Meet Punit Goenka, the CEO of Agrani, as he strives to set up what
will be Indiaís first DTH provider. The transponders are in place
with Insat. "Iíve booked quite a few of them. In fact most
of the Ku-band capacity is with us and we have very good relationships
with ISRO," he says.
The 28-year-old Goenka has been at the E-City Entertainment booth
in Cannes Palais de Festivals along with other senior executives
from the Zee Network - Ajay Gupta and Abhijit Saksena, among others,
over the past three days. This apart he has been hobnobbing with
sales people from various production and distribution houses and
television network executives globally. His goal: acquire content
for his Dish TV.
If the name DishTV sounds quite akin to Echostarís Dish Network
in the US which is resisting Rupert Murdoch overtures in the DTH
market there, donít be surprised.
For after all isnít Punit, a chip off the old block, willing to
take the battle to the enemy camp? Just like his dad Subhash Chandra
did when he scrapped with media baron Rupert Murdoch, finally buying
him out from the Zee-Star TV partnership.
"I am cobbling together material for an English language action
channel," says Goenka. "I have picked up about 1,000 hours
of factual programming covering lifestyle, documentary, kids. And
yes, I am looking at doing deals for another 300 hours year on year
with three-five year lock in periods. I would like to do channel
licensing, partnership deals too."
Additionally, he points out that he is in the market to buy close
to 1,000 film titles for channels he would like to create for Dish.
"My goal is to build the subscriber base of Dish to 750,000
in year one. And create a bouquet of 200 channels." The revenue
target: Rs 500-600 million in year one.
Reacting to Cherninís statement that the Zee TV DTH offering was
a soft launch, Goenka said, "Of course, it is a soft launch.
But the hard and full scale launch will follow."
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