Growth Ways convention today

International speakers have started arriving in Kathmandu to participate in the Growth Ways, media and entrepreneurship convention to be held in the capital city on Thursday.

Renowned columnist and novelist Shobhaa De arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday and other speakers are scheduled to land in the capital early on Thursday. Continue reading


Rio Olympics Gold Medalist Erica Wiebe Eyes A Spot in PWL Season 2

PWL Season 2Ahead of the auctions for the second season of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) organised by ProSportify in association with Wrestling Federation of India, reigning Olympic champion in women’s 75 kg freestyle Erica Wiebe of Canada has confirmed participation in the second season of the Pro Wrestling League.

Joining Wiebe from Canada would be her compatriots’ 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Dorothy Yeats and three-time Olympian Haislan Garcia. Wiebe, an accomplished exponent of the sport had won every individual tournament she entered in 2014, a streak that went on for 36 matches. She also won a gold medal in the 75 kg freestyle at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In 2016, Wiebe represented Canada’s 2016 Olympic team. In competition at the Olympics, she won gold, defeating Guzel Manyurova of Kazakhstan in the final event to become only the third Gold medalist for Canada in Wrestling.

Wiebe feels that PWL will be an opportunity for her and other wrestlers to fine tune their skills and improvise as it will have intense level of back-to-back competition among top wrestlers of the world. “I am excited to be a part of the auction for Pro Wrestling League season 2. I have heard so much about India and about the wrestling culture there. No wonder this tournament has become quite an attraction for all Olympic and World Champions around the world to come and participate, something unique that doesnt exist anywhere else in the world,” said the 27-year old.

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Top Stars for Pro Wrestling League Season 2

Three-time World champion Adeline Gray of USA, Rio Olympics silver medallist Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan, and bronze medallist Sofia Mattson of Sweden will be among the big foreign wrestlers in the second edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) starting from December 15.

Multiple European medallist Yana Rattigan of Ukraine and World bronze medallists Odunayo of Nigeria and Vasilisa Marzulik will be the other attractions of the league.

All of them participated in the Rio Olympics.

Welcoming the big international stars to the league, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh hoped more such wrestlers would be seen in action this season.

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Second Edition of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) to Start December 15, 2016

More than 100 wrestlers are expected to take part in the second season of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL), which gets underway from December 15, the organisers announced on Thursday.

The organisers announced numerous additions in the second season as the cash-rich tournament will be expanded to an eight-team affair in place of the earlier six, while also increasing the pool of domestic players from 54 to 80 in the initial draft. The initial draft of foreign recruits has also been raised from 24 to 40 players.

The tournament will also be a month-long event instead of the 18-day affair in the inaugural edition last year.

Speaking of the overwhelming response and growth of Pro Wrestling League, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said: “Wrestling as a sport has contributed towards the growth of sporting fabric of India. With sterling performances in the last three Olympics for India, wrestling followers are now becoming more vocal and visible.”

“While local ‘Dangals’ enjoyed unprecedented live spectators, data suggests that on TV, wrestling emerged as the most watched Olympic sport for Indian audience in the last 12 months.”

“The growth is a result of hard work and progressive outlook of our officials across the country. I thank state units and the professional team of ProSportify (commercial partners of Pro Wrestling League) for doing a commendable job in such a short span.”

“Pro Wrestling League had direct impact on recent Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, as she got an opportunity to study, share & compete alongside the best wrestlers in the world during PWL,” he added.

ProSportify founder Kartikeya Sharma also reiterated: “We have created a friendly format for TV viewing sports fans whilst keeping the ethos, mat rules and rich tradition of the game intact. Additionally, our three innovations worked heavily in Pro Wrestling League’s favour.”

“Essentially, converting an individual sport into a Team Game with boys and girls representing the same team. Secondly, introduction of ‘Toss’ and subsequently ‘Player Blocking’ added a sense of suspense, excitement and drama in the competitive fast-paced game”.

“Wrestling is deeply rooted in Indian cultural ethos and is the biggest sporting export from India to the world. We were privileged to enthuse over three crore sports fans every day in Season 1 and promise to surpass our stellar performance this year,” he added.


India News banks on regional channels

India News believes that the future lies with regional channels. In line with this belief, it has extensive expansion plans. By December 2012, the channel plans to take its network coverage to 65 per cent of the country. The channel will expand to southern states in 2013.

In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, Kartikeya Sharma, Founder, India News and President, Association of Regional TV Broadcasters of India (ARTBI) shared, “We will have entertainment and news coverage in languages such as Bangla, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarati. We will also foray into North-Eastern states by the end of the year.”

Sharma further said, “We will be repositioning our national channels in six to eight months and will cater to a new target audience. Regional channels are more profitable and the economy of scale is helpful for a group entity to be viable in the long run.”

Regional channels can compete not just with other regional channels in that region, but with national channels as well. Today, audience expectations from regional channels are high and they want them to be of the same calibre as national channels. Hence, it is important to have similar packaging, presentation, look and feel, he shared.

His optimism is further buoyed by the recent announcement made by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), waiving off 0.02 per cent on all India channel share for empanelment, while 40 per cent of the ad budget has been exclusively earmarked for regional channels. According to Sharma, the new policy means three things:

  • Everyone will be empanelled
  • The government has announced it will take bottom-up approach
  • This will give a fresh lease of life to regional channels that have been struggling to survive

When asked to share his thoughts on digitisation, Mr. Kartikeya Sharma remarked that it is the best thing to happen to the industry if one looked at the long-term perspective. According to him, the problem is that the industry is disorganised and certain cities such as Mumbai and Delhi are less prepared. Considering these ground realities, the digitisation process will take longer than what the government has envisaged.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) diktat of limiting ad time to 12 minutes per hour of programming would affect broadcasters’ bottom and top line. “It would make inventory limited for everyone, though it will not affect India News much as we are already selling 12 minutes of ad time,” Sharma divulged.

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News Broadcasters Welcome Hike in FDI Limit

The government announced an increase in the FDI limit (foreign direct investment) of news and current affair channels, DTH and Cable Operators. The government announced that foreign investment will be relaxed in 15 sectors. While 100% FDI has been allowed in DTH and Cable Networks (MSOs and LCOs), the foreign investment in the up linking of news and current affairs TV channels has been raised to 49% from 26% earlier.

Commenting on the move, Kartikeya Sharma Founder ITV Network said, “I welcome this move from the government and appreciate this. The industry is going through a tough phase and this move will definitely help in operating in media space.”

Sharma also praised the automatic route that has been initiated by the government. “It’ll help in the entire domain such as news, non news, radio or DTH. He said, it is the right step in right direction, they should have done it long time ago but now they have done it and I am happy,” he added.

Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of ZEEL said, “As long as the control lies with the Indian counterpart and the editors are of Indian nationality there is no problem. It’ll help in funding as well. Goenka also highlighted one important point why government has not cleared FDI in print. I don’t understand why are they distinguishing between print and broadcasting and not treating both at par.”

The government has also raised the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)’s monetary limit to Rs.5,000 crore from Rs.3,000 crore for the approving of FDI proposals.

All the leading broadcasters are in favour of FDI in news media. In an earlier interaction with exchange4media last month, Executive Vice Chairperson, NDTV Group, KVL Narayan Rao, DD Purkayastha and Anurradha Prasad expressed their support for hike in FDI limit.

Narayan Rao said he only see benefits with FDI coming. He said, I have always supported an FDI increase in news media to 49%. It will help news broadcasters get funding that is most necessary at this moment. And yet, all stipulations of the up linking guidelines, largest Indian shareholder owning 51%, editor being an Indian etc, can continue to be followed. Most importantly, there will be Indian editorial control. So where is the problem? I only see benefits.”

Agreeing with Rao, Anurradha Agarwal, Chairperson and MD, BAG Network also welcomed the move she said, “We are only hearing about this, its welcome move I think govt should do it.”

DD Purkayastha, MD& CEO of ABP Group said, “Regarding higher FDI in news ABP has always be in favour and our stand continues.”

Swachhagraha: ‘by the children, for the children, of the children’

Dirty water kills 6,000 children every day. Infant and child mortality is the hidden reason why people in developing countries have more children. What is shocking is that diarrhoea kills young children than malaria, AIDS and TB combined.

Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a Swachh Bharat, Aquakraft Projects Pvt Ltd., and iTV Network launched Swachhagraha, an advocacy platform in association with the Children’s Film Society of India on August 15.

“Children are the future of our country and clean drinking water, sanitation, nutrition, health and hygiene are the fundamental rights of every child irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion, demographic, social or economic strata. Swachhagraha is a platform to aggregate support, donors, partners, volunteers, ideas and innovations to make clean drinking water, safe toilets, adequate nutrition and hygiene across schools in India, thereby enabling a healthy and clean India. We will aggressively advocate the cause of Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat, Sampann Bharat,” said Kartikeya Sharma Founder & Promoter of iTV Network.

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