Spotlight on China GMA Network’s Felipe Gozon Turner Asia’s Ian Carroll
THE MAGAZINE OF ASIA-PACIFIC TELEVISION
TV ASIA PACIFIC
FremantleMedia Enterprises www.fidtv.com
IN THIS ISSUE Rising Dragon Spotlighting the Chinese media market 8
Interviews GMA Network’s Felipe Gozon 12 Turner Broadcasting’s Ian Carroll 14
Ricardo Seguin Guise
Publisher Mansha Daswani
Editor Kristin Brzoznowski
Managing Editor Lauren M. Uda
Production and Design Director Simon Weaver
• Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution • Panda Adventures with Nigel Marven • American Idol • Kirstie Alley’s Big Life
Pulling together its MIPTV slate for Asian buyers this year, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) is focusing on a “balance of exciting new titles and popular returning series and franchises to suit the needs of our diverse client base,” says Ganesh Rajaram, the senior VP of international distribution and home entertainment for Asia. Lead properties include Jamie Oliver’s new ABC show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. “Jamie is a proven brand for FME,” Rajaram notes. Speaking of proven brands, there’s a new season of American Idol, with new judge Ellen DeGeneres.Rajaram also sees strong potential for Panda Adventures with Nigel Marven, in which the popular wildlife host heads to China; and the reality series Kirstie Alley’s Big Life.“Nigel’s passion for wildlife is unparalleled, as his existing titles prove, and we are confident that his new show will prove popular with buyers. And Kirstie Alley’s Big Life is an exciting and highly entertaining new offering.”
“We expect our new titles to make a real mark this year, and our returning series and franchises to continue to do well.
Phyllis Q. Busell
Art Director Tatiana Rozza
Sales and Marketing Director Kelly Quiroz
Sales and Marketing Manager Rae Matthew
Business Affairs Manager Cesar Suero
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Ricardo Seguin Guise
President Anna Carugati
Executive VP and Group Editorial Director Mansha Daswani
VP of Strategic Development TV Asia Pacific © 2010 WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, #1207 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 924-7620 Fax: (212) 924-6940 Website:
Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) www.smf.sg • • • • •
Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled Kungfu Kitchen Rob the Robot Dinosaur Train Silly Bitty Bunny
The MDA is celebrating its tenth foray to MIPTV. The timing coincides with Singapore’s being selected as the “Country of Focus” for the market.“We will host a half-day conference offering an overview of the latest developments in Singapore’s media ecosystem and our capabilities in 3-D, with a view to encouraging more co-productions and collaborations between Singapore producers and the world,” says Dr. Christopher Chia, the MDA’s CEO. Chia adds that Singapore’s Acting Minister for Information, Communications, and the Arts (MICA), Lui Tuck Yew, will attend a number of the “Country of Focus” events. At the Singapore pavilion, Chia continues, 14 companies will be presenting content slates. Highlights include the lifestyle shows Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled and Kungfu Kitchen, and the animated properties Rob the Robot, Dinosaur Train and Silly Bitty Bunny.
“ Singapore will be represented by a 14-strong delegation at the Singapore Pavilion, ranging from live-action to animation companies. Kungfu Kitchen
TV ASIA PACIFIC
MediaCorp www.mediacorp.sg/contentdistribution • Asian Diaspora:The Chinese • Designed by Love • A Farmer’s Struggle • The Weaver’s Tale • The Icemen: Angadias of India
MediaCorp is keen to tap into international broadcasters’ demands for content about Asia.“Our strength lies in our ability to produce Asian content in English, enabling audiences everywhere to enjoy it,” says Sharon Loh, the assistant VP of content distribution. Top-line titles include Asian Diaspora: The Chinese, which looks at Chinese communities around the world. “It is an exciting project shot in high-definition in Russia, Cuba, the U.S., Indonesia,Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and China,” Loh says. Also available is Designed by Love, which “retells beautiful love stories in Asia that have shaped monuments and inspired creations.” MediaCorp will also be representing projects from The Asian Pitch, the documentary initiative it runs with NHK. “We hope to push and position ourselves as the premier Asian content provider at MIPTV, expanding both our documentaries and top-selling Chinese dramas into territories outside of Asia,” Loh says.
Designed by Love
“From our experience, programs with strong Asian elements appeal to international buyers.
Asian Diaspora: The Chinese
NHK Enterprises www.nhk-ep.co.jp/index_en.html • WILDLIFE • The Cosmic Code Breakers • Ryomaden:The Legend • Elementhunters • Detective X
The Cosmic Code Breakers
Making its MIPTV debut, the revamped NHK Enterprises (NEP), is the product of the merger of the Japanese pubcaster’s content-creation arm with its international-sales division, MICO. The merger is intended to enhance NHK’s international co-production abilities across TV, theatrical releases and digital projects.“We hope to open doors for people who are looking to expand their businesses in Japan,” says Yukihiko Amagi, NEP’s executive VP. NEP arrives at MIPTV with a broad slate, from the documentary series WILDLIFE and special The Cosmic Code Breakers to the drama Ryomaden: The Legend. NEP is also showcasing the animated series Elementhunters and the drama Detective X, which Amagi describes as “a combination of mystery stories on your mobile followed by a TV drama that reveals the culprit. Japan’s most popular mystery writers joined this project. We are looking to selling this program as a format.” 4/10
“The new NEP will enable us to offer new business opportunities, encompassing not only TV licensing, but other content businesses such as theatrical, [home] video and merchandising.
TV ASIA PACIFIC
P A N O R A M A By Mansha Daswani
The Asian Tigers, Redux Chinese astrologists have made a lot of predictions about what 2010, as the Year of the Tiger, holds for the world.The words that appear frequently include “drama,”“upheaval” and, fortunately, a spot of good news—“economic recovery.” In the last tiger year, Asia was still reeling from 1997’s currency crisis.The situation this year is much rosier. According to GroupM, the Asia Pacific held up well in 2009, a year that battered most regions of the world, with just a 0.4-percent decline in ad revenues, to $126.8 billion.The region is expected to deliver ad spend of $133.6 billion in 2010, a growth rate of more than 5 percent. And, not surprisingly, it’s India and China—the so-called “New Asian Tigers”—that will be at the forefront of Asia’s recovery. The Indian media sector continues to lure investors; in the last few months,Turner Broadcasting has taken majority control of the Hindi-language entertainment network NDTV Imagine, and Scripps Networks Interactive has taken a big piece of NDTV Lifestyle. And content is no longer just going one way, from West to East—Fox STAR Studios’ Indian feature My Name Is Khan made its way into the top 20 at the box office in North America, the U.K. and the Middle East.“In all its aspects, this film speaks to the cross-border soul of the creative industry,” News Corporation’s Rupert Murdoch said at a summit in Abu Dhabi last month.“The popularity of My Name Is Khan reminds us that no nation has a monopoly on creative content. If you tell a good story, people will respond.” Ian Carroll,Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific’s executive VP, expressed a similar sentiment when I met with him at Time Warner’s Asian headquarters.“Our business has for a while now not been just about bringing in content made in the United States, which we’re very good at; now increasingly it is Hindi-language content or Japanese content or Korean content. Figuring out new business lines and very effective ways of getting that content shipped around the world and packaged to be locally relevant is really important to us.” Carroll discusses that initiative and others in this edition of TV Asia Pacific. The China story, meanwhile, keeps getting better, according to Vivek Couto, the executive director of the Hong Kong-based research firm Media Partners Asia.“The media advertising pie is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11 percent over the next five years to reach $35 billion by 2015,” Couto reveals in his analysis of the Chinese market later in this issue. It’s the local players, such as Hunan Satellite Television, CCTV and Shanghai Media Group, that will be reaping these rewards; but the market is not entirely closed to inter-
national outfits. ITV Studios, for example, is working with Hunan TV on the development of light-entertainment formats. And Disney-ABC International Television last month signed Shanghai Media Group on for a local version of The Amazing Race. A country that has flirted with being a new Asian tiger for years is the Philippines, where signal piracy has hampered the development of the country’s media sector, as has access; fewer than 30 percent of Filipinos in urban areas of the country are Internet users. Nonetheless, the local broadcasting group GMA Network “aggressively” expanded its new-media offerings last year, its chairman, CEO and president, Felipe Gozon, tells TV Asia Pacific.“We have reason to be optimistic about the future, given that the Philippines’ economy is on the road to recovery and that economic growth has started to gain momentum,” Gozon says of the year ahead. On the other end of the digital spectrum, the über-connected Singaporean market is dealing with its own growing pains. On the heels of a public outcry over access to English Premier League matches—which this year move from StarHub to mioTV—the Media Development Authority last month nixed exclusive content deals in the pay-TV sector.The regulations mean that consumers will no longer require multiple set-top boxes or have to switch platforms to access exclusive content (the EPL deal is, however, exempt from the new law, as it was clinched before the March 12 cutoff ).The MDA says this will “facilitate greater consumer access to pay-TV content, and shift the focus of competition in the market from an exclusivitycentric strategy to other aspects such as service differentiation and competitive packaging and pricing.” How this will all play out in practice remains to be seen. But there’s another story that Singapore wants the world to hear about. As the country of focus at MIPTV, Singapore will be talking up the advantages it can offer international producers; a new ad campaign from the MDA showcases the island nation as being at the “heart of new Asia media.” For Christopher Chia, the MDA’s CEO, Singapore’s abilities in the production of stereoscopic 3-D will be a major focus. “We will host a half-day conference offering an overview of the latest developments in Singapore’s media ecosystem and our capabilities in 3-D,” Chia says, “with a view to encouraging more co-productions and collaborations between Singapore’s producers and the world.”
The Asia Pacific held up
well in 2009...with just a
0.4-percent decline in ad
revenues, to $126.8 billion.
TV ASIA PACIFIC
Dragon Despite a strictly guarded media sector, China remains home to plenty of prospects for both local and global companies. By Vivek Couto
China media keeps getting bigger and, in most instances, better. Yet, for the most part, the government and a controlled private sector are helping build the mainland media edifice without the assistance of the major international media companies. In general,foreign capital inflows into the domestic media sector remain restricted,especially in content-sensitive markets such 406
as television broadcasting. However, international investors have been more active of late in the digital and out-of-home media segments with online advertising and Internet video assets proving most attractive for private-equity firms and strategic investors. (In February, for example, Providence Equity Partners said it would invest $50 million in the new ad-supported online video portal being developed by search-engine giant Baidu.) There remain plenty of prospects to go after.The latest analysis from Media Partners Asia (MPA) shows that the media advertising pie is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11 percent over the next five years, to reach $35 billion by 2015. 4/10
TV ASIA PACIFIC
After a stellar Olympics-driven 2008, the advertising market saw growth decelerate from 20-percent-plus norms to 6 percent. There has been a notable recovery since September 2009 as the domestic economy goes from strength to strength.The economy is expected to grow by around 9 percent to 10 percent in real terms over the next two years while the net advertising pie is expected to expand by 13 percent this year to reach $24 billion. Key events in 2010 include Expo Shanghai, Auto China in Beijing,World Cup soccer and the Asian Games, each expected to have some positive impact on the ad market. In November,state broadcaster CCTV hosted its 2010 primetime advertising auction and saw an 18.5-percent year-on-year growth in sales to $1.6 billion.According to leading media buyer GroupM, improved advertiser confidence helped boost the CCTV auction. Another key factor, said GroupM, was new regulation from the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) to shorten commercial-break times.This, combined with rate-card rises from provincial satellite TV stations, made CCTV’s bidding resources more competitive. Satellite TV stations have also seen a significant recovery in ad sales, with Hunan Satellite TV leading the way. One potential dampener on satellite TV ad growth comes from new SARFT regulations. Ad breaks are not allowed to run more than 12 minutes each hour, and are not expected to run over 18 minutes between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Infomercials during the breaks of TV series cannot exceed 90 seconds and no TV shopping commercials are allowed on satellite TV channels between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. In response, a number of satellite TV channels are expected to raise advertising prices by 20 percent to 30 percent this year. Broadly, CCTV’s market share in TV advertising has been declining, from about 30 percent at the start of the decade to approximately 23 percent today due to increasing competition from provincial and local stations. In terms of TV viewership, however, CCTV still dominates. CCTV owns 18 nationallydistributed channels, including foreign-language channels and one HD service. Provincial satellite channels number close to 270 with national free-to-air satellite TV channels Dragon TV and Hunan Satellite TV among the most popular. In addition, there are 850 local city TV channels. TV advertising is worth about $9 billion per year in net terms and is likely to reach more than $14 billion by 2015, with a 38-percent market share versus 41 percent today with broadcast networks likely to lose share to online and out-of-home media. Online media’s share of the ad market is likely to grow to a 19-percent share by 2015 versus 10 percent today.The slow shift to online has meant that a number of TV networks have launched their own Internet video sites, including Hunan Satellite TV, Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and CCTV.
grams. Hunan’s ultimate plans for the new platform are unclear, but some believe it will provide a vehicle for a twin offering to Hunan Satellite TV. In addition to a raft of channels distributed locally, each of China’s provinces and autonomous regions also operate one satellite channel that can carry advertising with nearnational coverage.Although many satellite channels act as promotional vehicles for their respective provinces, others, such as Hunan TV and Dragon TV, have drawn viewers with a more populist approach. Now both broadcasters are looking to repeat that success. DIGITAL NATION
Internet users and broadband connectivity continue to accelerate at a rapid pace, reaching 385 million and 150 million users, respectively, in 2010. All of this creates fertile ground for the growth of online video. Online video leader Youku currently generates a modest $30 million in annual revenues, about 90 percent derived from ad sales. A number of players with deep pockets have launched online video services in recent months, including TV networks (CCTV, Hunan TV, Shanghai Media Group, Zhejiang TV), major portals (Sohu,Sina,NetEase,Tencent),online search leader Baidu (through a joint venture with U.S.-based private-equity firm Providence) and gaming specialist Shanda Interactive. New players won’t drive ad rates down, however, as broadcast budgets continue to shift from traditional to online, but content costs are expected to increase.Youku plans to add more premium, paid-for content (film, music, sports, special interest) to generate subscription revenues in the short term.The site currently licenses most of its content on a non-exclusive basis. To fund this goal,Youku recently secured $40 million from existing private-equity investors and total private-equity money
Local appeal: Jia You, Youya!, based on a Televisa novela format, airs on Shanghai Media’s Dragon TV.
TV Industry Revenue Trends (US$ Millions)
UPPING THE COMPETITION
Besides CCTV,TV groups with large content-production capabilities include SMG and Hunan, which have emerged as the largest in terms of market share with a combined TV advertising share of more than 15 percent. SMG launched another national channel in 2010, joining up with Ningxia Satellite TV to beam SMG’s specialist business news channel, China Business Network (CBN), across China. The announcement follows a similar deal in another western province between Hunan TV and Qinghai Satellite TV, in which Qinghai will air some of Hunan’s most popular pro4/10
TV Subscription Revenue 6,603
TV Advertising Revenue
10,740 11,701 12,548 13,322 14,019
15,343 17,486 19,773 22,234 24,426 26,865 29,089
Source: Media Partners Asia
10,533 11,878 13,543 15,070
TV ASIA PACIFIC
developing HDTV, value-added services (i.e., VOD and DVRs) and broadband access. The market for global media still remains modest. MPA analysis indicates that the market for foreign TV content providers in China is currently worth about $600 million in annual advertising sales, licensing and subscription fees; this compares with $1.3 billion in India. GLOBAL PLAYERS
Ready to charge: Chinese state broadcaster CCTV is co-producing documentaries on the global market, such as the ZDF Enterprises-distributed China’s Forbidden City.
raised since its 2006 launch now stands at $110 million. It is now seeking a further $40 million from new investors. CCTV has already injected $30 million into its online channel, CNTV, which launched in December 2009. The move should help legitimize the industry, and help promote online ad growth. CCTV is working with AdChina, an ad network, to establish online video ad standards. Media agencies have also formed the China Online Video Standardization Committee (COVSEC) to drive traditional ad dollars to online video. CABLE CONCERNS
The multichannel TV market remains large, with more than 170 million homes available through cable, DTH and IPTV. At the end of 2009, total digital-cable households numbered close to 65 million, but barely 7 million of this total subscribed to tiered pay-TV programming services.The remaining 58 million digital-cable TV users are essentially paying higher fees for a basic program package featuring free retransmitted channels already available on analogue and a selection of “free” digital pay channels. The low pay adoption levels are largely due to poor marketing, limited investment opportunities for pay content; and tight controls for foreign content. Complicating the issue is the fact that there are 40 million to 50 million “illegal” or “grey market” homes that receive foreign “overspill” satellite channels, limiting consumer appetites for legal pay TV. HBO and National Geographic are among the few internaMedia Advertising Market Share tional program providers 2010 2015 who legally license content to Chinese pay channels TV 41.1% 38.2% (movies and factual programPrint 21.6% 17.7% ming, respectively).With the Online 11.1% 18.7% disappointing take up of Radio 3.4% 2.7% pay TV, cable operators are Outdoor & related 21.8% 20.8% under increasing pressure Other 1.0% 1.9% to monetize investments in Source: Media Partners Asia digital infrastructure by 408
News Corporation has been the most aggressive global media investor in China over the past decade. However, over the past three years, it has refocused capital towards growth-oriented markets that encourage foreign investment and content— examples include India (the cornerstone of STAR’s business); Korea and Japan (big building blocks for Fox International Channels) and Indonesia. News Corp. has scaled down its staff and management in China over the past 18 months. Phoenix Satellite Television, now 18-percent owned by News Corp., legally distributes content to more than 40 million homes on a 24-hour basis and generates more than $150 million in annual sales. News Corp. also owns Xing Kong, a Chinese entertainment channel with landing rights in Guangdong and a grey market audience outside that province.The company has been unable to monetize its grey market audience outside Guangdong. Disney has created a distinctive entry into the Chinese marketplace through an agreement to build a theme park and through the local production of films specifically for the Chinese audience. Disney released its first locally produced Chinese film, The Secret of the Magic Gourd, in 2007. It has also entered into several successful programming block agreements and generates incremental advertising and licensing fees. Disney has also entered into online and digital partnerships to develop new content and games with players such as Shanda. Viacom entered into a co-production deal with SMG and Beijing Television to co-create music programming for the Chinese marketplace.The company currently has a 24-hour MTV China on the air in Guangdong, but is limited from broadcasting this network to Chinese homes throughout the rest of the country. Viacom is also attempting to follow in Disney’s footsteps by participating in a planned theme park in northern China, near the city of Tianjin.The company also has several partnerships with Internet and mobile providers, including music agreements with Baidu, ku6, China Mobile and China Unicom. In 2009, Viacom established a potentially valuable beachhead with a co-branded Nickelodeon website with CCTV (nick.cctv.com). Nickelodeon’s shows, such as SpongeBob SquarePants), already attract sizeable audiences on CCTV. Viacom is also pursuing the local adaptation of some of its formats in China—as are a host of other companies. DisneyABC International Television signed a deal with SMG for The Amazing Race, and ITV Studios Global Entertainment is working with Hunan Satellite TV on entertainment formats. For international content owners, thus far limited to program blocks and licensing relationships, formats and coproductions will be key areas of growth. Vivek Couto is the executive director of Media Partners Asia, a Hong Kong-based research firm focusing on media and telecommunications in Asia. 4/10
TV ASIA PACIFIC
Consistently topping the ratings in the greater Manila area, also known as “Mega Manila,” GMA Network has set as its mission the enrichment of the lives of Filipinos everywhere. With its two networks, the flagship GMA-7 and its sister channel QTV, GMA Network has been catering to local viewers with a mix of imported series, format adaptations and, increasingly, original dramas such as the recent hit Darna. The company has also been ramping up its international business, offering locally developed content to the worldwide market through its GMA Worldwide division, and rolling out two channels, GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, targeting the estimated 11 million Filipinos living around the world. Felipe Gozon, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, is widely praised for leading GMA’s ratings resurgence since taking the helm in 2000. He speaks with TV Asia Pacific about his strategy for steering the company’s continued growth.
Catering to a Global Community
GMA Network’s Felipe Gozon
advantage we need to be able to deliver differentiated content which caters to such varied audience preferences.With our increased reach and improved signal we are now able to serve more audiences not only in the Philippines, but also worldwide. TV ASIA PACIFIC: You are credited with turning around
the performance of the GMA Network. How did you achieve this? GOZON: When I took over the helm of GMA, in October 2000, as CEO, I wasted no time in planning to have the company rise to the number one position. I found that I had to change the defeatist attitude of our employees and to rally everyone to abide by the paradigm shift.We closed down all losing subsidiaries to devote and marshal all our resources to achieve our goal to become number one.We bought new equipment and modernized our facilities, improved our programs, removed the “misfits” in the organization and appointed those whom we thought could do the job, listened to our people and gave them the opportunity to shine, among [other things]. In a short period of time, we were able to turn around the performance of the network. TV ASIA PACIFIC: How important is original content cre-
ation for GMA Network? GOZON: The importance of original content creation for
By Mansha Daswani
TV ASIA PACIFIC: How are you serving viewers in the Philippines with your two channels? GOZON: Over the years, we have confirmed that Filipino viewers have diverse and fast-changing tastes and preferences when it comes to television programs. Having two free-to-air TV channels to program has given us the opportunity and the
GMA Network cannot be overemphasized.With its content creation and innovation, GMA Network was catapulted by the viewers and the local advertising industry to where it is now. Since then it has had supremacy in original content and innovation in programming, which kept GMA steadfast in its position, and this will most likely be the case in the years to come.With other platforms fast emerging and with the significant increase in distribution channels, original content will, in all probability, prove to be even more vital for GMA Network in the future. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What are the strengths of your pro-
gramming schedules? GOZON: Some audience studies conducted in Mega Manila
over the past year further revealed that GMA was perceived by most TV viewers as having a good, balanced and more versatile programming mix in weekday prime time relative to its closest competitor, which banks primarily on drama programs. Specifically, our Telebabad block (daily prime time) offers more variety of content than our main competitor. Each program offers a unique viewing experience. Currently, we have First Time (feel-good viewing), Panday Kids (exciting, action-packed adventure drama), The Last Prince (magical romance), Diva (easy viewing, laughter and [music] with drama), and Queen Seon Dok (sweeping historical adventure drama). TV ASIA PACIFIC: How has the ad market held up in the Philippines, given the global downturn? GOZON: Based on a Nielsen report, total ad-industry expenditure increased by 12.5 percent in 2009.Television, in particular, which accounts for about a 75-percent share of total industry spend, also grew by 12 percent in 2009. Net of media inflation, however, the estimated real growth, is just about 3 percent. Growth actually came from local FMCGs (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) and a few of the multinational advertisers. 410
TV ASIA PACIFIC
TV ASIA PACIFIC: What other revenue streams are you pursuing? GOZON: Other revenue streams we are pursuing would include revenues from our other media platforms such as regional television, new digital media, international TV channels, radio, production and branded entertainment. There is a very high demand for a 360-degree approach, and we are geared towards providing our clients with holistic and integrated media solutions that deliver results. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What are your plans for your international business, in terms of your channels and your content-sales arm? GOZON: We are planning to grow our subscriber base—which by March 2010 reaches 250,000 or more—by adding more carriers in presently underserved areas and by adding more areas we are not yet serving. Further, we may be able to add one more channel to our existing two international channels once we are able to aggregate enough content for this additional channel. TV ASIA PACIFIC: How have you expanded GMA into the new-media business, be it online, on mobile or on demand? GOZON: In 2009, we aggressively expanded our efforts in digital media by undertaking more video broadband initiatives and strategic alliances with top telecommunications companies in the mobile distribution of our proprietary content. GMA New Media has also partnered with Googleowned YouTube for myGMA.com.ph, the network’s Internet TV service.YouTube, the leader in online video, is now the platform provider for all GMA Internet TV content, thus allowing our viewers around the globe free and easy access to GMA videos online. Our programs command high ratings, and our websites now reach millions of Filipinos every day in pursuit of timely and reliable news and public-affairs programs, entertainment and community content. TV ASIA PACIFIC: How are you planning for the analogue
switch-off in 2015? GOZON: While our local regulatory agency (NTC) has not
yet finalized the digital-TV standard to be adopted in the Philippines, we have already completed drafting a preliminary digital terrestrial platform blueprint. Covering key TV market areas in Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao, the blueprint is complemented by studies related to the practical and fea4/10
sible applications of the technology in anticipation of its eventual adoption. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What are your broad goals for the company in the next 12 to 14 months? GOZON: Our goal is to advance further in the ratings race and gain the number one position nationwide.We shall complete the improvement of our facilities in the regions this year.We have completed the facility upgrades in key market areas and have now commenced upgrading facilities in the identified secondary markets in the next 12 months. We have 11 more TV transmitter projects to complete in South and North Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.We have seen the benefits of this project in our regional TV [ad] sales performance.And as we near the completion of this project, we are shifting our focus to building our brand and expanding our audience base outside Mega Manila through intensive promotional activities. We are repositioning our QTV channel to take advantage of the channel’s full potential and expanding its appeal through changes in programming. Hopefully, this will increase the ratings of QTV’s programs. We have also been increasingly expanding the distribution of our content abroad through the efforts of GMA International and our subsidiary, GMA Worldwide. We shall continue to pursue new initiatives to achieve further growth from our national and international operations, film ventures, film and program syndication and other businesses. We have reason to be optimistic about the future, given that the Philippines’ economy is on the road to recovery and that economic growth has started to gain momentum. World Screen
Magical fare: GMA is looking to boost its international business with the distribution of its hit original dramas, a slate that includes The Last Prince.
TV ASIA PACIFIC
The past year has seen tremendous growth for Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific. In February, the company picked up a majority interest in the Hindi-language entertainment channel NDTV Imagine. This followed the acquisitions last year of the Japanese networks Tabi Channel and MONDO21 and the Korean service QTV. In addition, Turner is starting to roll out the truTV channel brand on platforms in Asia, and has diversified its business with the launch of a content-syndication arm. Ian Carroll, Turner Broadcasting’s executive VP in Asia, is spearheading many of these new initiatives. Meeting with TV Asia Pacific at Time Warner’s Asian headquarters, Carroll talks about the growth opportunities ahead.
An Eye on Expansion
Turner’s Ian Carroll By Mansha Daswani
TV ASIA PACIFIC: How have operators responded to truTV? CARROLL: We’ve been talking about truTV as a proposition
for a little while.A number of operators have come to us and said, That is very interesting to us because we get that it’s different and that it represents a fairly unique proposition.We don’t have to knock on the door to talk to these guys—it’s part of an evolving conversation that we have with the operators.A number of them like it, they think it’s sticky; it’s got a slightly younger demographic.We’re working really hard to represent a fairly unique idea and a need for it in a space which is becoming increasingly crowded. Being able to announce in November 2009 and launch in early 2010—there aren’t too many other content companies that will do that, and I think it speaks volumes about the quality of the relationships we’ve got with platforms. TV ASIA PACIFIC: You alluded to the crowded land-
scape—what’s driving this rush of channels to Asia? CARROLL: There is a very big distinction between wanting to launch and actually launching.We’re hearing a lot of aspirational talk, a lot of hot talk, which is not necessarily being followed up with a great deal of action.There’s no one factor or one Asian trend. But we’re starting to see the payoff from digital investments by key platform operators in key territories. That’s really making a difference.And the telcos are becoming more sophisticated and very much more interested in this space, and, more importantly, that technology is now working.The only IPTV platform in Asia five years ago was Now Broadband. Now there are multiple platforms in multiple territories, all of which work and deliver a different proposition. It’s good news for content companies like us. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What busi-
ness areas are you focusing on? CARROLL: The acquisitions in India, Japan and Korea— part of the responsibility we have is to cement those. The aim of those acquisitions is not to make them more like us, the aim is to increase the 412
quality threshold of their output, ultimately make more money out of them.And secondly, taking the scope and scale that we now have in all of those markets and really making something of it is a big challenge.We know what the next step is, but the step after that and the step after that—we have four or five options in each case.We’re clarifying those and cementing those. We have also launched a syndication business which we will really start to step up.That’s a significant initiative for Turner. We’re not just selling Cartoon Network and CNN to a DTH platform anymore. Our business is far more dynamic than that. The syndication element was the bit that was missing. The best syndication outfit in the business is Warner Bros. International TV, and we’re not in any way attempting to compete with that.What we do have in the Turner family is a whole host of other content which is underleveraged on the entertainment side...things like Adult Swim content, the truTV content.And then on the news side, a significant amount of factual content from the CNN brand. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What are the other growth opportuni-
ties for CNN? CARROLL: It is very much about two aspects, leveraging the
distribution we’ve got and increasing the stickiness and time spent on the network. CNN is absolutely everywhere and it will continue to be.Whether it’s on a mobile platform, PC screen or other mobile device or any other online environment, we will be there.That’s what CNNGo is all about. It is a really high-quality, very well-invested and marketed traveland-lifestyle platform. And we’re looking at other streams of specialist news, including business news.And then HD. TV ASIA PACIFIC: What about on-demand? CARROLL: On-demand is something we have a dedicated infra-
structure for and a sales force for in terms of the content. It’s something we consider to be one of our strengths, because we spend a tremendous amount of time owning and controlling our own content,which is the first step in any on-demand world.We are working with a lot of digital platforms with on-demand, unfortunately still as a marketing initiative for digital platforms. To my mind there really isn’t a viable business model in Asia yet for a paying VOD model, and if there is it certainly is not for news or kids’and young-adult content.But we have it—in places like Japan, Korea,Australia, New Zealand, we’ve already rolled out with platform operators, whether it’s a catch-up service or a subscription on-demand service or free on-demand. There are two broader strategies that we’re trying to get our head around. One is increasing investment in content locally but leveraging that internationally. Our business has for a while now not been just about bringing in content made in the United States,which we’re very good at;now increasingly it is Hindi-language content or Japanese content or Korean content. Figuring out new business lines and very effective ways of getting that content shipped around the world and packaged to be locally relevant is really important to us.And then on the money-making side, our business models are increasingly not just about being paid by an advertiser per CPM or by a platform per subscriber.A lot of our business dealings now are in new business models.We are making money out of microtransaction models, so there’s this increasing sophistication now in terms of the number of buckets of money we need to fill up while figuring out new buckets, bigger buckets, and doing that efficiently. 4/10
Flags of Justice 30 x 45â€™
After a long wait, Media Link International brings to MIPTV the first Historical Drama Series about Islamic Conquests. One of the most important periods in Islamic History that followed the death of the Prophet. Starting from the wars of Apostasy till the end of the reign of the Caliphate Omar Ibn Al Khatab. Al Ashraf Media, Al Masar International and Bana for Art Production; three Arab Production companies joined efforts to present to the world one of the best Islamic historical drama series ever produced for world viewers. With a budget exceeding $2.5 million, and a cast including the most famous Arab actors, the series traces the Islamic and Arabic Conquests in the period that followed the death of the Prophet.
For more inquiries and availability in your region, please contact: Nidal M. Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or +961.1.666212