
Discovery Communications India
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    AVIA: Megha, what does your new role as MD, South Asia for Discovery mean and what are your priorities in this new role?

    Megha: My journey, as head of Discovery – South Asia, has been exhilarating with developments, some controlled while most uncontrolled, happening at break-neck speed, as this industry continues to evolve fast.

    At the outset, I would like to emphasize that we are a trusted and respected brand not just in India but across the world. Earlier in my life, much before I joined Discovery, I pushed my children to watch Discovery channel as it powers your passions. Personally, I know of many who do the same – such is the reverence of the brand. So, in a way, I feel privileged to lead this purposeful brand!

    We are respected, trusted, because we are a different kind of a media company – purpose has always been at the heart of our business. We are the global leader in real-life entertainment serving the passions of superfans around the globe with strength verticals such as survival, wildlife, science, home, food, travel, and much more. We are not in the crowded scripted entertainment space In India, our core brands continue to be strong but the decline of English genre, ever since the ratings paradigm changed with BARC, has impacted our growth as well. Ensuring that the Indian entity continues to thrive in the rapidly evolving scenario is what drives me day and night. Currently, we are pursuing 3 strategic goals:

    • Increase lead over competition in the premium network’s category – we are already number 1 but we need to increase the gap between us and the second placed player and be the dominant force, nay the super-dominant force in this genre.
    • Grow Kids business with aim to be a top 3 player in the genre – We see huge opportunity in the kid’s genre. Significant investment will continue to be pumped into kids’ network year on year. The channel will be one of the biggest investors in the Indian animation industry over the next 3-4 years.
    • Launch and Establish a differentiated D2C platform for the Indian audiences – We own all our content across the Globe – around 300,000 hours of premium factual library content and make 8,000 hours of additional content every year. Unlike other companies, we never sold off rights – we have always ensured we own all the rights to our content across the Globe. This creates a great competitive advantage in a digital and global world when it comes to creating new services. We are working towards launching our own differentiated D2C platform curating this content for Indian audiences.
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    AVIA: How would you characterize 2019 for your business? And what does 2020 look like?

    Megha: A lot of water has flown down the river, much more than I ever expected, since I joined 7 months ago in May. It has been a difficult year, but we have managed to be on the top and continue to be in-line of meeting our set objectives of the year. Some highlights from my perspective: – NewTariff Order (NTO) NewTariff Order has been one of the top agenda items at almost all meetings I have attended. You are all aware that this is a sub-judice matter for us so I will reserve my comments on this topic. I will succinctly sum-up in a line that our strong legacy as well as the fact that we came out with very attractive pricing has helped us in garnering traction from consumers across the country and ensuring that our distribution reach continues to be amongst the best in the industry.

    We have relooked our content strategy – while we will continue to showcase the best of our global IPs, we are moving in the direction of producing fewer but bigger Indian IPs. We created history with a special edition of Man Vs Wild featuring PM Modi. A show which created history, as for the very first time a niche channel like Discovery, ruled the ratings charts and emerged as the no 1 channel in India. Speaks volumes of what we can deliver if we do disruptive programming – the infotainment genre lends itself to be tweaked in multiple ways, and I am glad we cracked the code with this special episode. We will look to do more like this!

    We have expanded our regional footprint, with the addition of multiple language feeds. Our research also clearly indicates that the preference for Global content also strengthens when content is dubbed in local languages. So, we have accelerated the launch of new audio language feeds. Discovery channel, with the addition of 3 new language feeds (Marathi, Malayalam and Kannada), is now available in 8 languages. Animal Planet is now 3 languages strong with the addition of Tamil feed, to already existing English and Hindi feeds. For Discovery Kids channel, we have added Kannada and Malayalam language streams thereby ensuring that the kids channel caters to 6 audio language feeds.

    The challenges will not go away, they will only increase in 2020. We have hired some of the best professionals in the industry to help us navigate in this tough environment.

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    AVIA: Discovery aims to launch its D2C platform in India next year, how is execution playing out for this new strategy?

    Megha: The industry is undergoing disruption, and Discovery, globally, is working against an aggressive set of objectives to carve out a differentiated Direct to Consumer strategy. India is no different. The soon to launched differentiated factual entertainment led D2C product ‘Discovery Plus’ is not being adapted; it is being made for India.

    We have historically leveraged each opportunity to put our content and beloved brands wherever consumers are. We are now working towards milking this opportunity in the D2C domain.

    We tested the hypothesis for a real-life entertainment product with DailyHunt where we introduced a video destination named Discovery Plus on the home page of Dailyhunt App offering exhilarating short form video content especially customized for the digital audiences in India. The content across Discovery’s strong verticals of Outdoor, Food, Wildlife, Science and Military is available in 10 languages.

    We are happy with the traction we have received with total video views crossing more than 1.3 billion since launch. Discovery Plus on DailyHunt app has attracted more than 32 million unique users since launch.

    The numbers present a very interesting picture. Almost 80% of the consumption happens in non-English languages. This is a very important indicator for us – as it belies the perception that infotainment genre is restricted to English only.

    I would like to highlight that Hindi language tops English consumption on Discovery Plus. Tamil is the biggest language after. We are delighted with our learnings and are working towards adapting them the for our yet to launch direct to consumer vertical.

    The entertainment scripted side of business does look crowded, expensive and with lots of risks. No one is making money! That’s not how we look at our business. We want to spend prudently; and ensure that consumers get the worth! As already mentioned, our huge library helps!

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    AVIA: What is the biggest barrier for growth today in India?

    Megha: It is a transformational phase for the industry. Evolution of new ways of content consumption, and engagement, are emerging across the world. The Indian Media and Entertainment industry is in the early stages of the transformation with technology playing the role of a catalyst.

    These changing consumer patterns are now disrupting businesses that have been around for decades. The rules of doing business are being rewritten. It is therefore difficult to single out a single barrier for growth!

    The disruption is so fast that the industry 5 years down the line, globally as well as in India, will be very different from what it is now. The need, at this hour, is for a light touch policy framework for the sector to actualize its potential. In my view, the policy framework must be ‘future leading’. The pace of change is so fast, that we as industry veterans, most of the time, cannot predict what will happen. How does one prepare policies for such scenarios?

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    AVIA: If there was one thing you could change about the video industry, what would it be?

    Megha: I have been part of the Media & Entertainment industry for nearly three decades now. It is an industry that has transformed itself massively over the past few years. However, what strikes me the most is that when it comes to leadership, most Media & Entertainment firms are helmed by men.

    I would like to change the under-representation of women leaders in the industry, as well as the broader Indian corporate world. Discovery is doing its bit to change the world! We take pride in the richness of our diversity – with 50% women representation in our Asia Leadership Team.

Who Should Attend

Government representatives, broadcasters, DTH service providers, satellite operators and manufacturers, regulatory, spectrum and policy experts, broadband and internet service providers, telecom operators, consultants and technology solution providers.


Media Partners & Supporting Organisations:

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