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THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY

An ITP Business Publication | MAY 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 05

ICFLIX

Looking forward to the region’s first media streaming service this summer

MOVING TO HD

A look at the methods behind up-converting content

Zee to add two new Arabic channels; Icflix to debut regional media streaming; Youssef El Deeb leaves Takhayal

Mukund Cairae, Territory head, MENA, Pakistan and Turkey, Zee Network

LEADING THE PACK

Zee Network is determined to wow the Arabic audience


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CONTENTS VOLUME 6 / ISSUE 5

MAY 2013

03 Update Zee to add two new Arabic channels; Icflix to debut regional media streaming; Youssef El Deeb leaves Takhayal.

24 Understanding HD A look at how HD content is gaining ground and what it means for the industry.

34 Suppliers to know This week we focus on manufacturers of broadcast servers.

18

8 hd moving to hd A look at the methods and equipment behind upconverting SD content to HD.

12 Media streaming Stream away An interview with Icflix, the MENA region’s first media streaming service.

08

18 cover story leading the pack Mukund Cairae, territory head for Zee Network speaks about the network’s direction for 2013.

12

39 Data A look at the most popular search engines in the Arab world.

05 06

40 Test Card Digital Broadcast Middle East talks to the VP, Europe and Middle East of Intelsat.

www.digitalproductionme.com

24 40

34 MAY 2013 01


COMMENT

The winds of change cometh In the days of yore, the TV was a little orange box that sat atop your refrigerator and had alien-shaped antennae that the man of the house would constantly be fiddling with to deliver the most crisp reception. Programming was in black and white, and the quality of sound was tinny at best. The funny thing was, at the time, everyone was amazed with the quality that this little box bore. It delivered some of history’s most epic events like the landing on the moon, or the bombing of Hiroshima. It brought joy, tears, anger, fear and concern – basically every single human emotion, purely through its content. It was the centrepiece of discussion at Bingo tables and gentleman’s clubs. In short, it was blooming fantastic. Fast forward to today, and the TV has evolved into a slim, sleek, almost beautiful part of your home’s furniture. Lost is the ugly antenna, picture quality is in true colour and clarity is so realistic, you’d be hard pressed to think that a frog in the Amazon could really be so many hues of green and have a glistening dew drop on its left webbed foot. That is the power of HD. Quality, clarity, realism and, frighteningly authentic surround sound. This is why in this month’s issue, we have not one but two features explaining how the technology works and what this means for broadcasters. We also interview Mukund Cairae, territory head for the MENA, Pakistan and Turkey at

02 MAY 2013

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP Business Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director, ITP Business Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham

Zee Network. Cairae is a passionate leader in the broadcast community and heads a division that can be as challenging as it is exciting. He speaks about the direction Zee is going in for the year and also let us in on some exciting future announcements. Read more about this on page 18 of the issue. Now, if you’re a movie buff and if you thought, the summer was going to be boring, let me try to change your mind about leaving town. The first ever media streaming service for the region is debuting this June. Sure the Netflixes and Hulus have been around for a while, but this form of new media was never legally available in the region until now. Icflix promises to bring its subscribers the best content from Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood, with its immense library of movies, drama, documentaries and TV series’, all to the comfort of your own home. We interview the brains behind the brawn and bring you an exclusive look at how the service will alter the course of history in the region. Read about this further on page 12 of the magazine. As always I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions on the current issue. Please send them through to me on the email address below. Have a lovely May.

Editorial

Clayton VALLABHAN Editor (clayton.vallabhan@itp.com)

Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact itpimages@itp.com for further details or visit www.itpimages.com.

Editor Clayton Vallabhan Tel: +971 4 444 3682 email: clayton.vallabhan@itp.com Advertising Sales Director Peter Davis Tel: +971 4 444 3741 email: peter.davis@itp.com Sales Manager Nitesh Patel Tel: +971 4 444 3272 email: nitesh.patel@itp.com Sales Manager Napoleon Estampador Tel: +971 4 444 3381 email: napoleon.estampador@itp.com Japan Advertising Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: + 81 354 568230 email: ua9m-tcy@asahi-net.or.jp Studio Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon Designer Aaron Sutton Photography Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Verko Ignjatovic, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav Production & Distribution Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Production Coordinator Nelly Pereira Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami Circulation Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati Marketing Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP Digital Digital Publishing Director Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 email: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Sales Manager, B2B Digital Riad Raad Tel: +971 4 444 3319 email: riad.raad@itp.com ITP Group Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000

Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions

Visit us online For the latest news, analysis and reviews from the Middle East content delivery, media management and new media distribution business head to www. digitalproductionme.com

The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and Copyright © 2013 ITP Business Publishing, a division of ITP Business Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.

www.digitalproductionme.com


THE BRIEFING

CONTENT

Zee to add two new Arabic channels The first has a focus on wellness; the type of content for the other is yet undisclosed Mukund Cairae: Territory head, Zee Network.

Zee Network will launch a yet unnamed health and wellness channel after Ramadan this year. The channel will be focused on providing quality exercise and well being programming to Arabic viewers in the region. The channel will be broadcast in HD to viewers, and is being produced in the US. The content will then be repurposed to be relevant to Zee’s Arabic audience. Besides this launch, the Zee Network is also looking to add another Arabic channel to its bouquet for the GCC, however details regarding the

This (Ditto) will be marketed as a subscription-based family pack, where there will be nearly 15 channels, including HD channels, that can be watched by our viewers. MUKUND CAIRAE Territory head, Zee Network.

type of programming it will contain are yet to be released. Mukund Cairae, territory head, Zee Network, MENA, Turkey and Pakistan said: “In 2013, we are looking to consolidate and grow the Arabic offering and we have two channel launches in this calendar year. This launch will be post-Ramadan; one would be HD and targeting the wellness segment - mind, body and soul. It is produced in HD, produced in America for the Americans, but we are now bringing it to the audience here. It will be repurposed for the Arabic audience which will mean the promos and subtitling will be completely in Arabic. So it is not a mainstream channel but rather one targeted to the health conscious individual.” Zee will also be bringing its users a live-streaming platform via Ditto, an OTT company it acquired last year. Ditto essentially delivers live-streaming of channels and VoD content, and subscribers can opt for the service through distributors in the region. Cairae said: “It delivers live-streaming of all our channels on your tablet, smartphone, laptop and any other connected device. This will be marketed as a subscription-based family pack, where there will be nearly 15 channels, including HD channels, that can be watched by our viewers.” For more details, read our exclusive interview with Mukund Cairae on page 18 of the magazine.

RESEARCH

Likelihood of tablet owners to buy media content Market research indicates that tablet owners are more likely to buy incremental content than notebook or desktop owners. The most preferred content purchased online are e-newspapers, e-books, music and movies.

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Others TV Downloads E-Magazines Movies Music

24% 30% 32% 42% 45%

E-Book

50%

E-newspapers

50%

MAY 2013 03


THE BRIEFING

Discovery Communications has announced that Youssef El Deeb, the founder and chairman of Takhayal Entertainment will leave the company this month. El Deeb was instrumental in the launch and success of Fatafeat. Discovery Communications acquired Takhayal Entertainment and its related companies including Fatafeat in November last year. Fatafeat is an extremely popular 24-hour, free-to-air cookery channel that boasts a studio with a library of over 700 hours of programming. It broadcasts to over 55-million households in the Middle East and North Africa.

Eutelsat 3D readies for launch on May 14 Eutelsat’s 3D satellite has arrived at the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is now undergoing final preparations for launch by a Proton Breeze M rocket supplied by ILS. The rocket will launch on May 14 at 1602 GMT with spacecraft separation occurring after a nine hour and 13 minute flight. Eutelsat 3D will initially be located at the 3-degrees East orbital position to address high-growth video, data, telecom and broadband markets. 04 MAY2013

BROADCAST BRIEFS

Youssef El Deeb leaves Takhayal

BUSINESS

Icflix to debut regional media streaming The service will offer English, Hindi and Arabic cinema content Icflix is the region’s first online streaming media platform which is set to launch subscriptionbased on-demand services in the MENA region this June. The platform will stream licensed content from Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (Arabic content) including movies, TV series, sports, children’s programming, exclusive content and much more. Content can be accessed over a wide range of devices including desktop computers, smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. The company has announced that the $11.99 per month subscription cost to the service is aimed at being affordable and accessible to all. Premium content that is outside the library will be offered on an ‘on-demand’ basis, and will be charged for separately. Fadi Mehio, chairman of Icflix, said: “Icflix is about giving people choices, about catering to a

new way of living that technology has made possible. This region consumes more online video content than any other in the world, and Icflix was created to satisfy that demand, to give people the ultimate experience in online entertainment.” Read our exclusive interview with Icflix on page 12 of this issue. Fadi Mehio: Chairman of Icflix.

Snell talks On-Demand The platform will enable processing on cost-effective IT infrastructure Snell has announced its Snell On-Demand platform, a media processing framework designed to provide on-demand access to Snell’s image processing algorithms in file, virtualised broadcast, and digital media environments. The launch of the Snell On-Demand framework marks the beginning of the company’s migration of its imageprocessing tools from dedicated hardware platforms to software-based applications that can be provisioned in file, cloud-based, and virtualised infrastructures. “Snell On-Demand offers the broad-

cast and media industry the opportunity to take a major step forward in service innovation and workflow efficiency,” said Simon Derry, CEO at Snell. “With Snell On Demand, Snell is putting the cost/benefit equation fairly and squarely into the hands of the customer. It’s very simple — customers can choose to buy as much or as little processing resource as fits their business model secure in the knowledge that Snell products derived from the Snell On-Demand framework will give them the best possible quality results from world-leading media processing tools.” www.digitalproductionme.com


THE BRIEFING

technology

Al Madar starts twofour54 operation The new Iraqi channel will benefit from the expertise of intaj’s umbrella Al Madar TV has commenced broadcasting over the entire MENA region from twofour54. Al Madar TV will benefit from twofour54 intaj’s expertise in facilitating world class content; its production facilities, including 500 square metres of studio space, and an internationally experienced Arabic speaking production team, helping to enable Al Madar’s new entertainment service to go live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Working with twofour54 intaj, and using its playout services, Al Madar TV will be airing an exciting mix of original and acquired TV shows to viewers across the Middle East with an emphasis on family general entertainment genres in full HD quality. twofour54 intaj have provided an HD and tapeless solution, that includes content acquisition, media asset management, post production, broadcast services and connectivity. Complementing existing news ser-

Al Madar TV is a new Iraqi channel with a focus on family entertainment in full HD quality.

vices currently broadcasting from Abu Dhabi, Al Madar TV is planning to expand soon into online broadcasting utilizing the latest technological solutions. Owned by Tigris Media Company, Al Madar TV aims to promote Iraq’s cultural

values and to celebrate its rich heritage. Committed to social responsibility and to the empowerment of Iraqis, Al Madar TV plans to train and develop Iraqi talent that will help propel a vibrant Iraqi media industry.

HP spruces up Z workstations with Fusion-io HP is demonstrating its expansion in the media and entertainment industry with its Z Workstations. The manufacturer is working with Fusion-io to integrate the Fusion-ioFX memory tier into its Z-Series workstations. These workstations are aimed at creative professionals that work in deadline-driven segments of media and entertainment, enabling them to create visual effects and edit movie content. “Our customers are continually pushing the limits of their www.digitalproductionme.com

HP’s Z workstations will now work with Wozniak’s Fusion-io.

creativity and requiring consistent technology performance improvements from one project to the next,” said Jeff Wood, vice president, Worldwide Product Management, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “ “The Fusion ioFX brings the intelligence of the Fusion-io approach to HP’s incredible workstations, adding even more powerful application performance to the precision engineering HP is known for around the world.” said Steve Wozniak, chief scientist, Fusion-io. MAY 2013 05


THE BRIEFING

Infocomm 2013 Orange County Convention Centre Orlando, Florida Designed for professionals in the audiovisual, information communications and systems integration industries, InfoComm showcases the latest technologies for audio, video, display, projection, lighting and staging, digital signage, conferencing, digital content creation, networking, signal distribution and much more.

UPCOMING EVENTS

JUNE 8-14

CONTENT

ADM completes phase one of archive project More than three million items have been digitised so far Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) has announced the successful completion of the first phase of its digital archiving initiative, which has seen the restoration and conversion of more than three million of the company’s rare and historical media materials into digital form, using the latest

JUNE 18-21

BroadcastAsia 2013 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore BroadcastAsia serves as the regional launch pad for the latest and most wideranging technologies by some of the biggest and most promising enterprises from around the world. It’s 4-day programme delivers an immersive networking and trade experience for relevant professionals.

ADM has completed phase one of its digital archiving.

digital archiving technology. ADM’s digital archiving project is a nine-year program that aims to restore and protect the company’s historical videos, sound files and documents, by converting them into a secure digital format. Set for completion in 2020, the archiving project is divided into a number of stages, beginning with the foundation phase, which ADM has successfully completed on time over the past two-years. Abu Dhabi Media will be engaging an international archiving firm, with expertise in this type of digital archiving, to partner with the company and oversee the remaining stages of the project, in order to ensure it is completed according to international best-practice.

Al Aan chooses Thurya IP+ The network deploys new terminals for satellite news gathering

SEPTEMBER 12-17

IBC 2013 RAI, Amsterdam IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) attracts more than 50,000 attendees from more than 160 countries, IBC combines a highly respected and peer-reviewed conference with an exhibition that exhibits more than 1400 leading suppliers of state of the art electronic media technology and provides unrivalled networking opportunities for industry professionals.

06 MAY2013

Al Aan TV is to deploy Thuraya IP+ ter- data transfer and VoIP applications, minals alongside local Thuraya ser- as well as access to corporate netvice partner Cygnus. works from remote locations. The Thuraya IP+ mobile satellite Al Aan TV’s head of technical, Raad broadband terminal is designed to Haddadin, said: “We evaluated the achieve the fastest IP speeds, ensur- Thuraya IP+ and were impressed ing quick and reliable access to with the terminal’s outstanding broadband data services features. The terminal meets over Thuraya’s extenour stringent requirements sive satellite network. for security, reliability FAST FACT Enhanced capabiliand portability for our ties facilitate a wide field correspondents range of applications who have come to rely The Year Al Aan TV including high-quality on Thuraya’s mobile satwas launched video broadcasting, web ellite products and serbrowsing, email, social vices to bring the news to media communications, our viewers.”

2006

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THE BRIEFING

SCENE CHANGE

IABM

ABS

RIEDEL

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The IABM has announced that it has appointed Dennis Triola to the role of sales and business development manager for North America. In this position, Triola will focus on developing and augmenting the association’s sales of training courses and market intelligence, as well as its membership recruitment.

Felix Damiba has been appointed as the MD of Africa for Asia Broadcast Satellites. Damiba’s responsibilities include business development, managing sales and operations for Africa. Damiba was the sales director at Comtech EF Data with a strong track record for both commercial and government clients.

Riedel Communications has announced the appointment of Daniel Huard as sales manager for Canada. In this role with Riedel, Huard will work to increase awareness and adoption of the company’s products in broadcast, entertainment, and sports event applications, and to continue the growth of Riedel’s rental services.

ATG Broadcast announced a new addition to its management team with the appointment of Charles Neil McCaw as Head of Solutions. In this capacity, he will be responsible for creating commercially and technically viable system proposals for ATG Broadcast’s UK and international operations.

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MAY 2013 07


UPSCALING TO HD

08 MAY 2013

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Upscaling to HD

Moving to With HD becoming the current standard, many broadcasters are looking at up-scaling their existing library of SD content to HD levels so that they can offer viewers the best picture. Up-conversion can be performed in two ways, through specialised hardware or through software algorithms.

U

p-scaling to HD is the process of John Ive, director of business development and converting a video signal from technology at IABM explains that as High Definition bea lower resolution like standard comes increasingly prevalent, up-scaling is essential to definition, to a format that is enable HD channels to broadcast the content. Standard higher than the input format. Definition libraries that can’t be used or monetised have This process is also known as no use or value in an HD world without up-scaling. up-conversion and an example Up-conversion is a fairly intensive video process that could be converting a standard can take place in real-time with ASIC (Applications Spedefinition (SD) signal from 720i to high definition (HD) cific Integrated Circuits) and FPGA (Field Programmable quality of 1080i. Gate Arrays), as well as in software-based video processAspect ratio is also equally important, and is an inteing on PC type platforms, according to Stan Moote, VP of gral part of the process so that the output display can fit business development at Harris Broadcast. the screen and pixilation is minimal. An imporHe says: “To properly up-convert, the video tant factor often overlooked is the quality of is de-interlaced and typically moved into sound. During conversion to HD, audio components. Complex algorithms fast fact quality must also be converted from analyse the motion within the picture SD to surround sound, to provide the and build predictive models to fool ultimate HD experience. This process the user into visually obtaining a is called up-mixing. high definition equivalent signal. The The aspect ratio for HD viewing of The reason up-scaling is becomAspect ratio also needs to be changed content ing increasingly important nowadays into 16x9. This can be done by adding is primarily due to the “evolution of in side-panels, often called wings from a what the customer expects today in terms graphics generator, by stretching or simply of a viewing experience. With the advent of enlarging the 4x3 image and cropping off the high definition television, the development of source top and bottom areas.”   components needs to match the resolution capabilities Ive thinks up-scaling can be both simple and comof delivery platforms,” according to Athreyan Sundaraplex; the differences are determined by the cost and firajan, head of marketing for Fox International Channels, nal quality. Not only do the horizontal and vertical pixel Middle East. counts need to be considered but much legacy content

16x9

MAY 2013 09


Upscaling to HD

is based upon interlace scanning. High Definition has both interlace and non-interlace variants but both need careful and complex de-interlacing of the source content. An example of poor quality up-scaling can be seen in low-cost consumer TVs and computer displays where lines are doubled rather than properly interpolated. The resultant pictures show additional artefacts beyond those already described and can look worse. These can often look not very much better than the original low resolution images, which can defeat the purpose. So what is the cost of an up-conversion? Is it something that broadcasters will be looking at investing in? Cristiano Benzi, director of video service at Eutelsat says: “The cost of an up-converter can vary significantly depending on the algorithm implemented. Various pre-processing, filtering and interpolation techniques are used by manufacturers, often covered by patents, which therefore impact the complexity and quality of the up-converted signal and ultimately on the cost of the up-converter.” Sundararajan of Fox agrees and says costs: “entirely depend on the kind of architecture one resorts to. But on a fundamental basis – the infrastructure is either hardware or software based solutions. Hardware solutions could start from $100,000, while software could be upwards of $15,000.” Moote says the price of up-conversion has steadily decreased over time, as HD rolled out worldwide. “In the late ‘90s, up-converters could cost more than $100,000. There are up-conversion products on the market today in the $2K-4K range. For maintenance purposes, either 1RU or modular platforms typically have redundant power supplies and can be setup in an N + 1 redundancy system or easily swapped out if a problem should occur.” Ive brings in a different perspective. He says: “Costs can be from zero for a simple software solution to considerable expense for hardware alternatives. In some cases the real cost is in the manpower and time associated with processing the content.” He also says in the case of a playout centre which may have dedicated hardware for each channel in order to simulcast in different formats, the cost boils down to the hardware, space and power consumption. Space is even more important if this applies to multiple channels. With up-scaling to HD becoming more costeffective as the demand for HD content increases, it is only natural that all broadcasters will look to shift their libraries from SD to HD. In fact, some industry pundits argue that it is a must to broadcast in HD if 010 MAY 2013

fast fact

4K

Broadcast quality standard which is four times HD

There is an evolution of what the customer expects today in terms of a viewing experience.  With the advent of high definition television, the development of source components needs to match the resolution capabilities of delivery platforms. Athreyan Sundararajan, Head of marketing for Fox International Channels, Middle East.

their content is to stay relevant and in keeping with the progression of the industry. Broadcasters are aware that monetising HD is not something that they are going to see very soon, but since it’s becoming the norm, it would be foolish to not convert. Moote explains: “By up-converting SD content, the broadcaster is able to air both upconverted SD and HD content. Facilities will run mix-mode for a long time, thus having all the signals in an HD format makes operations more seamless.” Ive says broadcasters should not really look at up-scaling to HD to be a benefit, but rather consider it an obligation to maintain a presence on SD and HD. “If source content is not consistently available in HD, up-scaling is the only option. Some channels reduce their broadcasting hours if they do not have enough HD content. If archive SD content can be repurposed or monetised in an HD world then clearly this is a benefit,” says Ive. Benzi agrees and says the main advantage to broadcasters is that it gives them the opportunity to exploit existing libraries of SD content to populate an HD channel. However, with content quality improving, there is bound to be a proportionate increase in file sizes too. Many think this will result in broadcasters having to send bigger packets of data, packed with increased information, thereby requiring additional capacity on satellites. Eutelsat’s Benzi disagrees and explains: “There is no change from our perspective. The capacity on a satellite used by an HD channel remains the same if the HD channel is airing up-converted SD source material or native HD material. Modern MPEG platforms implementing Statistical Multiplexing can save a few megabits when airing up-converted material if the encoder is able to exploit the “lower quality” of the sequences at their input.” Moote mirrors Benzi’s opinion and adds: “One can say that moving to HD does cost capacity on satellites, however most SD compression is done using older compression algorithms. Using a switch to HD as an excuse to upgrade operations to the latest compression formats is a true benefit, as it will easily reduce the existing SD bandwidth leaving transponder space for HD signals.” Ive from the IABM clarifies that HD transmissions typically consume 2-4 times the bandwidth of SD. He says: “If the HD broadcast is a simulcast then the total bandwidth is more for the two combined channels. In some parts of the world analogue transmissions still prevail, adding further bandwidth for a total of three supported channels with the same www.digitalproductionme.com


UPSCALING TO HD

content but different formats.” However Ive was quick to add: “New more efficient compression can mitigate some of these effects. However broadcasters need to consider legacy receivers when changing compression strategies. It’s not financially viable to replace millions of receivers, set top boxes and TV sets in order adopt a more efficient coding scheme. Usually the justification comes when new services are offered and legacy services are left untouched. Then a new receiver can be launched including the new services, with existing services still accessible via legacy receivers.” With the satellite community already launching 4K satellites, up-scaling to HD might soon be replaced by a need to up-scale to 4K. Some broadcasters like Japan’s NHK have even started walking down the 8K road. Eutelsat’s Benzi strongly believes in 4K broadcasting and says the satellite company launched the first 4K satellite channel in January this year, using its EUTELSAT 10A. He says: “We want to act as a catalyst to help customers gather a real-world experience in the production and transmission of 4K content. We support the production of native 4K

HD will certainly be up-scaled to 4K. However many broadcasters may consider SD resolution too low for up-scaling. JOHN IVE, director of business development and technology at IABM.

content which is essential to provide the stunning quality made possible by 4K but we also expect that it will not be possible in the early stages to populate a channel with 100% native 4K material.” Sundararajan thinks 8K will be an eventuality in times to come, however he too agrees that broadcasters should start thinking about 4K, which will be the next frontier. He adds that while the technology for 4K production and broadcast is now available it will take some time for it to be commercially lucrative.   Ive adds that trials are already underway for 4K. He says: “HD will certainly be up-scaled to 4K. However many broadcasters may consider SD resolution too low for up-scaling. 4K will represent a new service; therefore, new compression schemes will play an important part in mitigating the data rate and bandwidth demands.” Moote concludes by saying: “Given that at least an 80-inch TV set is needed to see the benefit of 4K, up-converting SD to 4K is really a stretch. We won’t see any more than a few speciality or boutique channels running at 4K in the near future, 8K is even further off.”

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MAY 2013 011


ICFLIX

Stream Away

Icf lix is the first of its kind media streaming service in the MENA region, and covers three main genres, Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood. It intends to provide an affordable alternative for subscribers who want to watch movies, dramas, TV serials and documentaries from the comfort of their own homes.

012 MAY 2013

www.digitalproductionme.com


ICFLIX

I

cflix is a unique service that offers its customers access to a library of entertainment in the region. By targeting the three major genres of Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (a term coined by the company to represent Arabic cinema and programming), it intends to revolutionise the entertainment experience of a subscriber in the region. The industry globally has a few top players like Netflix and Hulu that have managed to garner a loyal base of millions of subscribers, but new media has been unheard of in the region, either due to restrictions or the lack of film rights. Even more so, due to a lack of any initiative of the sort, to ever make way to cater to the region. Icflix insists its approach is different. Carlos Tibi, CEO, Icflix says: “We cater to all three genres with library content and pay-per-view content. That is our differentiating factor, as others in the industry cater to library or pay-per-view. There is no one combining the two together.” Tibi says the content of Icflix is completely streaming-based, and doesn’t include any electronic sell-throughs, so people can subscribe for a flat-fee every month and they get access to the entire library. If they want to watch anything that is outside the cinema window, they will have to pay on a pay-per-view basis. Tibi described the company as being: “the first of its kind in the region which caters with legal content on a platform of such magnitude.” When probed about whether all content on Icflix would be HD, Tibi explains: “Most of the content in the Arabic genre today is on 35mm tapes, which we are now digitising. During the process of digitising we are making every effort to remove distortion from the old versions and improve quality as high as HD. It will not be 100% in HD, as it was not shot in HD, but we are doing our best to take it to the highest level possible.” Fadi Mehio, chairman of Icflix says: “The idea of Icflix came about through our group of founders. We started this about a year ago. We felt there is a huge vacuum when it came to Arabic content, and that’s why we coined the concept of Jazwood, which actually stands for the Arabic Peninsula, whose direct translation comes from Al Jazeera Al Arabiya. “We thought that if we create a home for Arabic media it must have an umbrella similar to Hollywood, and we thought Jazwood would be a name that would be appealing to most of the www.digitalproductionme.com

cultures, Arabic, Western and Asian. Our strategy includes sponsoring Arabic film festivals, and Arabic film students, from around the world. We want to be part of this growing market and growing demand, and we hope through this, within the coming years Jazwood would be the umbrella in terms of Arabic media, movies and songs. Our main intention when we started was to reinforce the value of Arabic content to come at par with other cultural media.” Mehio explains that Icflix is a privately held company, with four main partners. “There are four partners. Carlos Tibi is the CEO, I am the chairman, Joy Ghossoub is the managing partner and Abdelrazak Mounayar is also a managing partner. Carlos’ background is in technology and related businesses. I am an architect and we have many diversified businesses in the GCC, Africa and the Middle East, along with facility management in environmental construction. Abdelrazak works closely with Arabic content and he’s an expert in this field, dealing with Syrian and Egyptian content providers and producers. Joy Ghossoub is from a marketing and advertising background, he is also an entrepreneur in the F&B industry. We have gathered all these expertise, vision and will, and we thought to come up with a platform with a multi-genre medium that can become a global platform. Our main objective on this platform is family entertainment, and we are hoping to be a

We understand that each country has different bandwidth limitations and we are trying to upgrade all these bandwidth requirements as we build different profiles for every file we have to present to the customer. Carlos Tibi CEO, Icflix.

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iCFLIX

leader in this sector and most definitely the most admired platform of its kind.” Icflix will launch sequentially, first in Dubai this June, and then over the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Tibi says: “We are covering the Middle East and North Africa so these are very large territories, starting with the UAE as our pilot launch and then followed by other GCC countries within 30-45 days later sequentially, until we cover the entire MENA region and we are comfortable with supporting the entire region. Today our infrastructure is that we have offices spanning across the region, Cairo, Dubai and Beirut to ensure we have enough coverage, and as we expand to other countries we’ll probably open two more offices within the MENA region.” But, Icflix does not just have plans of expansion within the region. Once it builds its base across the MENA region, it intends to take Jazwood to the world. Tibi says: “When we are done, given our Hollywood rights will only cover the MENA region, but Jazwood is global stream, we intend to go global. For this we will have offices in Canada, the US and in South America, most likely in Sao Paulo Brazil to support the whole continent from a service point of view.” “Like Fadi was saying we are looking to make this company an admirable company and customer service is one of our top priorities and so our call-centres will be multi-lingual to support the vast majority of audience that we have,” continues Tibi. With three genres and almost unlimited content, it is only natural that native speakers of different languages would appreciate dubbing or subtitles for the shows. Mehio says Icflix has already thought of that and that the company will closely interact with their customers, and if the demand is high on specific programmes it will look into dubbing and sub-titling for these programs. He says: “We have made sure that our partners in the fields of dubbing and subtitling are on standby and we are going to be getting better by the day to fulfil the requests of customers.” Speaking a bit about the platform Tibi explains that it is state-of-the art, and reiterates that Icflix has a very unique offering in the region. “Icflix is the first of its kind when it comes to hosting the data and presenting the data to the customer. For our streaming we leverage private networks to stream our content to the end user, with multiple profiles for adaptive streaming to minimise the amount of buffering and adapting to the lowest 014 MAY 2013

The idea of Icflix came about through our group of founders. We started this about a year ago. We felt there is a huge vacuum when it came to Arabic content, and that’s why we coined the concept of Jazwood, which actually stands for the Arabic Peninsula, whose direct translation comes from Al Jazeera Al Arabiya. Fadi Mehio Chairman, Icflix.

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ICFLIX

possible bandwidth in the different regions. “We understand that each country has different bandwidth limitations and we are trying to upgrade all these bandwidth requirements as we build different profiles for every file we have to present to the customer. It’s all coming out of Prague, being our technology hub. The US is our data store, and this is all transferred over a private network covering the entire geography that we are going to stream to.” For most of the content, Icflix works with production houses, and with a very limited number of distributors, so all the content is directly from the source. This is the case when it comes to the digital rights for the content, as with new media most of these rights are controlled by the studios. Tibi explains that the company’s objective is to accommodate all classes of society with one flat fee, which will be very reasonably priced and affordable to everyone from different income levels. The library content is subscription based and covered by the monthly fee, whereas other titles which are out of the cinema window differ, but

Piracy exists everywhere. As these services are coming online, through lessons learnt in the West, piracy has been diminishing. If you provide the enduser an entry point to watch whatever they want at an affordable price, that will discourage them from going to piracy. Carlos Tibi CEO, Icflix.

are yet very reasonably priced for customers. Mehio adds: “We are launching the service at $11.99 per month on a subscription basis for thousands of titles across all the three genres. Each subscription can be used on three devices, which allows the entire family to use Icflix on the device of their choice.” To go a step further and be accessible to as many subscribers as possible, Mehio says Icflix has made the platform extremely easy for people to pay for. It will accept all major credit cards, PayPal, and Payflow. Moreover you can pay by cash, via multiple vendors in the region. A subscription to Icflix can also be paid for via prepaid scratch cards which will be available across the region. “We are trying to make life easier for our subscribers on all levels. We want to make it really easy to subscribe and the service includes a 7-day free trial which is going to be available to everyone who signs up, to show them a flavour of what they can get. Our customer is our main asset, and once we have satisfied the customer in all their wishes I think it will be very successful. We are

Fadi Mehio: We want to hear every demand of all our customers, to understand how they like to like to watch their entertainment.

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iCFLIX

also working on a loyalty scheme and we want to hear every demand of all our customers, to understand fast fact how they like to like to watch their entertainment,” continues Mehio. On the topic of piracy, and why people should bother with subscribing to Icflix if they can get Monthly cost of subscription to content via torrents, Tibi says: “Piracy exists Icflix everywhere. As these services are coming online, through lessons learnt in the West, piracy has been diminishing. If you provide the end-user an entry point to watch whatever they want at an affordable price, fast fact that will discourage them from going to piracy. A good 80% of piracy exists because of the lack of an alternative. Today we are providing that alternative, and we are quite positive that it will reduce The number of different devices piracy in the region and drive more traffic to a Icflix will be availlegal form of entertainment at an affordable price. able on Tibi continues: “In the past, when such a service was unavailable people would look for what they want and get it through however means possible risking bugs, viruses and other malware, whereas we are providing fast fact a 100% secure alternative. You can watch whatever you want, when you want, it’s all you can watch!” Icflix will soon be accessible to subscribers The number of across the MENA region. Tibi explains that as cultural genres long as a subscriber is within the MENA region that Icflix supports you can travel and watch whatever you want on content from Icflix. However, one thing the company stands firm on is abiding by the rules and regulations of the country regarding censorship. Tibi says: “For instance if you live in the UAE and you go to KSA, your content will probably differ due to censorship, which we take in very seriously at our company, where not every title will be available in its raw form, and we will abide by the local laws and authorities in every country.” The company’s target is that when it launches in June, Icflix will be available on multiple packages; device-ambiguous platforms, which means it will have native apps across different device operating systems, be it iOS devices, Android devices, smart-TVs and more. Tibi says: “Our objective by next year this time is to be on a minimum of 45 devices, to capture the consumer on whatever device of choice they have. It’s an extremely responsive website, which can work from a small screen to a 30-inch screen, it responds to your screen size.” According to Mehio: “Icflix is poised to be a success in the region. We have a great outlook for this business and markets within the region have already shown great interest from different populations and different income levels. According to research done by the Icflix team, people are genuinely looking forward to this kind of service, and by creating this complimentary service other services that are currently available in the region will improve.”

$11.99 45

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“Customers have to be clear and realistic in what they are trying to achieve, not what they think they can get away with”

EVENT All the winners from this year’s Digital Studio Awards REVIEW CABSAT comes but once a year. When it does we’re there

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zee network

lEADING THE pACK

Mukund Cairae is the regional territory head for one of the largest media companies in the world, the Zee Network. The Indian broadcaster has channels that cover 187 countries in the world and reach nearly 650 million viewers.

Z

ee Entertainment Enterprises is one of the largest Indian media and entertainment companies based out of Mumbai, India. The behemoth is part of the Essel Group, and was launched on 15 December 1991, under the banner of Zee Telefilms. This later changed in 2006, where it was renamed and the news and entertainment units were separated into smaller divisions. Zee has five international divisions. One based in New York to handle the Americas including Canada; one based in London to handle Europe; the third is based in Dubai to handle the MENA region, as well as Pakistan and Turkey. The fourth is based in Mauritius to handle Central and South Africa. The fifth is based out of Singapore to handle Asia Pacific. Mukund Cairae joined Zee nine years ago in distribution for Asia Pacific and in his last role with Zee, he was the head of Asia Pacific. Cairae also set up the China operations for Zee TV. He now heads the Dubai office and handles the MENA region, Turkey and Pakistan. He fondly recalled how the company has always given him many opportunities to grow and how he has enjoyed the journey. Speaking about Zee’s programming in the MENA region, Cairae says: “We have two different 018 MAy 2013

businesses here. One is aimed at the South Asian audience and is pay in nature, and the other is aimed at the local Arab audience and is free-to-air. As early as 2004 Zee recognised that we need to stop looking only for Indian content for Indians globally, and move from there to Indian content for locals. The next step would be local content for locals because it just completes the whole value chain.” Cairae explains that Zee’s regional office has a fully Arabic team handling the Arabic channels which are free-to-air, and a separate team handling the pay channels. For the South Asian business Zee TV has a local show called Zee Connect, wherein the channel connects with its audience. Cairae says: “We also have a segment in that where we profile the family of a subscriber and we cover that every week. It is currently concentrated on the UAE, but we will be taking it out to the rest of the GCC this year. It is about what has been happening, what is out and about and things to do. “We also celebrate the success and the inspirational stories of South Asians here through a show called Top Guns. Here we look at any of the big success stories in the country, to bring a sense of pride to the community where we show that this is where other industry leaders and visionaries have grown to.” Zee TV is also looking at a local program in the form of a quiz show format which will pit par-

We have two different businesses here. One is aimed at the South Asian audience and is pay in nature, and the other is aimed at the local Arab audience and is free-to-air. As early as 2004 Zee recognised that we need to stop looking only for Indian content for Indians globally, and move from there to Indian content for locals. mukund cairae Territory head, Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, Zee Network

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For Arabic programming, we have a channel called Zee Alwan which has local Arabic shows, which we buy the programming for. It also has our own library of Indian drama series’ and offlate we have acquired Turkish series’ to broadcast on Zee Alwan. mukund cairae Territory head, Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, Zee Network

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ticipants from local schools. He says in 2006, we also launched a music fast fact that they are hoping to take the channel called Zee Arabia. We very contest to a board level, which quickly figured out that music is not will involve participants from where the advertising dollar goes. schools of many different So we started looking at where the The number of viewers worldwide Indian syllabi. advertiser is spending his money, that watch Zee’s Zee Alwan and Aflam have because it’s a free-to-air market and channels also been very successful for the quickly figured out that females and Zee network. “For Arabic programfamilies is where the advertiser spends ming, we have a channel called Zee 78% of their advertising dollars, and thereAlwan which has local Arabic shows, which we fore our target segment is females and families,” buy the programming for. It also has our own says Cairae. library of Indian drama series’ and we have acZee’s mission is to provide wholesome quired Turkish series’ to broadcast on Zee Alwan. entertainment without any political, ethnic or We also produce a show for Zee Aflam, which is a social agenda. The primary focus is the lady of the movie-based show involving critique, new-releases household, but its programming is essentially for and basically showcasing Bollywood to the Arabic the whole family. audience. We also integrate this with Twitter and Caire says: “In 2013, we are looking to consoliFacebook so we have a lot of connection with date and grow the Arabic offering and we have our audience, who send comments and feedback two channel launches in this calendar year. This about the show,” continues Cairae. launch will be post-Ramadan; one would be HD From 1994-2004, internationally Zee looked at and targeting the wellness segment - mind, body the Indian outside of India. In 2004 Cairae says he and soul. It is produced in HD, produced in Amerwas very lucky to be part of a team which started ica for the Americans, but we are now bringing it looking at the local outside of India. “Subsequently to the audience here. It will be repurposed for the

650m

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zEE network

Arabic audience which will mean the promos and subtitling will be completely in Arabic. So it is not a mainstream channel but rather one targeted to the health conscious individual.” The programming content of the other channel is under wraps for now and will be disclosed at a later date. The Middle East in general has been a region where the audience was used to watching Hindi movies, so in that sense finding viewers for Zee’s Bollywood programming was not too difficult. Before Aflam was launched there were four channels that used to show Hindi movies, and now there are nearly 14 channels in the pan-Arab space. Cairae says: “This popularity has made the genre grow, and when you are the pioneer in the genre, you automatically grow. As far as numbers go, in Saudi Arabia Hollywood is the most watched, followed by Arabic cinema and Bollywood as number three. There are about seven channels in that list, but as far as audience preferences are concerned, Bollywood is a very strong number three.” Since the movie connection was already successful, and as Cairae says: “Bollywood shows you a thousand emotions in three hours,” Zee thought why stop there? Hence it decided to introduce Indian drama. However, there was an inherent problem with Indian drama. They were very lengthy, just like Turkish dramas. “They go on for about 500 episodes, so we said by just simply taking a drama, dubbing it and airing it is not going to be conclusive. So we had to re-direct the drama. You have to make it important and relevant to the Arabic audience, as well as increase the pace, it has to be a lot faster because this is a different audience. The audience here is used to a 30-episode drama series. They may watch it for an hour, but 30-episodes. They have only recently got used to Turkish dramas being 90-episodes or 100-episodes long,” says Cairae. To tackle this, the Zee network decided to bring in a director and have him re-direct the drama series. This was then repurposed in India and all the material was sent back to Dubai where the network then got the series dubbed in the right accent. “We spent two years of research for Alwan. We did consumer studies and realised that the accent was very important for different dramas. We learned that if it was a comedy it had to be in the Egyptian accent, if it is a social drama it should have the Syrian accent, health and wellness, or non-fiction had to be in a Lebanese accent. www.digitalproductionme.com

When we launched Alwan in September, we were ready with the right type of content for the right audience. The acceleration rate of viewership for Alwan has been extremely encouraging. Before we put a drama series on air, we content test it in Saudi Arabia. We have focus group interviews with people, we show the drama and narrate the story and ask them questions like whether the names of the characters should be Arabic, what should the name of the drama series be? It has to be relevant and have a connection with the viewers. Hence we do content testing, collate the results and then repurpose the material, so it becomes more relevant. Moreover it has to be a story that touches the hearts of the female and family audience,” comments Cairae. Zee TV has also bought the rights for Harem Soltan and some other Arabic series’ which Cairae says is showing amazing results. “We bought the exclusive rights up to Season 4, and we’re looking to build a particular band in the day which will solely show epics.” Talent shows are another area of programming where Zee leads the pack. Zee TV has a talent show called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which has been going

We spent two years of research for Alwan. We did consumer studies and realised that the accent was very important for different dramas. We learned that if it was a comedy it had to be in the Egyptian accent, if it is a social drama it should have the Syrian accent, health and wellness, or nonfiction had to be in a Lebanese accent. mukund cairae Territory head, Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, Zee Network

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Surprisingly, when we did content testing for Fear Files in Saudi Arabia, we saw that the women there were very interested in the show, which was kind of an eye-opener. It’s always exciting to see what the emotions of the audience are; and it is the audience that teaches you what they want to watch. mukund cairae Territory head, Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, Zee Network

on for about 18-years now. Cairae explains that it is now segmented as a talent show for kids and a talent show for 24-year olds and above. Another exciting program that Cairae thinks would really appeal to the audience is a new reality show which Zee plans to air in May or June this year. He says the show, which is yet to be named, will focus on a format that will see people being at the crossroads; making a decision, and it concentrates on female protagonists. “It profiles the lives of strong independent women and it’s real-time, so rather than a Big Brother program which definitely entertains the world over, this is something about female empowerment,” explains Cairae. Besides talent shows and reality TV, Cairae explains how the channel remains relevant through to all age groups through its diverse range of programming: “We also have the regular drama series which is watched by the 24-45 year olds. For the adrenaline junkies, we have a show called Fear Files which is about the paranormal. Surprisingly, when we did content testing for Fear Files in Saudi Arabia, we saw that the women there were very

interested in the show, which was kind of an eyeopener. It’s always exciting to see what the emotions of the audience are; and it is the audience that teaches you what they want to watch.” “We have segmented time-slots on Aflam for the kind of movies we want to show, whether its romance in the day, action in the evenings and so on. This is how we have targeted audiences at these time slots. Therefore if you have a particular advertiser like FMCG products, foodstuff, banks and others, you know you can deliver that at any time of the day, rather than say a sports brand which would largely target a male audience,” says Cairae. Further divulging information regarding the segmentation that is prevalent, Cairae says Zee TV, Zee Aflam and Zee Alwan have a majority of female viewers with programming that focuses on women, whereas Zee Cinema offers good male audience viewing, in fact he says that Zee Cinema has the highest male audience in the category as a whole, and has been the highest for about four years now.

Mulkund Cairae: The audience teaches you what they want to watch.

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Cairae explains the reason there is so much partners have been supportive of us. The advertisprogramming targeted at females is because ing fraternity has seen merit in our rate increase female empowerment is growing in India at a feroand hence have continuously supported us. In cious pace: “We have many drama series’ that are terms of Arabs, Aflam is the number three channel very popular on Zee TV, like Punar Vivah, Qubool of choice, as far as viewership is concerned, Alwan Hai and Pavitra Rishta. Most of these shows are is around number eight, but we should be gaining all about the women of today, her aspirations, ground in the next ten-months, because the values and looking ahead. The concept of female content is right and it is delivering results,” empowerment is being taken up in India at a very says Cairae. different level, and that is going to rub off internaAnother interesting aspect that Cairae touched tionally, because the lady that goes out of India has on was the growing use of smartphones and pretty much the same base and values, and they tablets as a secondary screen. He says Zee has are looking to find out what things are like been studying the phenomena and thus acquired back home. an OTT company called Ditto TV last year. Ditto “That strong connect of ethnic values is very essentially delivers live-streaming of channels and powerful and you need to see this every day. VoD content, and Zee is aiming to launch Ditto in Moreover the GCC audience is extremely curious the region later this year. Cairae says: “It delivers to find out about other cultures, and so this is a live-streaming of all our channels on your tablet, truly commendable attribute that the Arab ausmartphone, laptop and any other connected dience has. Here, there is a melting pot device that a viewer prefers. This will fast fact of cultures that are accepting other be marketed as a subscription-based cultures and that truly is great to family pack, where there will be see,” says Cairae. nearly 15 channels, including HD Moving on to advertising in channels, that can be watched The number of the broadcast sphere, Cairae by our viewers. The distribution years of research that Zee did before confirms what is already complatforms will be selling this as a launching Zee mon knowledge about the Middle value-add service and in addition Alwan East having some of the lowest TV we are already present on Du mobile advertising rates in the world. He says: and Etisalat mobile with both Arabic “Zee has 40% of viewership share and 31% of and Indian channels.” revenue share in this region. As far as the South Cairae also reveals that in Zee’s market study, Asian community of advertising is concerned, the it realised that for many people the smartphone clients are woefully unaware or just not looking at or tablet is their primary screen. He says: “The that segment. The segment of South Asian media interesting thing about mobile TV is that that remains at about 2-3% compared to the Panscreen is the primary source of entertainment for Arab segment.” a lot of people who can’t afford a television. Hence It was important for Zee to lead the way in for that category of clientele, at the end of the day increasing advertising revenues in the region. Caithey still consume FMCG brands and we’re still rae reveals: “In the year 2013 we have taken a call able to reach them with a general entertainment to increase advertising rates, because the eyeball channel, movies and with Arabic entertainment. that we are delivering in terms of numbers has At Zee we believe in addressing both ends of increased from 110-120 GRPs (Gross Rating Points), the spectrum.” to the 140-150 GRP-level. This means there is more Zee Entertainment currently reaches 187 countime spent and more involvement, hence we have tries and about 650 million people per day, but decided to increase rates.” the network’s goal is to reach one billion viewers The world average in the TV advertising market in the next three years. This is definitely achievis in the $50-$60 range per individual, for the adable and especially in free-to-air markets which spend per capita. In the Middle East it is around deliver viewership ASAP, as there is no delay about $19-$20, whereas the US is $140-$150. So this whether a person should subscribe. The Middle shows that the Middle East has a long way to go. East today happens to be one of the only regions The range of growth is actually quite huge, which where the market is still free-to-air, so in terms of makes the region one of the major growth areas. growth Cairae says they are and will continue to “We have been very lucky that all our trade concentrate heavily in the region.

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Zee Network’s international channels • Zee TV • Zee Cinema • Zee Action • Zee Premier • Zing • etc • etc Punjabi • Zee Smile • Zee Trendz • Zee News • Zee Jagran • 9X • Zee Telugu • Zee Classic • Zee Studio • Zee Cafe • 24 Ghanta • Zee News UP • Zee Business • Zee Salaam • Zee Punjabi • Zee Drama • Zee Bangla • Zee 24 Ghantalu • Zee Marathi • Zee Talkies • Zee 24 Taas • Zee Kannada • Zee Tamil • Zee Aflam • Zee Alwan • Zee Q • Zee Khana Khazana • Zee Variasi • TEN Action+ • TEN Sports may 2013 023


UNDERSTANDING HD

UNDERSTANDING

HIGH DEFINITION TV HDTV is gaining ground the world over and with this boom, broadcasters are looking to change over to HD channels, either through up-converted programming or native HD productions

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UNDERSTANDING HD

B

ack in 1969, people were excited to watch the landing on the moon in black and white. More than 50 years later, people saw the free fall from the edge of space in High Definition! The very first TV sets produced were a small box with antennas on top, which evolved over the years to become as we know them right now “the flat screen”. The evolution of the TV was not limited to the size only, it needed to improve in many other aspects, colored images, better video and audio quality, reception, in addition to the shape (looks) of the TV set itself. Over the past decade the evolution of TV took a major leap in defining the viewing experience, but that did not happen overnight. The TV evolved in many aspects; screen size increased, colored image was introduced, the box like TV set disappeared slowly, flat screens were taking over, then Boom! High Definition happened. With the introduction of HD, at exhibitions, electronics showrooms, billboards and TV ads, people are exposed to HDTV by default, thus becoming the new norm. Why HD? The quality of video and audio in the High Definition TV (HDTV) is superior to the Standard Definition TV (SDTV), which enables the viewer to enjoy the content of the HDTV, with the life-like images and the cinema-style experience. CONSUMERS’ STANDPOINT: High Definition (HD) marks the key change in the evolution of television since its transition from black and white to sheer color. As it is the case with any new technology, the question to be asked is when will HD become the new norm? Watching High Definition TV for the first time, one can sum up the experience as a new step in TV broadcast. The experience offers a higher level in picture resolution, which creates more of a cinema experience with the exceptional surround systems and the life-like images. This changes the user experience and engages the viewer. The sharper high resolution images in High Definition are induced by a larger number of pixels used in building up a single image. The improved images go hand in hand with the growth in the sizes of TV screens. According to the BBC, the perks of HD are

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Distribution of HD channels on Arabsat, Nilesat, Noorsat and YahLive On multiple satellite carrier, 23

Nilesat (exclusively), 13

YahLive (exclusively), 34

Noorsat (exclusively), 2

Arabsat (exclusively), 15

Source: Arab Advisors Group, Satellite operators

best seen on a 28 inch TV sets and above. More and more, customers transition to HD often happens by default, for most of the new TV sets being sold today (Plasma, LCD, OLED, LED) are HD Ready. As a new technology is widely adopted another one becomes outdated. This case applies to HD and SD channels, where the transition to HD will have its effect on SD, making it less commercial in the future. Consumers are now able to enjoy HD through HD-DVD players, on-line streaming, new generation game consoles (Xbox 360, PS3…) and Blu-ray players. This wide array of HD platforms drives HD into becoming the new TV viewing standard. BROADCASTERS’ STANDPOINT: The evolution of TV over the years was not limited to the consumers; it also had its impact on the broadcasters. Since satellite bandwidth is essential, the main concern for broadcasters is to utilize it. The improved video and audio quality means that the signal will consume more bandwidth; a typical SD channel consumes between 2-4 Mbps of bandwidth on the satellite (based on which compression is used; either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 (see compression section), meanwhile a single HD channel consumes between 8-19 Mbps of bandwidth. Broadcast in HD is not as simple as it may sound; it requires specialized equipment for broadcasters in order to send this enhanced quality signal. That also means that the receiving end should have dedicated equipment that are compatible to receive and display the broadcaster’s signal. With this improved quality, specialized equipment and the higher bandwidth consumption, MAY 2013 025


Understanding hd

Satellite HD channels vs. satellite SD channels by mid-October 2012 700

50

648

SD

600

45 40

500

32

35

370

400

45

HD

28

30 25

300

20

200

15

128

100

6

10 5

0

0

0 Arabsat

Nilesat

Noorsat

Yahlive

Arabsat

Nilesat

Noorsat

Yahlive

Source: Arab Advisors Group, Satellite operators

broadcasters are facing higher operating costs. The typical TV viewer is not expected to and probably will not be willing to suddenly start paying for TV channels and content, unless there is a major benefit from doing that. This should be kept in mind of the broadcasters; it must be done gradually with the emphasis on HDTV becoming the new norm. Turning HDTV into revenue generating tool is very crucial. Broadcast in HD means delivering better, new, specialized content and services alongside the enhanced quality. It should also provide an opportunity for broadcasters – especially Free To Air channels – to leverage higher advertising rates and convert to a pay-TV for an incremental revenue stream. By end of January 2013, OSN, one of the major pay TV providers in the MENA region, expanded its HD channels bouquet to reach 36 unique HD channels. By the end of January 2012, OSN had 26 unique HD channels, which translates into 35% growth in HD channels offered by OSN alone in one year. It is clear that OSN is investing more in HD content. The introduction of HDTV also gave the pay TV providers the opportunity to exploit TV services that subscribers were not willing to pay for in the past, for example OSN offers ondemand TV entertainment service the “OSN Plus HD box” this service provides subscribers with On Demand Movies, Storage capacity, Dolby digital plus and Control Live TV. The transformation is not for the pay TV channels only, FTA channels are also required to go with the flow; transforming from SD to HD. FTA channels have the option of benefiting from low-pay TV platforms; this will encourage viewers 026 MAY 2013

fast fact

1.88%

The CAGR that TV channels will grow at over the next 10 years

By end of January 2013, OSN, one of the major pay TV providers in the MENA region, expanded its HD channels bouquet to reach 36 unique HD channels.

to try and get HDTV at a relatively low price when compared to pay TV providers, and at a relatively low cost for the broadcasters. HDTV in the Arab World By mid-October 2012, the total satellite HD channels constituted around 10% of total satellite channels aired in the Arab World. The launch of YahLive, which carried 34 unique HD channels (aired exclusively on YahLive) in the region by mid-October 2012, has raised the exposure of HD channels among viewers in the Arab World, other satellite broadcasters and satellites channels around the world. The Arab Advisors Group projects the total number of satellite TV channels in the Arab World to reach 970 unique channels (channels available on more than one satellite carrier were counted once) by the end of 2022. The Arab Advisors Group projects that the satellite TV channels in the region will grow at a CAGR of 1.88% during the next ten years, however the growth rate of HD channels will be much higher. Multimedia content is disseminating via various platforms the region. According to the Arab Advisor Group’s surveys, during 2012 more than 60% of Internet users in regional surveyed countries reported using the Internet for online streaming. The inclining adoption of online streaming, coupled with escalating smartphone adoption made it imperative for regional operators to invest in international Internet bandwidth, which has led to the increase of international bandwidth per Internet user, which grew by 412% during the last five years. www.digitalproductionme.com


understanding hd

The increase in broadband capacity will pave the way for multimedia content providers; enabling them to provide content with higher quality, such as channels in High Definition. Online media content providers such as YouTube have already started providing streaming for content in HD format. With HD content being delivered to people through many sources other than satellite TV, the demand on HDTV has grown rapidly across the world. SES, which is one of the parent companies of YahLive, reported that by Q3 2012 they broadcast 29% of all satellite HD channels, proving it to be one of the world’s most prominent satellite broadcast companies. By end of September 2012, the SES satellites broadcast more than 6,500 TV channels; of which 1,375 are broadcast in HD. This represents about 21% of total TV channels broadcast by SES. As shown in the figure above, the HDTV adoption in Middle Eastern markets is lagging developed markets, namely North America and Europe. Various market dynamics have inhibited HDTV investments in the region, mainly due to the plethora of free content, coupled with pay TV piracy. These two factors have emerged mainly due limited enforcements of copyright regulations by regional governments, which have formed barriers to monetize TV channels. Despite this, the region does have strong growth prospects, driven by ongoing pressure from global and regional content providers to governments to enforce copyright regulations, regional pay TV service providers addressing piracy issues, in addition to huge youth population segments in the region, who are always the pioneer adopters of new technologies and services. Conclusion

It is our view that satellite HD channels have a very bright future in the MENA region. Satellite HD channels in the Arab World witnessed a growth rate of 40%, to reach 87 unique channels (channels aired on more than one satellite carrier were counted once) by mid-October 2012, up from 62 unique channels by end of June 2012.

an HD signal source (Blu-ray disc, HD streaming, satellite, cable‌etc), and finally connect the source to the display using an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable. The HDMI cable is a single cable with a very high bandwidth; which allows it to carry the video and the audio signal from the source to the screen. Having an HD screen does not mean you are watching in HD, there must be an HD source (signal) whether it is a Blu-ray disc, HD streaming, satellite or cable provider. Connecting a traditional DVD player to an HD screen will not give you a superior image; in fact it will be worse than a SD screen, why? The HD screen will display the image at full screen size (upscale), which means that the DVD image will be stretched according to the resolution of the HD screen; hence the image pixels might become more visible. What is important is to always make sure that you are using an HD signal source to guarantee the HD experience. There are four options (technologies) available when picking up an HDTV screen: LCD, LED, OLED and Plasma. LCD screen: A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a flat panel display, electronic visual display, or video display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals. LED screen: An LED display is a flat panel display, which uses lightemitting diodes as a video display. OLED: Is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of

fast fact

1,357

The number of TV channels broadcast in HD by SES satellites

The Arab Advisors Group projections for the Satellite TV channels serving the Arab 961 1000 945 970 920 953 932 870 900 900 830 850 800

805

700

600

Enjoying HDTV

In order to ensure the best High Definition viewing three things must be done, first make sure to have an HD display or a screen, second is to have www.digitalproductionme.com

500 2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Source: Arab Advisors Group

MAY 2013 027


Understanding hd

SD and HD channels on SES satellites by end of September 2012 2,500 TV channels

2,000 2,000

HD channels

1,775

1,500

961

1,000

670 383

335

500

58

362 18

3

0 North America

Europe

India, APAC

Source: Lyngsat, SES

Latin America & Caribbean

Africa

organic compound which emits light in response to an electric current. Plasma: They are called “plasma” displays because the technology utilizes small cells containing electrically charged ionized gases, or what are in essence chambers more commonly known as fluorescent lamps. The screens types differ based on technologies used to “light the screen”, but they all come in High Definition resolution. The differences are mainly the refresh rates, contrast, thickness and available sizes. After getting all set up and connected, the HDTV experience can be enhanced by connecting an audio surround system; since most of the HDTV signals already carry a surround audio signal (Dolby digital) alongside the video. Explaining the difference of HDTV: Pixels According to the IEEE standards, a pixel (picture element) denotes a single point in a graphic image. In digital imaging, a pixel (picture element) is the smallest addressable screen element in a display device; which represents the smallest element of a picture that can be plotted or controlled. Every pixel is composed of three color-generating components. On a display screen, each pixel is commanded to generate a combination of different red, green and blue color intensities to produce all color shades. On an HD display, these pixels are smaller and placed closer to each other. 028 MAY 2013

On a display screen, each pixel is commanded to generate a combination of different red, green and blue color intensities to produce all color shades. On an HD display, these pixels are smaller and placed closer to each other.

Resolution The main difference between an SDTV and an HDTV is the resolution. The resolution is the number of lines displayed on the TV screen. The SDTV had two main world standards that dominated the market: PAL and NTSC. The PAL (Phase Alternating Line) system was developed in Germany by Walter Bruch, and used mainly in Europe by European Broadcasting Union. The PAL system consists of 625 (but with only 575 lines visible on screen) at 50Hz and a frame rate of 25 frames per second (fps). Outside Europe (USA and Japan mainly), the NTSC system is the common standard for broadcast. The NTSC, which was set by the National Television System Committee in the USA, broadcasts 525 lines at 60Hz at 30fps. In case of the HDTV, the scenario is a bit more complicated, but the main concept is that the image consists of either 720 horizontal lines with 1280 vertical lines or 1080 horizontal lines with 1920 vertical lines, which explains the superiority over the SDTV. There are two techniques of displaying the lines on the screen; “Interlaced” (i) and “Progressive” (p). In Interlaced scanning, the picture frame is split into two fields of alternating lines; one field is for the odd numbered lines, and the other one is for the even numbered lines. Therefore, the odd lines shows a part of the image and the even lines shows the other part, but when displayed at a high refresh rate the human eye sees the complete image without noticing the difference between the two.

Satellite HD channels in the Arab World 90

87

80 70

62 25 channels added

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 June 2012

Mid-October 2012

Source: Arab Advisors Group, Satellite operators

www.digitalproductionme.com


understanding hd

How pixels work on an HD display

Source: Arab Advisors Group

Compressing SD and HD signals using MPEG-2 and MPEG-4

Progressive scanning captures the picture frame as a single image; so it transmits and displays all the lines of the image at the same time. This method means that technically there is no “flickering” on the screen when shooting fast moving objects. Nowadays HDTV is classified under two categories: HD Ready and Full HD. Basically the HD Ready are TV screens with a resolution of 720-p or 1080-i. Whereas the Full HD are TV screens with a resolution of 1080-p. Aspect Ratio Aspect ratio is the relation between the horizontal (width) and vertical (height) measures of the viewing screen. In an SDTV screen, the aspect ratio is 4:3; which means, its 4 units wide by 3 units high. As for the HDTV, screens have an aspect ratio of 16:9 which is known as “Widescreen”. This breaks down into 1.76 inches of width for every inch of height, calculated by dividing 16 by 9.

fast fact

34

The number of HD channels on Yahsat when it launched

HD ready vs. Full HD resolution

720p

1080i

1080p

1280x720 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed progressively, hence it is smoother than an interlaced picture. 1920x1080 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed interlaced. Higher resoloution than the 720p, but less suitable for action movies because of the interlaced induced images. 1920x1080 pixel resolution. High-definition picture that is displayed progressively. This is the ultimate high-definition “Full HD”.

Source: Arab Advisors Group

www.digitalproductionme.com

Since satellite bandwidth is very precious, HDTV signal needs to be compressed in order for it to be transmitted and received through a satellite network.

SD

•MPEG-2 •MPEG-4

4 Mbps 2 Mbps

HD

•MPEG-2 •MPEG-4

19 Mbps 10 Mbps

Source: Lyngsat, SES

Compression Since satellite bandwidth is very precious, HDTV signal needs to be compressed in order for it to be transmitted and received through a satellite network. Compression is the art of reducing the amount of data used to communicate information. Compression is based on the fact that information, by its character, is not random but exhibits order and patterning. If that order and patterning can be extracted, the essence of the information can be represented and transmitted using less data than would be needed for the original. At the receiving point, the original data can be fully recovered with minimal loss. MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) was formed by the ISO (International Standards Organization) to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. MPEG-4 is an open standard that can address the opportunities enabled by the digital revolution. MPEG-4 dramatically improves audio and video compression, requiring less bandwidth, and hence enabling the distribution of content and services from low bandwidths. Whitepaper prepared by Arab Advisors Group MAY 2013 029


TVIEW

Tview Ratings The tview data for Week 14 (31 March 2012 to 6 April 2013) show five of MBC’s channels ranked amongst the top five channels among expatriate Arabs.

I

n Week 14, ending April 6 2013, Arab Idol, broadcast by MBC1, now currently in its second season, was the most watched TV programme amongst viewers across all households. The movie Titanic broadcast by MBC2 came in at a close second, and even grabbed the third position through a repeat broadcast. MBC1 was the most watched channel by expatriate Arabs and Emiratis. South Asian’s watched Asianet Middle East the most, followed by Asianet News and subsequently Sony TV. Tview provides estimates of the number of people watching television at any given time in the day, based on a panel of television owning households in the UAE. The data tview provides includes which channels and programs are being watched, at what time, and the type of people who are watching at any one time. The data provided is on a minute-by-minute basis for channels received within the UAE, whether terrestrial, satellite or subscription (cable/IPTV) based. The sample used in this report is gross 850 homes, net 750. This figure is representative of approximately 6.2 million viewers or individuals, according to tview. The data used to compile the tview ratings is provided by Emirates Media Measurement Company.

030 MAy 2013

Top channels amongst expatriate Arabs Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Channels MBC 1 MBC 2 MBC Drama MBC 4 MBC Max MBC Action Rotana Cinema Abu Dhabi Drama MTV Lebanon Al Arabiya Rotana Aflam Abu Dhabi Al Oula Al Jazeera Dubai TV Zee Aflam Fox Movies National Geographic Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Emirates TV Sama Dubai Sky News Arabia

TRP 309.6 270.1 166.4 143.5 132.7 120.3 103.4 95.1 92.8 91.2 79.4 77.8 76.2 72.6 70.5 59.1 49.4 35.5 35.3 33.7

Share 4.46 3.89 2.4 2.07 1.91 1.73 1.49 1.37 1.34 1.31 1.14 1.12 1.1 1.05 1.01 0.85 0.71 0.51 0.51 0.49

Rtg% 0.65 0.56 0.35 0.3 0.28 0.25 0.22 0.2 0.19 0.19 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.15 0.12 0.1 0.07 0.07 0.07

Rch% 48.3 46.3 37.1 39 41.1 40 34.3 32.9 22 29.8 33.3 28.5 31.3 33.9 25.9 28.5 23.9 26 26 21.1

Programmes are ranked according to TRP. TRP is the sum of ratings points achieved by a channel programme, or spot of the target audience. TRP is based on 3 minutes consecutive viewing.

Top channels amongst Emiratis Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Channels MBC 1 MBC 2 Dubai TV Zee Aflam Abu Dhabi Al Oula MBC Max MBC 4 MBC Drama Fonoon TV Abu Dhabi Emirates TV Sama Dubai Abu Dhabi Drama National Geographic Abu Dhabi MBC Action Rotana Cinema Fox Noor Dubai Al Jazeera Fatafeat Abu Dhabi Sports Channel

TRP 299.5 130.3 121.1 91.7 86.1 77.4 67.5 58.2 57.9 38.9 38.7 37.3 31.9 31.3 29 28.8 27.1 27 26.1 23.8

Share 9.17 3.99 3.71 2.81 2.64 2.37 2.07 1.78 1.77 1.19 1.19 1.14 0.98 0.96 0.89 0.88 0.83 0.83 0.8 0.73

Rtg% 0.62 0.27 0.25 0.19 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.12 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05

Rch% 34.2 24.2 20.6 19.9 21.6 27.6 22.8 25.8 16.5 24.6 19.3 20.3 18.6 20.3 12.5 11.4 25.6 10.7 12.4 12.2

Programmes are ranked according to TRP. TRP is the sum of ratings points achieved by a channel programme, or spot of the target audience. TRP is based on 3 minutes consecutive viewing.

www.digitalproductionme.com


TVIEW

Top channels amongst South Asians Rank

Channels

TRP

Share

Rtg%

Rch%

1

Asianet Middle East

445.3

8.87

0.93

36.1

2

Asianet News

172.5

3.44

0.36

36.7

3

Sony TV

168.8

3.36

0.35

23.8

4

Star Plus

105

2.09

0.22

20.9

5

Mazhvil Manorama

94.4

1.88

0.2

32.8

6

Zee TV

71.7

1.43

0.15

18.9

7

Kairali

66.4

1.32

0.14

37.5

8

Colors

52.2

1.04

0.11

20.6

9

GEO TV (Middle East)

50.4

1

0.11

15

10

Star Gold

28.8

0.57

0.06

11.9

11

Bangla Vision

28

0.56

0.06

14.7

12

MBC 2

27.4

0.55

0.06

18.4

13

Zee Aflam

25.7

0.51

0.05

16.2

14

Zee Cinema

25.7

0.51

0.05

21.6

15

B4U Plus

25.4

0.51

0.05

19.9

16

B4U Aflam

21.7

0.43

0.05

19.8

17

Imagine Movies

20.9

0.42

0.04

12.5

18

Ary Digital

17.1

0.34

0.04

7.9

19

NDTV 24X7

16.1

0.32

0.03

18.1

20

Set Max

13.5

0.27

0.03

8.8

Programmes are ranked according to TRP. TRP is the sum of ratings points achieved by a channel programme, or spot of the target audience. TRP is based on 3 minutes consecutive viewing.

Top channels amongst all viewers Rank

Channels

TRP

Share

Rtg%

Rch%

1

MBC 2

520.3

3.39

1.08

57.4

2

Asianet Middle East

474.8

3.09

0.99

46

3

MBC 1

455.5

2.97

0.95

54.3

4

MBC Max

225.3

1.47

0.47

58

5

Asianet News

215.6

1.4

0.45

50.6

6

MBC 4

197.9

1.29

0.41

51.3

7

MBC Action

190.5

1.24

0.4

54.4

8

MBC Drama

183.5

1.2

0.38

50.9

9

Sony TV

153.7

1

0.32

22.3

10

Zee Aflam

142.3

0.93

0.3

38.2

11

Fox Movies

140.9

0.92

0.29

49.5

12

Abu Dhabi Al Oula

138

0.9

0.29

44.3

13

Rotana Cinema

132.2

0.86

0.28

42.2

14

Al Arabiya

111.9

0.73

0.23

39.3

15

Dubai TV

105.6

0.69

0.22

46.4

16

Mazhvil Manorama

97.2

0.63

0.2

44.4

17

MTV Lebanon

87.3

0.57

0.18

29.3

18

Star Plus

86.1

0.56

0.18

20.7

19

Rotana Aflam

84.9

0.55

0.18

37.2

20

Al Jazeera

84.7

0.55

0.18

38.7

Programmes are ranked according to TRP. TRP is the sum of ratings points achieved by a channel programme, or spot of the target audience. TRP is based on 3 minutes consecutive viewing.

www.digitalproductionme.com

May 2013 031


TVIEW

Top programmes amongst expatriate Arabs Rank

Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000)

Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:59

4.28

87.25

22.93

2

TITANIC

MBC 2

MOVIE

22:10

2.98

60.83

14.86

3

AL ETEGAH AL MOAAKES

Al Jazeera

TALK SHOW

23:05

2.41

49.21

9.49

4

ALA MAR AL ZAMAN

MBC 4

SERIES

21:56

2.34

47.7

10.65

5

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

20:00

2.31

47.21

11.36

6

JOELLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

20:50

2.12

43.33

11.3

7

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

17:56

2.02

41.3

11.28

8

WWE RAW

MBC Action

SPORTS

22:45

1.95

39.85

9.09

9

ANTA QALBY

MBC 1

SERIES

17:00

1.79

36.57

9.65

10

RAVENOUS

MBC 2

MOVIE

25:30

1.72

35.08

11.31

11

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

23:59

1.7

34.68

8.68

12

FAST TRACK

MBC 2

MOVIE

16:00

1.63

33.19

8.8

13

IRON MAN

MBC 2

MOVIE

21:55

1.55

31.56

6.91

14

UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:40

1.45

29.6

9.11

15

US BOX OFFICE

MBC Max

CULTURAL

25:45

1.42

29.05

9.6

16

TRAINING DAY

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

1.42

28.98

7.45

17

AL HALAL WE AL HARAM

MBC 1

SERIES

23:58

1.36

27.74

7.02

18

WADI AL ZEAB / SEASON 5

Abu Dhabi Drama

SERIES

25:08

1.36

27.7

8.05

19

BANAT AL AAYLA

MBC 4

SERIES

23:00

1.33

27.08

6.11

20

EAT PRAY LOVE

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

1.33

27.02

7.91

Programmes are ranked according to RTG%. RTG% measures the popularity of a programme, time band, commercial break or advert by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TV Rating is equivalent to 1% of a target audience.

Top programmes amongst Emiratis Rank Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000) Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:59

3.41

29.8

32.94

2

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

23:59

2.57

22.45

27.26

3

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

16:00

2.07

18.11

19.25

4

AL MASAQEL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

SERIES

16:09

1.73

15.13

16.48

5

NAWART

MBC 1

TALK SHOW

22:29

1.64

14.32

19.17

6

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

15:00

1.63

14.28

23.53

7

STYLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

19:47

1.62

14.19

14.87

8

ANA HANET

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

19:53

1.58

13.8

12.78

9

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

20:00

1.54

13.47

15.49

10

STAGE

Fonoon TV

ENTERTAINMENT

10:41

1.52

13.3

32.33

11

ANA HANET

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:53

1.42

12.44

13.55

12

TITANIC

MBC 2

MOVIE

22:10

1.42

12.42

12.83

13

FASEL W NAOD MAA DAWOD

Dubai TV

ENTERTAINMENT

16:01

1.41

12.29

12.68

14

KALAM KALAM

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

23:44

1.38

12.04

12.29

15

MOZAKERAT AAELAYA GEDAN

MBC 1

SERIES

18:51

1.33

11.66

15.05

16

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

17:56

1.31

11.48

10.8

17

BANAT AL GAMEAA

MBC 1

SERIES

16:00

1.31

11.42

12.67

18

ANASTASIA

MBC Max

MOVIE

16:00

1.29

11.25

10.08

19

AL WADAA

Abu Dhabi Al Oula

SERIES

22:01

1.28

11.16

12.43

20

MOZAKERAT AAELAYA GEDAN

MBC 1

SERIES

23:10

1.27

11.14

12.01

Programmes are ranked according to RTG%. RTG% measures the popularity of a programme, time band, commercial break or advert by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TV Rating is equivalent to 1% of a target audience.

032 MAy 2013

www.digitalproductionme.com


TVIEW

Top programmes amongst South Asians Rank Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

1

NINGALKUM AAKAM KODEESHWARAN

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

20:00

2.73

Rtg(000) Share 69.18

2

KUMKUMAPOOVU

Asianet Middle East

SERIES

21:32

2.71

68.68

11.06

3

STHREEDHANAM

Asianet Middle East

SERIES

22:05

2.66

67.52

10.83

4

BADE ACCHE LAGGTE HAI

Sony TV

SERIES

22:30

2.23

56.47

9.92

12.7

5

THE KING & THE COMMISSIONER

Asianet Middle East

MOVIE

14:02

2.18

55.34

17.23

6

LUNAR'S COMEDY XPRESS

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

22:37

2.06

52.17

10.2

7

BREAKING NEWS

Asianet News

NEWS

21:52

1.94

49.28

8.23

8

INTERVIEW WITH

Asianet News

CULTURAL

23:29

1.93

48.82

10.58

9

MUNSHI

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

22:00

1.88

47.53

7.95

10

VAASTHAVAM

Asianet Middle East

MOVIE

23:03

1.78

44.98

11.52

11

SUNDARI NEEYUM SUNDARAN NJANUM

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

21:01

1.58

40.01

7.37

12

GULF ROUNDUP

Asianet Middle East

NEWS

22:31

1.56

39.52

7.12

13

THAPPANA

Mazhvil Manorama

MOVIE

13:31

1.56

39.51

8.24

14

KABADI KABADI

Asianet Middle East

MOVIE

13:56

1.49

37.73

12.61

15

DABANGG 2

Star Plus

MOVIE

21:00

1.48

37.41

7.26

16

SONG

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

13:53

1.47

37.21

6.83

17

CHIRIKKUM THALIKA

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

13:00

1.44

36.39

9.29

18

MINT O GOL COMEDY STARS / SEASON 2

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

20:03

1.41

35.67

7.78

19

KYA HUAA TERA VAADA

Sony TV

SERIES

22:00

1.39

35.17

5.61

20

ROBIN HOOD

Asianet Middle East

MOVIE

14:03

1.38

34.94

11.93

Programmes are ranked according to RTG%. RTG% measures the popularity of a programme, time band, commercial break or advert by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TV Rating is equivalent to 1% of a target audience.

Top programmes amongst all viewers Rank

Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000) Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:59

5.68

108.98

12.11

2

TITANIC

MBC 2

MOVIE

22:10

3.66

70.27

8.46

3

TITANIC

MBC 2

MOVIE

12:30

2.91

55.83

6.74

4

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

20:00

2.83

54.36

5.75

5

NINGALKUM AAKAM KODEESHWARAN

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

20:00

2.56

49.13

5.14

6

THE KING & THE COMMISSIONER

Asianet Middle East

MOVIE

14:02

2.54

48.79

6.67

7

STHREEDHANAM

Asianet Middle East

SERIES

22:05

2.48

47.67

4.64

8

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

16:00

2.47

47.35

6.8

9

EAT PRAY LOVE

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

2.44

46.73

7.33

10

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

17:56

2.22

42.63

5.34

11

FAST & FURIOUS

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:05

2.2

42.19

6.93

12

A KNIGHT'S TALE

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:29

2.18

41.87

7.78

13

ALA MAR AL ZAMAN

MBC 4

SERIES

21:56

2.18

41.83

4.16

14

KUMKUMAPOOVU

Asianet Middle East

SERIES

21:32

2.17

41.55

4.26

15

LUNAR'S COMEDY XPRESS

Asianet Middle East

ENTERTAINMENT

22:37

2.15

41.32

4.33

16

ANTA QALBY

MBC 1

SERIES

17:00

2.15

41.3

5.52

17

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

23:59

2.11

40.58

5.35

18

THE HUNGER GAMES

MBC 2

MOVIE

22:00

2.09

40.09

4.22

19

ANA HANET

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

19:53

2.04

39.09

4.07

20

SAKAN AL TALEBAT

MBC 1

SERIES

15:00

2.01

38.59

5.37

Programmes are ranked according to RTG%. RTG% measures the popularity of a programme, time band, commercial break or advert by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TV Rating is equivalent to 1% of a target audience. (Source: tview. Copyright: Emirates Media Measurement Company FZ LLC.)

www.digitalproductionme.com

May 2013 033


SUPPLIERS TO KNOW

BROADCAST SERVER

MANUFACTURERS Suppliers to know

T

his month we focus on suppliers in the broadcast server industry. These servers are used by news and TV channels, production houses, for disaster management and a range of other industries. For these reasons they must be reliable, robust and failsafe. They are can be used to play previously recorded video to a set schedule. They can be used in live programming to play short clips or commercials or to insert advertising or integrate other content into video streams that originate elsewhere.

034 MAY 2013

Broadcast servers are also used to support environments like end to end newsroom workflows, disaster recovery, studio production and even in full arena productions. They are different from conventional servers that can be used for multiple applications. These servers need to be online 24/7 and operate in real-time. They also ingest, store and playout feeds from multiple sources, such as cameras, satellite, disk drives, and sometime other servers too, all this while never causing any degradation to the the recieved signal. Fundamentally, a broadcast server must

deliver every frame on time, every time without fail. This fact, and the need for I/O hardware to capture and play broadcast worthy imagery and audio are key. These servers also need to support storage, record and play large video files, as well as support smaller audio and subtitle files. As regards technology, broadcast servers have to continuously support various file formats and codecs from many different vendors for example H.264 and AVCHD formats. Flip through the next few pages to learn more about the industry’s broadcast server manufacturers. www.digitalproductionme.com


suppliers to know

systems to automate ingest and playback. Available simultaneous dual encoding creates full resolution and proxy copies of media and makes them instantly accessible across a LAN or WAN with Avid Interplay Production. For smaller news production environments, AirSpeed 5000 can be used directly with NewsCutter, Media Composer and other editing systems to give you high-value performance without compromising quality or speed.

Avid 1. Tell us about your company? From the most prestigious, award-winning productions to music and movies made at home, Avid creates the technology that people use to make the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world. For more than 25 years, our awardwinning digital audio and video solutions have empowered people to achieve their creative visions, however they define them. Today, the media created by Avid customers touches millions of people around the world. The music you listen to at home, on the radio, at a live performance, or in a movie.  The shows, commercials, and news programs you watch on TV. The entertaining video and film stories you see on the web and on the big screen. The personal audio and video treasures that people make to preserve their favourite moments in life.

2. What is your best selling range of broadcast servers? Why?   The Avid AirSpeed 5000 server addresses a wide range of applications for broadcasters www.digitalproductionme.com

of any size. Designed for broadcast and production applications with regular feed, live acquisition, production, or play to air playback needs, AirSpeed 5000 excels as a standalone device or coupled with an Avid ISIS shared media network and Interplay Production asset management, allowing incoming material to be used immediately by all contributors. AirSpeed 5000 models pack two or four channels of XDCAM or AVC-Intra record and play plus DNxHD playback, or four channels of SD record and playback in a small form factor with modest per-channel power and cooling demand. Building on a legacy of innovative workflow-enabling servers, AirSpeed 5000 adds cost-efficient play to air capability, slow motion playback and support for third party editing systems. Peerless Avid workflow integration, open design, and codec agility provide the ease, speed, and flexibility essential for long term broadcast success. AirSpeed 5000 is equally proficient at working with Avid and third-party control

3. What sets you apart? The partnership we establish with our customers is unlike that of other companies, because just like our customers, our employees are also artists and industry experts. In fact, more than 50% of our employees have professional backgrounds in audio or video, and more than 70% use our products outside of the workplace. This unique experience sets Avid apart. It drives our ongoing enthusiasm and commitment to advance technology in the digital audio and video industries. To serve our customers in a way that demonstrates how we understand the challenges they face. To inspire passion, unleash creativity and realize dreams in a digital world.

4. How do we contact you? Al Thuraya Tower II, 19th Floor, Premises No. 1903, 1903a & 1904,  TECOM Zone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 361 6260 Fax: +971 4 366 1055 MAY 2013 035


suppliers to know

Harris Broadcast 1. Tell us about your company? Harris Broadcast develops uniquely integrated digital media solutions that streamline the entire content workflow from live production to transmission. Its tools and technologies fit seamlessly into any media operation, enabling customers to easily create compelling content for distribution over multiple platforms. No matter how or where you’re making or moving content, Harris Broadcast has an integrated, high-performance technology solution that will help you do it more easily, reliably and profitably.

2. What is your best selling range of broadcast servers? Why?   NEXIO is Harris Broadcast’s scalable, interoperable server platform. A highly integrated family of products that employs open standards to greatly accelerate time-to-air and dramatically reduce the costs associated with content acquisition, production, distribution and media management. Harris Broadcast recently introduced its next-generation, software-based NEXIO Volt™ server, addressing customer needs for higher channel counts in a compact form factor, while increasing options for robust media storage.  The new server leverages the latest processor, storage and connectivity technology. Like 036 MAY 2013

its predecessor, the NEXIO Volt server platform offers a 1RU package with low operating costs and high levels of resilience and reliability.  However, it doubles the number of available record ports with four bi-directional HD channels (up to eight SD), and offers exceptional overall channel density for ingest and playout operations.    

3. What sets you apart? With more than 100 years in broadcasting and nearly 100 technological firsts, Harris Broadcast has driven innovations like digital television and radio and the rapid growth of HD. The company has extended its market-leading position to encompass solutions that span the entire broadcast workflow. Today, the company is a pioneer in the development and implementation of software systems for managing every aspect of a broadcast operation, from scheduling and advertising sales all the way to playout automation. This includes other workflow solutions such as digital asset management software and a powerful range of video servers, nonlinear editing and storage systems.

4. What projects have you been involved in? Harris Broadcast continues to deliver integrat-

ed, high-performance technology solutions to customers worldwide. Some of the recent projects where Harris Broadcast has been involved include: A new DVB-T2 transmission project for Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) to support the country as it continues the transition to a national network of digital transmitters and satellite services.  Harris Broadcast is supplying the compact, energy-saving Maxiva™ ULX (3.4kW) and Maxiva UAX (2kW) UHF transmitters in cooperation with Saudi Arabian dealer and systems integrator First Gulf Company (FGC).  Additionally Harris Broadcast is in the process of completing the build out of what is expected to be the world’s largest master control room (MCR) for Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) again in association FGC. At the heart of the HD studios and MCR will be an integrated Harris Broadcast solution including multiple NEXIO® video servers for ingest and playback of both SD and HD content on the same chassis, providing cost-efficiencies and future-proofing capabilities. Signals are managed through the Harris Broadcast 6800+™ modular processing units, alongside Platinum™ routers with integrated HView™ SXPro multiviewers to ensure reliable signal monitoring across the station.

6. How do we contact you? Harris Broadcast Communications Shatha Tower - Office 3414 Dubai Media City UAE Mailing address: PO Box is: 502526 Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 4338250 Email: sales.middleeast@harris.com Twitter: @harrisbroadcast LinkedIn: Harris Broadcast Middle East & South Asia Group www.digitalproductionme.com


IT’S LIKE A SAVINGS VAULT IN DISGUISE. The cost of a transmitter extends well beyond the purchase price. But with groundbreaking innovations like PowerSmart®, Harris Maxiva™ and Platinum™ transmitters provide higher performance that saves money, every day. Less space, power and maintenance required — this is technology you can bank on. harrisbroadcast.com/TVTransmission South Asia

Sales: +91 120 477 5400 Service: +91 120 477 5454 Sales.SouthAsia@harris.com

Harris Broadcast is an independent company not affiliated with Harris Corporation.


SUPPLIERS TO KNOW

EVS 1. Tell us about your company? EVS is the leader in live outside broadcast digital video production systems. Its products are intelligent recorders combined with highly reactive applications, such as the slow motion system, that has now become a standard worldwide. The XT3 production server, associated with dedicated applications such as the famous LSM, enables the creation, editing and exchange of video files. Around 7,000 operators on all continents use our group’s applications on a daily basis. EVS has developed substantial expertise in compressed video and audio data processing. The company intends to remain an innovator in the migration from analogue to digital in television networks, and from standard definition to high definition. In addition, EVS will continue diversifying its offering, such as the graphic analytical tools for live productions.

2. What is your best selling range of broadcast servers? Why?   EVS’ XT and XS servers are our best selling range. With its flexible 8-channel SD/ HD and 6-channel 3D/1080pconfiguration, the new generation of XT servers combines EVS’ world-class speed and reliability with 038 MAY 2013

ultimate capability and performance. XT3 integrates today’s top IT and broadcast technologies offering broadcasters and producers unparalleled motion control and adaptability. Based on its unique loop recording technology and powerful networking capabilities, XT3 offers operators complete media control from ingest to playout; including live editing, slow motion replays, multichannel playback and transfer to third-party systems such as craft editors, automation, archiving or storage. The XT3 is the first server to natively support such a wide range of codecs without requiring hardware changes, allowing production teams to easily select amongst different compression schemes they want to use throughout the entire edit process. Designed to boost broadcasters’ live and near-live production capabilities, XT3 provides operators with the highest available level of bandwidth, flexibility and control. XS servers provide unmatched solutions for the recording of multiple audio and video feeds, as well as for control and playback operations. XS can be managed by a range of EVS hardware and software controllers adapted to all types of production workflows. Thanks to its open

architecture, XS can also be managed by third-party tools; such as automation systems, linear or hybrid editors, switchers and controllers. The XS server can also emulate tape machines, eliminating the need for playback equipment and editing recorders.Based on its powerful dual networking capabilities (broadcasting and IT), XS makes recorded media instantly and directly available throughout the production network for simultaneous preview, rough editing, archiving, playback or post-production. The server supports a wide range of formats and codec configurations to fit all types of workflows, streamline media transfer to better preserve quality. XS can be configured with six full 3D/1080p channels (3G/ Dual link) and offers the same features in a 3D environment. In addition, XS can be configured in SpotBox mode to be controlled through protocols by third-party systems.

4. How do we contact you? EVS HEADQUARTERS 16 Rue Bois St Jean 4102 Seraing Belgium Mail: sales@evs.com Phone: +32 4 361 70 37 Fax: +32 4 361 70 99 www.digitalproductionme.com


DATA

Most popular search engines

Google is by far the most popular search engine in the Arab world, but Yahoo! is quickly gaining ground. Research shows Google bags 46% of total search-based revenue. Global share of digital ad spend

36%

Google Yahoo

46%

Microsoft Facebook AOL The rest

2% 3%

9%

3%

UAE - Preferred search engine (% of respondents) Google in English

76

Yahoo

55.8

Google in Arabic

39.1

MSN Bing Maktoob

Source: Ipsos

Lycos

36.6 3.7 2.3 1.5

KSA - Preferred search engine (% of respondents) Google in Arabic

82.8

Yahoo

33.1

MSN

30.2

Google in English

13.3

Maktoob

7

Bing

2.2

Imhalal

0.8

Excite

0.4

Hotmail

0.6

Lycos

0.2

Excite

0.5

AOL

0.2

AOL

0.5

Others

0.2

I don’t use any search engine

1.6

I don’t use any search engine

0.7

www.digitalproductionme.com

MAY 2013 039


TEST CARD

Test Card

Digital Broadcast Middle East delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s broadcast leaders tick

Jean-philippe Gillet Regional VP, Europe and Middle East, Intelsat

What does Intelsat do? Intelsat is the leading provider of satellite services worldwide. For more than 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world’s leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet Service Providers and governmental agencies. In the Middle East, we offer media services, with five of our video neighbourhoods serving Europe and the Middle East. We also provide services such as cellular backhaul, corporate networks, broadband and mobility throughout the Middle East and around the globe. How many satellites do you operate around the world? What is their coverage area? Our global satellite fleet of more than 50 satellites, integrated with our IntelsatOne terrestrial infrastructure, enables us to deliver the most efficient solutions to customers, reaching 99% of the world’s population. IntelsatOne, which includes eight strategicallylocated teleports, over 36,000 miles of leased fibre, shared data networking and peered points of presence (PoPs) in almost 40 cities, provides one simple, end-to-end solution that rivals the security, redundancy and reliability companies worldwide already count on from our satellites. Whether they want to deliver video, data or voice content, Intelsat’s integrated global network gives our customers the high performance,

040 MAY 2013

reliability and flexibility that they require in all regions.

Whether they want to deliver video, data or voice content, Intelsat’s integrated global network gives our customers the high performance, reliability and flexibility that they require in all regions.

Why should broadcasters use Intelsat? Today, Intelsat continues to be at the forefront of advanced communications, such as the proliferation of HD, and is already working on the next generation video transmission formats. The Intelsat EpicNG technology will be perfectly adapted to broadcasters’ future requirements in that respect. The high performance, open architecture solution will enable them to surpass their current service. For instance, the Intelsat EpicNG technology will address 4K needs, allowing for cost efficient high throughput transmission of compressed 4K and UHD. As we move forward, we will continue finding innovative solutions to tomorrow’s communications challenges. Our customers depend on our technical leadership and commercial innovation to offer their customers seamless, secure and efficient access to people, information and entertainment across the globe. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am Regional Vice President for Europe and the Middle East. I am responsible for Intelsat’s sales activities in Europe and the Middle East, working with media, network and other satellite related services customers. I have now been working in the telecommunications industry for more than 25 years.

www.digitalproductionme.com



Digital Broadcast - May 2013