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News Digest: PressMart Ties Up With Manila Paper; Sudhanshu Sarronwala; AOL, NW18, Airtel

Update: We’ve removed the story about Zapak claiming to sell 250,000 CDs in India in the April-May-June quarter, of an estimated number of sale of 1 million CDs in the year. No third party source has been given for that 1 million number. Subsequently, Zapak got in touch with us again, with an edited number for the CDs sold, this time 225,000.

We have no means of verifying these claims, and Zapak, it appears, isn’t sure either.

Pressmart Launches E-Paper Of Manila Bulletin Newspaper

The Manila Bulletin launched the electronic edition of its Newspaper in partnership with Hyderabad based Pressmart Media which provides hosted print-to-online publishing services with publishers from over 47 countries using its services on Web, Mobile, RSS, Podcast and other digital channels and offers conversion, Hosting, Subscriptions, Ads and Analytics. The electronic edition contains the same editorial content and advertising in the exact layout as the print edition. Pressmart is already providing these services for quite a few offline publications, but seriously – we wonder how long this e-paper model is going to survive, when it’s more intuitive users to browse websites than newspapers.

Sudhanshu Sarronwala joins WWF

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Sudhanshu Sarronwala, founder of Soundbuzz, which was acquired by Motorola, only to be shut down recently in most countries, has joined the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as the Executive Director, communications and Marketing. Sarronwala will be based in Gland, Switzerland and will be a part of the Copenhagen Climate Change talks in December. Prior to starting Soundbuzz, he was the MD for MTV Asia.

AOL Ties Up With GaneshaSpeaks For Astrology Channel

In pursuit of the holy ABC (Astrology, Bollywood and Cricket) of Indian content, AOL India has partnered with Bejan Daruwalla’s astrology website GaneshaSpeaks.com which fronts with the promise, ‘A fully personalized horoscope reading within 72 hours of placing an order on the internet’.

AOL.in users will be provided with sun sign based and personalized horoscopes and astrology guidance as well as analysis and forecasts on the flash points in politics, stocks, business, sports, films. GaneshaSpeaks also provides stockmarket forecasts to MoneyControl.com.

Network18 Acquires TIFC

Last week, Network 18 announced the acquisition of 14.39% shareholding in The Indian Film Company Limited (TIFC) a company listed on the AIM exchange of London, from a single shareholder in the market at a price of 39.75 pence per share, taking its shareholding to 35.99%. The triggered an obligation under the UK takeover code to make a mandatory bid for the remaining shares not owned by Network 18 Group for a price not less than that paid for the shares acquired in the market. TIFC audited accounts for financial year ended March 31, 2009 showed a turnover of UKP 40,896 million, an EBITDA of UKP 4.368 million and net profit after tax of UKP 3.889 million.

Airtel DigitalTV Adds 14 New Channels

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Airtel DigitalTV, the companys DTH business, has launched 14 new entertainment and news channels. taking the total to 164 channels in 11 languages across India. Of these, 45 are Hindi, 45 English, 6 Punjabi, 3 Oriya, 13 Tamil, 9 Malayalam, 9 Kannada, 7 Bengali, 3 Gujarati, 7 Marathi, 2 North East and 10 Telugu channels. The new channels will be available since July 20, 2009.

Among the channels added is ET Now, which Tata Sky still hasn’t made available.

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