You believe that digitisation will unleash the true revenue potential of the Indian market. How?
Today, Indian market is primarily funded by advertising. Whereas, one would find that around the world, markets with an even distribution of revenue between advertising and affiliate fees are the ones that can find a broader, healthier, more independent content production industry; that has both domestic and global presence.
You have recently launched FX in India. How is it faring on the revenue charts?
We are doing very well with FX. We still have to grow distribution and ratings, but we are working primarily on growing viewership for all the channels under the stable and FX is one of them.
How do you perceive the growth in HD penetration in India? Could you comment on the ideal advertising to subscription ratio?
HD as a service is something that the consumer sees as a luxury today. One day they will see it as a necessity. We are always looking at providing every channel in HD and SD format, infact whenever we are launching a new channel, we try to do it simultaneously in HD, and when consumers will get used to that kind of stuff, it will be hard for them to go back. Consumers we have seen, are glad to pay more for higher quality, and HD is a perfect example of that. The advertising revenue to subscription ratio is 50:50 in the U.S. but it will take time for that to materialise in India.
Do you see consistent profit out of dubbed content across your network?
Today National Geographic Channel is seen in five languages; we would like to do more but there's nothing I can announce right now. We would like all of our channels to be present in many more languages, for that matter. Yes, in the short term it's an investment which is not very profitable. But in the long term it should reap profits, especially after the digitisation process is complete.