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ITV Network to launch India's first ultra HD channel
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Breaking News :  ITV Network to launch India's first ultra HD channel
European networks TERN (Television
Entertainment Reality Network) SES
has tied up with India's ITV Network
to launch Insight, a UHD (ultra-high
definition) factual entertainment
channel. The channel will feature
content, co-created alongside global
production houses, including Zodiak
Media, Off the Fence and Strix
Television. The launch would be
announced at MIPCOM on October 5 and
would reach around 60 million homes in
Europe and India.
Mariam Zamaray, chief executive of
TERN, said, “With viewers increasingly
watching content on multiple devices,
broadcasters and advertisers must
continually find new ways to connect
with viewers.”
“In response, Insight goes beyond
simple viewer interaction to
incentivise and reward audience
engagement. We are investing in
creative, cost-effective and
innovative ways to produce the best
UHD content.”
ITV Network will be in charge of
distribution in India. Currently, UHD
is a fairly new service on direct-to-
home platforms like Tata Sky and
Videcon d2h. Due to the lack of UHD
content, both these operators provide
programmes on their respective UHD
Factual entertainment is a space that
seen a lot of traction for HD content
and consumption. The documentaries
make use of the superior resolution
to provide a detailed viewing
experience and hence, the genre has
seen good response to the HD
platform. Production houses and
broadcasters like BBC productions and
Discovery already have content that is
shot is UHD globally.
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MUMBAI: Netherlands-based Television
Entertainment Reality Network (TERN) has
teamed up with Kartikeya Sharma’s iTV Network
to launch an ultra-high definition (UHD) factual
entertainment channel called Insight in India.
As part of the partnership, iTV Network will
operate the channel in India on behalf of TERN. It
will hold the licence for the channel. It will also
oversee transmission, distribution and ad sales of
the channel.
TERN will provide the content. It has co-created
200 hours of exclusive content for the channel
alongside industry-leading production houses
including Zodiak Media, KIEM and Strix.
The channel, which went live today in Europe, will
be launched in India as and when a deal is inked
with a distribution platform.
TERN is owned by a UK-based company called
General Satellite, which provides technology
solutions to pay TV platforms.
“We are launching a UHD factual entertainment
channel in Europe today. In India, we have
partnered with iTV Network as our local partner
for playout and broadcasting the channel. Content
is owned by us, iTV will run the channel on our
behalf. They also have the licence for the
channel,” TERN CFO Andrew Spriggs told
“We are relying on them as our technical partner
for playout and satellite broadcast in India. We
are working with them on a revenue basis as a
distributor to position ourselves with our bouquet
of channels into the main pay TV platform and
then extract advertising revenue out of it,” he
The partnership is limited to linear platforms. For
non-linear platforms, TERN will chart an
independent strategy.
Without ruling out the JV route in future, Spriggs
clarified that there is as of now no joint venture
or equity component in the partnership.
“At the moment, there is no JV or equity
partnership. We are working closely with them,
and downstream our conversation might move
down that direction, but I can’t comment on that
any further at this point,” he stated.
The tie-up is part of iTV Network’s expansion
plans, which include venturing into regional
entertainment besides adding to the existing fleet
of news channels. It already owns and operates
seven news channels including NewsX in English
and India News in Hindi.
Spriggs revealed that the Indian partner is in
negotiations with leading multi-system operators
(MSOs) and direct-to-home (DTH) platforms to
distribute the channel.
The large take-off of UHD TV sets globally as well
as in India has prompted TERN to launch a UHD
channel. Unlike most linear channels Insight will
have interactivity so that viewers can chat about
the content on social media.
In India, the two partners will pursue an ad-plus-
subscription revenue model. On the distribution
front, TERN prefers a revenue-share model so
that everyone has investment in the success.
“The business model is effectively going to be pay
TV subscription model, which we will use to
engage with advertisers. With UHD, at least you
are able to engage the audience closely and wrap
it around social media applications,” he averred.
Apart from TV, TERN plans to monetise its
content on non-linear platforms. “We will be
offering our content on over-the-top platforms
and video-on-demand as well,” Spriggs said.
On the content front, the channel will have reality
shows, documentary formats and sports
programmes targeting the 18–45 male
demographics. The aim is to get into sports that
appeal to people in the Indian subcontinent going
“The first step is programming for global audience
in English. Developing localised programming is
one of the important things, which is why we
have aligned with a partner like iTV Network in
India,” he pointed out.
Spriggs expects the channel to be in a financially
strong position in 18–24 months. The channel
will be subsequently rolled out in other markets
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