Sony's COO-designate N P Singh is keen on expanding the network

By , agencyfaqs! | In
Last updated : September 25, 2014 04:04 PM
Both consolidation and expansion are the buzzwords for Singh

New initiatives, new resolutions, new ideas. The New Year is a time for change. And, this includes changes in management too.

Effective January 1, 2005, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India will witness some high-powered changes at the top with NP Singh, current CFO and business head of Sony MAX, taking over as the COO of the network.

Sunil Lulla, executive vice-president, SET will move on to head the digital and licensing business, a new focus area for the company, while Tarun Katial, executive vice-president, programming and response, SET will take over as business head of the channel.

Albert Almeida, who is senior vice-president marketing at SET, will take over from Singh as the business head of MAX. In fact, Singh himself had stepped in as MAX head, when erstwhile business head Rajat Jain quit in June-July this year to head Walt Disney Television International (India) as its managing director. The position of CFO will be filled in the next few months, say company executives.

Meanwhile, Tushar Shah, who was vice-president, marketing and commercial, MAX, will now move to SET as marketing head, the position vacated by Almeida. Shah will now be designated as vice-president, marketing and communication, Sony Entertainment Television.

COO-designate N P Singh, who will be second to Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Television India, says that his main focus will be to "fill the gaps and expand the network”.

Sony and MAX are visible in about 38-million homes in the country, and the gameplan is to try and increase penetration even further. For this, the company is willing to invest in the two channels, and a fresh round of new programming on Sony is on the cards. The initiative will be launched early next month, while the agenda for MAX is to maintain its leadership position.

The company will also look to introduce original programming in the afternoon slot on weekdays on Sony as well as increase its prime time band "on both ends” which stretches from 8.00-10.30 pm on the channel.

Investments in the marketing of Animax and AXN will also increase in 2005 to help consolidate viewership of AXN and intensify sampling of Animax, which was launched a few months ago.

Singh does not rule out the possibility of a few new niche channels being added to the One Alliance bouquet. He, however, did not specify the segments where the company was targeting.

Rival broadcasting networks such as ZEE and STAR have taken to this strategy of occupying niches. ZEE, for instance, has launched Reality TV, Trendz and ZEE Business in the last year-and-a-half, while STAR has STAROne and channels such as The History Channel, A1 (the adventure channel from National Geographic), The Disney Channel, Toon Disney and Hungama TV in its bouquet.

The One Alliance, on the other hand, has added Animax, Discovery Travel & Living, MTV and Nick this year, but had to give up HBO at the same time and found VH1, the sibling of MTV, ensnared by rival ZEE-Turner.

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First Published : September 25, 2014 04:04 PM
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