February 22, 2020
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Malvika Singh

Plagued by hiccups, invisibility and bad press, BiTVs feisty chief is neither down nor out

Malvika Singh
Is it true that BiTV is in trouble?
The press says we were late, we are useless, we have run out of money. I do not want to get into an argument. I understand the fraternity...I'm a part of it. Everybody is gunning for everyone else.

Are you happy with your ground distribution?
There were some problems in Bombay. But we've now got our own cable headends in many cities. That is why in just three months we have close to 2.5 million viewers.

Why aren't you getting into the ground distribution business?
There's no legislation yet regarding cable regulation. And with the big players coming in, people are shooting each other dead.

What about TVI's picture quality?
The press keeps saying that our satellite is shifting and wobbling. I don't think anybody really understands the technical end of it.

Has Shekhar Kapur left BiTV?
That's another rumour spread by the press. Shekhar will always be with us.

Is ad support picking up?
We've been through a rough patch. Ad revenue will flow in by the end of the year. We have projections... Business India carries a reputation. The big advertisers will always support us. Besides, our programming has a certain minimum quality.

Thanks to Shekhar Kapur, our serials are much better than anything you see on TV. Kamlesh Pandey is excellent with scripts. Zee is now copying our basic concepts. It means our programmes are successful.

Or does it mean that rivals are taking advantage of your invisibility?
People are reacting to our basic ideas because they are different. If TVI is invisible, why the hell are they filching our concepts?

Where do you see BiTV in five years?
I see it as the leader.

The leader?
Absolutely. We are pioneers. The past year has been the most traumatic period of my professional life. But we hung in there. We removed the boulders on the way so that anyone who wants to enter the field now knows how to do it.

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