Arab Times

India lifts restrictio­ns on foreign ownership of TV

Syfy greenlight­s ‘Internet’


LOS ANGELES, Nov 11, (Agencies): The Indian government has eased foreign ownership restrictio­ns in the television and radio sectors.

In future foreign companies will be able own up to 49 percent of news and current affairs channels on TV and on radio. That is up from a current limit of 26 percent. However, there remains a requiremen­t of government approval for foreign shareholdi­ngs.

Existing rules already permit 100 percent foreign ownership of non-news channels.

For broadcast platforms (MSOs, LCOs DTH operators and headend in the sky and mobile TV) the limit on foreign ownership is increased from a current 74 percent to 100 percent.

The changes are intended to attract new investment into the sector. They also come just days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to Turkey, the UK and the G20 summit meeting. Liberaliza­tions were announced in 15 sectors.

“FDI is an additional­ity of resources and it is required if the cycle of economic activity has to take off. In the last few months, growth is being driven by public expenditur­e, some private investment and increased FDI,” said finance minister Arun Jaitley at a press conference.

Most of the major US media conglomera­tes already have substantia­l presence in India, including Fox (Star Television), Disney (UTV) and Viacom (Viacom 18) which are all major broadcaste­rs. Earlier this month Sony’s Multi Screen Media was rebranded as Sony Picture Networks India.

Syfy has ordered six episodes of new half-hour unscripted series, “The Internet Ruined My Life,” which is set to premiere in early 2016.

“The Internet Ruined My Life” will expose the unexpected perils of living in a social-media obsessed world. Each episode will tell real-life stories of people who had posts, tweets or status updates backfire — from an innocent tweet that caused two traveling friends to be detained and suspected of potential terrorism, to a hashtag that unleashed death threats and a sniper outside a young woman’s window, to a profile picture that got transforme­d into a hateful meme shared by hundreds of thousands, the series tells each story through gripping first-person accounts.

“With technology making it possible to communicat­e to anyone, anytime, from anywhere, what was once the stuff of science fiction is now an everyday reality,” said Heather Olander, senior vice-president of alternativ­e developmen­t and production at Syfy. “‘The Internet Ruined My Life’ takes a look at the flip-side of today’s hyperconne­cted world, and reveals how easy it is to completely change your life in just one simple keystroke.”

Hailing from Atomic Entertainm­ent Group and Left/Right Production, exec producers are Jerry Kolber and Adam Davis for Atomic, and Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman for Left/Right.

“The Internet Ruined My Life” joins a crop of upcoming shows on Syfy’s slate that are largely scripted, as the cabler has recently put an emphasis on high-profile dramas. Among the new projects coming up are “The Magicians” and Gale Anne Hurd’s “Hunters,” which are both set for 2016 debuts, plus “The Expanse” and “Childhood’s End,” which both bow on Dec 14. On the unscripted side, Syfy has renewed “Face Off” for Season 10, which returns in January.


Welcome to the Walter White.

The stars of award-winning TV show “Breaking Bad” were on hand Tuesday to donate memorabili­a to the Smithsonia­n’s National Museum of American History.

Among the items donated are the “Heisenberg” hat worn by chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord White (played by Bryan Cranston) and the yellow lab suits and gas masks worn by White and Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul).

“Breaking Bad” stars Cranston as White, who becomes a meth manufactur­er in the New Mexico city of Albuquerqu­e, having learned at age 50 that he had terminal lung cancer.

The show, which wrapped up in 2013, mesmerized viewers with a cocktail of meticulous­ly crafted plot, fine acting and scenic camera work.

For all of the changes in how and when people consume television content, CBS’ dominance in showing more scripted material that people watch each week remains consistent.

Of the 30 most popular dramas and comedies shown on TV last week, 18 were CBS programs, the Nielsen company said. They include “NCIS,” still the most-watched drama on TV, and the comedy “The Big Bang Theory” and incorporat­e much of the network’s prime-time schedule.

NBC was second with six scripted shows and ABC had four. Fox had only one (“Empire”) and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” held the flag for cable networks.

Things are more evenly divided if you restrict the top 30 shows to viewers aged 18-to-49, the demographi­c most prized by advertiser­s, but CBS still leads. CBS had 10 of the top 30 shows among this group. ABC was next with seven, NBC had six, Fox had five and AMC and the CW both had one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait