Sustainable Development Television


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This presentation provides some information on the initiative by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) towards setting up a Sustainable Development Television. More details at

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  • 1994-2000: Pioneering era, u could have as many episodes as needed. Running a soap every day at almost zero marginal cost
  • 2000-2005: Streaming
  • Produce a web program at the end of the project just like policy brief
  • Produce a web program at the end of the project just like policy brief
  • shortly a production niche of a satellite channel – but beware sattalite and web have their own advantages. Yes both mediums can be syncronized
  • News is video packages, documentaries are histories based on chronology, programs are podium discussions with moderators…give a tour of website
  • Choreograped research, outreach and social accountability in single program….inclusion ensured.
  • Choreograped research, outreach and social accountability in single program….inclusion ensured.
  • Fixed Costs Vs. Variable Costs
  • Fixed Costs Vs. Variable Costs
  • Fixed Costs Vs. Variable Costs
  • Fixed Costs Vs. Variable Costs
  • Sustainable Development Television

    1. 1. Sustainable Development TV SDPI’s Web-TV Initiative Dr. Vaqar Ahmed Sustainable Development Policy InstituteIDRC TTI Cape Town Meeting 19th June 2012 1
    2. 2. History of Web TV• New York Advertising Creative (NYAC) started online television drama and soap opera in 1995• The management refused to cater through its own resources• The management succeeded in getting venture capital from APPLE and VISA• Through this capital NYAC was able to attract contemporary artists and performers. 2
    3. 3. History of Web TV - 2• During the course of soap opera the Web TV was receiving 100,000 hits a day• Audience was able to live-post their comments• Writers had ease in shifting plot lines due to readily available audience poll• Parsimony in reaching targeted audience - no matter if you are late in reaching home• Parsimony in attracting targeted advertisers• Tagging issues over blogs much easier 3
    4. 4. History of Web TV - 3• With the coming of broadband bandwidth, speed and availability of quality videos was certain through: – Streaming – Podcasts• You Tube, Vimeo and Daily Motion launched their services allowing Web TVs to have their pages and access mass advertisements• By 2006 we had independent producers selling their output to Web TVs• Social media further slashed outreach 4 challenges for Web TVs
    5. 5. History of Web TV - 4• By 2008 Hollywood embraces Web TV• ABC and NBC allowed programs with niche interest over web e.g. sci-fi – These were self-created, self- produced, and self-financed programs which these channels will webcast• The beginning of cross-channel distribution – Programs graduating from web to cable 5
    6. 6. How SDPI discovered this?• Viewers visiting website had little time to register, read and give their feedback on our publications• Even in case of policy briefs – hits did not imply impact• With videos we discovered that people were posting comments faster than the usual peer-review process 6
    7. 7. SDPI Web TV – BeginningsStep 1: Develop internal core production facilityStep 2: Synchronize output with research projectsStep 3: Networking with target audience 7
    8. 8. Areas of Activities Current AffairsStructured Documentaries Programs 8
    9. 9. Potential of Various Tools• Video Packages in episodes – Triangular stories • My view • Opponent’s view • Third party judgment • Synthesis – Following packages produced faster than cable TV • Prime Minister’s Zero Hunger Program • Rio +20 9
    10. 10. Potential of Various Tools - 2• Merging Development 3.0 tools – Pre-Budget and Post-Budget Debate in Pakistan • Research Findings • Outreach Seminars • Social Accountability Tools – Sustaining Interest in Political Economy Discourse • Youth Groups • Women Groups • Minorities Groups 10
    11. 11. Potential of Various Tools - 3• Merging Development 3.0 tools – Creating demand through social media – Shaping real time opinion – Piling pressure for change 11
    12. 12. Setting up – Cost Structure (%) Other, 1.7 Equipment, 36 Personnel, 56 Stationary, 1.1 Communicatio ns, 0.2 Operating Exp., 5.7 12
    13. 13. Sustainability of Web TV• Can commercial operations be considered? – Loss: Think Tank’s own message Vs. advertisements – Gain: Cash flows ensured• Who will be interested in commercial scale-up? – Barter agreements (MoU with major channels to give us time in lieu of knowledge product) – Time Buying (from channels)  profit and loss is ours• How are we doing this currently? – Specific portion of project financing 13
    14. 14. Human Resource• Challenges of Training Manpower – Per person training = USD 5000• Need for competitive salaries otherwise retention problem – Deregulation of media has created demand• Dedicated web team required for managing web-TV site 14
    15. 15. Conclusion• Invitation to think tanks to think digitally• Focus on value for money• Focus on sustainability of digital strategy• Think branding! 15
    16. 16. Thank You, 16