Perspective | Radio & TV Broadcaster's expectations from the Budget
The Union Budget for the Financial Year 2015-16 is just a day away and everyone is eyeing on what it brings to the table. Be it the aam aadmi, or various industries or the media. This time we at Adgully caught up with some of the broadcasters to know what they expect from the Union Budget 2015-16. Here’s a sneak peek into what some of them had to say.
Ritu Dhawan, MD & CEO, India TV said, “From this budget we expect the Broadcasting Industry shall be granted the infrastructure status in order to further push the digitization agenda of the government. We also expect a clarification that the transponder hire charges are not same as ‘Royalty’.”
Adding to which she said, “Additionally, we expect the reduction of customs duty on set top boxes to the earlier 5%. This we believe shall be important in order to stimulate growth of digitization in phase 3 & 4.”
Nisha Narayanan, COO, 93.5 RED FM said, “Phase III would definitely increase the market size and hence we are looking at it as an opportunity. However as the auctions are going in batchwise format, and all these are Phase 2 leftover frequencies, these are all markets which have seen radio evolving hence we expect a moderate growth in terms of industry size.”
Speaking about how 2014 was, she said, “RED FM registered healthy double digit growth – in the range of 20-25% YoY in first 3 quarters of the year. The good thing about this growth was that it was registered in almost all stations where we are operating. While there was a positive growth in volume, a lot of it can also be contributed to the rate correction give was long overdue.”
She added, “For us North& West stations grew most followed by South and Central India. In East we saw good growth happening from major cities like Guwahati, Bhubaneswar and Jamshedpur which was not only driven thru the FCT business but also through initiatives like RED LIVES and Activations.”
While they also expect to maintain the momentum of growth in double digit and at the same time make the brand RED bigger by taking the NTR properties like RED LiVE & RED Bandstand to mini metros as well.
On asking expectations from the budget this year, Harrish Bhatia, CEO, MY FM, said, “Firstly, As the auction for the Phase III have been announced, we want auctions to get completed soon which will open exciting opportunities for the entire industry. Now radio will grow to its true potential. Secondly we want the restriction in news broadcasting by Government for private radio channels should be removed to prevent content differentiation. Thirdly, the copyright board is also not in place which has left the music royalty issue unresolved and it will have negative impact going forward on Phase III. Fourthly, on DAVP rates, the government has been unable to create a price model which is linked to listenership and pays radio stations according to it in a particular city, currently old radio station (before 2007) get dis-proportionately higher price and new radio stations get unexpectedly lower price. We want the government to look at these issues this year for the industry growth.”
By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit