Convergence Plus
Friday, July 20, 2018
Fake news proving deadly in India: BBC

Fake news proving deadly in India: BBCFake news spread instantaneously over WhatsApp chat groups and Facebook is causing a firestorm in India and resulting in the loss of lives, warns the BBC in a new investigative report from Bengaluru.

The BBC is set to highlight the issue in a report to be aired on BBC World News on Tuesday centred around the death of Kaluram Bachanram, who was beaten to death by a mob in Bengaluru after WhastApp rumours convinced people that he was a child kidnapper.

“Kalu became a victim of India’s fake news fire storm Across India eight lives have been lost in this latest wave of fallacy defeating fact.
The BBC has been working to combat the issue of fake news through initiatives such as “BBC Reality Check”, a political discourse fact-checking service. It was launched during the European Union (EU) referendum in 2016 for both TV and online and has now been made permanent and covers a wide range of issues.

“Fake news is a big problem and it’s vital for democracy that ordinary people are able to tell truth from fiction in the news they read, watch, and hear,” said Jim Egan, CEO, BBC Global News Ltd. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLIne)

Sony Pictures Network, Star India stack up for sports broadcast rights

Sony Pictures Network, Star India stack up for sports broadcast rightsStar India has the ICC event's rights and the IPL under its belt among major cricket media rights, while SPN has over the past year acquired the rights to CA, ECB and the South Africa Cricket Board
The Indian sports broadcast landscape could look like a mirror image of itself from last year, if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave the rights of the matches to Sony Pictures Network India (SPN).Last year around this time, Star India had the rights to events from three major boards, BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England Cricket Board (ECB), along with those from the International Cricket Council (ICC). SPN on the other hand had the Vivo Indian Premier League at the centre of its cricket portfolio along with international boards, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies.

At present, Star India has the ICC event’s rights and the IPL under its belt among major cricket media rights, while SPN has over the past year acquired the rights to CA, ECB and the South Africa Cricket Board. In February, Star India also won the rights for audio-visual production services for IPL and BCCI domestic cricket for the 2018-19 season. The BCCI, earlier this year, called for bids for media rights for the 2018-2023 period. Interested bidders could pick up tender documents for Rs 680,000 ($10,000).

Star India

  • International Cricket Council (ICC)
  • VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • New Zealand Cricket Board
  • Bangladesh Cricket Board
  • Asian Cricket Council (ACC)
  • Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL)
  • Karnataka Premier League (KPL)

Sony Pictures Network

  • Cricket Australia (CA)
  • England and Wales cricket board (ECB)
  • Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
  • Sri Lanka Cricket
  • Cricket South Africa
  • Cricket West Indies
  • Zimbabwe Cricket Board
  • Caribbean Premier league
  • Big Bash
  • MCA T20 league
  • (Source: Business Standard)
Aircel’s woes rise as majority shareholder Maxis decides not to infuse more funds

Aircel’s woes rise as majority shareholder Maxis decides not to infuse more fundsAircel’s shareholders have invested $7 b to date with zero return, says Maxis arm
More trouble is brewing for beleaguered telecom operator Aircel, with its Malaysian promoter Maxis Communications deciding against pumping additional funds into the company. Aircel was weighing various options, including venturing into 4G services through partnerships, but this requires fresh investments.
“Global Communication Services Holdings (GCSH) has completed all its obligations to fund Aircel in the past. Aircel shareholders have invested $7 billion to date with zero return. Additional funding by shareholders is unviable, given industry competition, and onerous legal and regulatory action,” GCSH, a Mauritius-based subsidiary of Maxis Communications, said in an email response to BusinessLine.

According to sources close to the development, this follows a Joint Lenders’ Forum meeting held on February 20, wherein the lenders had sought additional funding from shareholders. Led by State Bank of India, the lenders, including China Development Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank, also stated that Aircel will have to cease operations in case shareholders decline to infuse funds. Maxis holds a 74 per cent stake in the company, while the remaining 26 per cent is held by Sindya Securities & Investments.

Aircel, in its board meeting, also said that the Department of Telecommunications is unlikely to release its ₹450-crore bank guarantee in the wake of recent reports on its insolvency, sources said.

Earlier in the month, three board members — Suneeta Reddy, Uthaya Kumar and Umesh Jain — resigned. One of them said there were multiple issues, including failure to take the company to Srategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) and lack of contingency plans. The director also claimed that the crisis could have been averted if Aircel had brought in a corporate debtor and put a solvency plan in place.
Later, on February 18, Aircel inducted three new board members — Prakash Radheshyam Mishra, Sandeep Vats and Lakshmi Subramanian — in place of those who resigned.

A source close to Aircel said: “The management had a plan to make the company viable and successful, including engaging with bankers for SDR. This was signed on January 25, but the RBI, in a February 12 circular, cancelled all SDRs and CDRs and mandated all resolutions have to be made in 180 days”. Aircel is now approaching the NCLT for revival, he added. An e-mail sent to Aircel went unanswered at the time of going to press. (Source: The Hindu Business Line)

Electronic security firm Zicom bets big on IoT, eyes revenue of ₹200 cr by 2020

Electronic security firm Zicom bets big on IoT, eyes revenue of ₹200 cr by 2020Electronic security systems player Zicom on Sunday said it is looking at significant growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) and SaaS market place to clock a service revenue of about ₹200 crore by 2020.

“Zicom has moved from being a pure play, physical security company into an IoT and SaaS IT Services business model. With the exponential internet penetration growing in the country, Zicom is all set to take full advantage to become the market leader within the Internet of Things (IoT) and SaaS place,” Pramoud Rao, Managing Director, Zicom Electronic Security System, told PTI here.

“We have notched up a revenue of around ₹50 crore in fiscal 2017 and expect to reach service revenue of ₹175 crore to ₹200 crore by 2020,” he said. “We are now looking at new avenues to grow the business by adopting newer technologies, like artificial intelligence. We are also investing in deep learning in the domain of access control as well as towards introducing voice-based security services under the Amazon, Alexa platform,” Rao said.

IoT growth prospects
The IoT market continues to see strong growth. The worldwide IoT market spend will grow from $625.2 billion in 2015 to $1.29 trillion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6 per cent, he said. The installed base of IoT end points will grow from $12.1 billion at the end of 2015 to more than $30 billion by 2020. The Indian security industry is in a state of big transition due to SaaS, IoT, smart city and safe city trends, he added. In 2013, the company started taking steps towards gaining leadership in the IoT space. It has set up the country’s largest command and control centre with service network in over 1,100 cities.

The approach was to provide business intelligence using safety and security, club it with loss prevention features, offering information on the mobile devises, Rao said. The Indian security market in 2017, according to Gartner, is growing at the rate of 10.6 per cent, from $1.24 billion and the number of connected devices in India is estimated to be around $200 million. This is expected to increase $3 billion in 2020.

Hence, it augurs well for the security market in India and players such as Zicom will have major role to play in the coming years, he said.

Reactive to proactive
Since the business model offers considerable cost reduction, without the customer having to invest or manage the equipment, Zicom’s pioneering concept met up with huge success since the USP offered by the company was a huge paradigm shift within the security industry, namely CCTVs systems always recorded a crime, Zicom prevented the crime, from reactive to being proactive, Rao said. In the case of ATM e-surveillance, the cost of managing an ATM was averaging between ₹30,000-40,000 for the bank. By using the e-surveillance technology, the cost was reduced to a mere ₹4,000. This saved the bank almost 90 per cent on the safety and security cost, he added. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Online players outnumber TV broadcasters for IPL media rights

Online players outnumber TV broadcasters for IPL media rightsDigital media platforms seem to outnumber traditional broadcasters when it comes to bidding for the rights of the Indian Premier League. A total of 24 players have picked up the tender documents and are already in the fray for the auction to the media rights, which is scheduled to open on September 4. The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be conducting the bidding on Monday. Industry observers point that a slew of digital players in the bidding process signifies the growing importance of online as a category.

Companies will be bidding for two major categories -- broadcast and digital (Internet and mobile) rights. Besides linear broadcasters such as Star India and Sony Pictures Network, new entrants in the digital category include Reliance Jio Digital, Amazon Seller Service, Yupp TV, Airtel, Twitter, ESPN Digital Media, Times Internet, Facebook, Yahoo, BAMTech and DAZN/Perform group, among others.
Several company spokespersons BusinessLine spoke with indicated that they would be bidding for the media rights.

“Viewers want anytime, anywhere convenience of watching. With data packages getting cheaper, it is only imperative that this viewership is going to grow in coming years and live events are a sure short bet,” digital broadcasters point. According to experts, BCCI could make windfall gains of Rs. 13,000-Rs 15,000 crore.

According to Duff & Phelps, a premier global valuation and corporate finance advisor, the overall value of IPL as a business has increased to $5.3 billion from $4.2 billion last year. Duff & Phelps, which brought out the report IPL: The Decade Edition: A Concise Report on Brand Values in the Indian Premier League, also had said the new broadcasting rights auction will be a keenly watched development.

“The BCCI is clearly set for a huge windfall. We could be looking at a television broadcasting deal of record proportions. This deal may follow the precedent set by some of the big-ticket broadcasting deals across the world,” Santosh N, MD-Valuation Advisory Services, Duff & Phelps said in a statement.

Duff and Phelps also noted that digital content is becoming a very strong medium of social media engagement for sports viewers.
BCCI auctions were to be held on August 28. However, it was pushed to September 4 as a case regarding electronic auctions was pending in the Supreme Court.

Currently, Sony Pictures Network has the broadcast rights until this year’s IPL edition. It had paid Rs. 8,200 crore for a 10-year deal in 2008. The digital rights of IPL wrests with Star India. BCCI had said the digital rights for the last three years had fetched just over Rs. 300 crore.

All the rights will be for a period of five years from 2018-2022. Vinod Rai, the Chairman of the Committee of Administrators, was appointed by the Supreme Court of India in January to supervise the BCCI to ensure that it worked according to the guidelines of the Lodha recommendation.


  • Auction postponed to Sep 4 from Aug 28
  • 24 bidders in fray including host of digital players
  • TV broadcast, mobile and digital rights are major categories for which companies are set to bid
  • New rights will be for a five-year period 2018-2022
    (Source : The Hindu BusinessLine)
Smart Health: Oracle

Smart Health: Oracle“As India’s masses experience the benefits of technology in every aspect of their lives, the demand for access to smarter technologies in healthcare is more than ever before. Giving citizens access to smart healthcare facilities is a key priority for the Government and it has emerged as an important aspect of any smart city plan. For smart technologies to take off in healthcare, there is a need to eliminate duplicate patient identities and have a single point of reference that would include information about the patient, his/her healthcare needs, doctor and other healthcare entities.

This single point of reference enables real-time availability of unified, trusted data for strategic healthcare initiatives including: population health management, care coordination, patient satisfaction and healthcare analytics. To see a LIVE Demo of Oracle’s Smart Health solution in addition to solutions like Smart Parking, Smart Water, Smart Mobility, Safe City, Smart Waste Management and many more, visit Oracle OpenWorld in Pragati Maidan on May 09 & 10. Register here. Click on the enclosed case study to understand how Health Sciences South Carolina has achieved interoperability across multiple facilities.

Health Sciences South Carolina Improves Community-Wide Care Quality and Research”
(Source: Convergence Plus)

I&B Ministry to look at ways to boost community radios

I&B Ministry to look at ways to boost community radiosEarlier this week, I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing community radio stations.
In a bid to promote community radio stations in the country, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will analyse the business models of successful community radio stations operating at present. Sources said this will be done as part of the Ministry’s efforts to facilitate development of sustainable and robust business models of community radio stations and propagate best practices, as part of the hand-holding process for aspiring applicants.

It will also look at ways to further simplify, fast-track and streamline the process of approval for licenses needed to run community radio stations, sources added.
Community radio stations are set up by educational institutions, universities as well as non-government organisations (NGOs) and are largely focused on development issues concerning the communities in regional languages and dialect.
At present, 202 community radio stations are operational across the country.
Earlier this week, I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing community radio stations.
He pointed out that the Ministry had recently enhanced the subsidy amount for setting up community radio stations from 50 per cent to 90 per cent in the north-eastern States and 75 per cent in other States, subject to maximum limit of ₹7.5 lakh.
In January, the Ministry gave permission to community radio stations to broadcast news and current affairs sourced from All India Radio, besides introducing other amendments to ease the way for setting up such stations.
The Indian Institute of Mass Communication will also offer consultancy and training services on running community radio stations, as it is setting up an empowerment and resource centre at its campus.
So far, the Ministry has organised 79 workshops to create awareness among aspiring applicants about issues relating to setting up, operation and maintenance of community radio stations.
The Committee has also recommended further enhancing awareness and streamlining the clearance process for setting up community radio stations. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Flipkart in consolidation mode for Ekart, shuts down months-old services

Flipkart in consolidation mode for Ekart, shuts down months-old servicesOnline marketplace Flipkart is looking at consolidating business of its in-house supply chain arm, Ekart Logistics. The company has suspended the customer-to-customer courier service within months of its launch. It has also pulled the plug on hyperlocal delivery services being piloted across Bengaluru since March last year.

"Beginning February 5, Ekart no longer operates its customer-to-customer courier service started in May 2016, that gave people the option of having documents and parcels packed by Ekart's delivery boys and shipped to end-addresses," the company said in response to ET's emailed queries. The move is aimed at "consolidating the service offerings of Ekart, to sharpen its focus on its core business model", the company said.

Ekart processes 30,000-40,000 orders a day for third-party businesses excluding the volumes generated by Flipkart and Flipkart-owned fashion portal Myntra.

It will continue its core ecommerce offerings, including third-party logistics services to ecommerce players such as Paytm and ShopClues. It will also continue to provide warehousing and fulfilment facilities to larger retail clients such as Madura Garments.
The changes come after Ekart head Saikiran Krishnamurthy left the company last month and Nitin Seth took over the role in addition to his responsibilities as the chief operating officer. The reshuffle in top management has been linked to Tiger Global's Kalyan Krishnamurthy taking over as CEO of the company to streamline expenses.

In an interview to ET before his exit on January 5, Saikiran Krishnamurthy had indicated that over the next two years half of Ekart's business would come from servicing third-party players, who account for only 10% of the business handled by the company. The Ekart brand was acquired by Flipkart under a company called Instakart Services in 2015 from WS retail, the primary seller on the platform. Since then, it has been the flagship vertical for cofounder Binny Bansal, who initiated the process of bringing external business for Ekart to monetise excess capacities and create an independent logistics vertical. (Source: Economic Times)

Dish TV: Merger gains outweigh integration challenges

Dish TVWhile the Dish TV stock is up 7% since the announcement of its merger with Videocon d2h (d2h), there are no near-term gains for Dish TV shareholders. Any major re-rating of the stock, say analysts, would depend on the integration and unlocking of synergies between the two companies, and this will take time as the deal is expected to fructify only in the second half of 2017.

Also, there would not be any immediate gains because the deal has not come cheap. Given the share-swap ratio, which will entail offering 85.8 million new shares to d2h shareholders, the deal ascribes an equity value for d2h at Rs 7,500 crore and an enterprise value (EV) of Rs 9,042 crore. Given its market capitalisation (m-cap) of Rs 5,560 crore (as on November 10), the shareholders of Nasdaq-listed d2h have got a 35% premium.

Phillip Capital’s Manoj Behera believes that prima facie, the deal looks expensive, given the 7.4 times enterprise value-Ebitda ratio for d2h, which is in line with Dish TV’s current trading multiple. “d2h was barely able to service its debts and was burdened with high cost debt of Rs 1,540 crore with an average cost of debt at 16-17%,” he says. For FY16, d2h had an Ebitda of Rs 800 crore, while the cost side included a capex of Rs 700 crore and an interest expense of Rs 300 crore. Emkay analysts, however, say the deal is fairly valued considering the high growth rate of d2h and potential savings for the merged entity.

The deal valuation will look justified only if the merged entity can extract synergies, which are pegged at Rs 500-600 crore in FY19 as it then becomes value-accretive for Dish TV. The biggest saving is expected to come from lower content costs. The reason for this is the birth of a powerhouse in terms of subscriber base. The merged entity would have a combined subscriber base of 27.6 million with 10% being HD subscribers. This will translate into a market share of 40% in the DTH (direct-to-home) segment, 19% of the pay TV market (cable + DTH) and 16% of all TV households.

This subscriber base will give Dish TV the power to negotiate with broadcasters for lower content costs. d2h’s content cost per subscriber at Rs 72 is 48% higher than that for Dish TV. On this cost head alone, analysts believe volume-based discounts should help the merged entity get savings of Rs 150 crore per annum. The other savings will be on transponder costs as both companies pay about Rs 150-170 crore each annually and this can come down by about 40%.

The higher subscriber base will also help the company increase ancillary revenues from charging a higher carriage fee as well as advertising revenues. Both companies generate Rs 130-150 crore each from these two sources annually and this could double for the merged entity. Given revenues of Rs 3,000 crore, this constitutes just five % of their individual turnover but could become an important source of incremental revenues and margins. Further, a common administrative infrastructure should help save 10-15 % on overall expenditure.

All these should reflect in the operating profit margins to improve by about 300 basis points over the next couple of years. While margins were at 33 % for both in the first half of FY17, this should move towards 36-37% in FY19. The company for now intends to keep its multiple brand strategy (Dish, Zing, d2h) going given the strength of the brands, customer base and segments it is targeting. The combined distribution reach in urban and rural areas will also help it expand its presence.(Source:Business Standard)

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