Monday, 21 May 2007

Supreme Court Ruling MSO Can't be Exclusive Agent

The Supreme Court gave a significant ruling that no broadcaster can appoint a Multi System Operator (MSO) as its exclusive agent for distribution of its channels to other MSOs. This verdict came on 3rd April 07 soon after Star India Pvt. Ltd.'s civil appeal to the Apex Court challenging Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) decision given on 24.8.2005 ordering Star India to supply signals of its bouquet of channels by entering into an agreement with Sea TV Network Ltd, an MSO in Agra (UP). 

Coming Next: Star Cricket A 24x7 Cricket Channel from the House of ESPN Star Sports

India's early and humiliating exit from the World Cup 07 does not mean Cricket fever's end. Cricket still remains to be the favourite sport of the Indians. Keeping this in mind sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports is launching 'Star Cricket', a dedicated cricket channel especially for audiences in the Indian subcontinent. ESPN bagged the $1.1 billion telecast rights for International Cricket Council (ICC) including the next two World Cups last December and announced the launch of the channel on 24th April 07. These rights that commence from September 2007 will expire in the year 2015. 
Slated for a June 07 launch, 'Star Cricket' will be the 15th network launched by ESPN Star Sports in the Asia-Pacific region and the third channel for India. ESPN plans to make the channel available to the largest extent. To ensure that the Direct-To-Home (DTH) customers are not deprived of the new entrant, the company is also in talks with DTH companies such as Tata Sky and Dish TV for putting Star Cricket on DTH platform. 

CAS Roll Out-IX CAS Phase II Gets Ready

Success of the first phase of implementation of mandatory Conditional Access System (CAS) readies us for the second phase. CAS is set to knock the doors of the left out cable TV viewers of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and the satellite towns of these metros who will soon require a Set-Top-Box (STB) to watch their daily dose of entertainment. The satellite towns include New Bombay and Thane for Mumbai and Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon for Delhi. 

Direct to Home or Direct to Court ?

Television, an inseparable part of our lives has undergone through a variety of phases beginning with Doordarshan (DD) channels. Later, technological advancement took us towards Cable Television that offered us innumerable channels in comparison to DD's limited channels. And finally Direct To Home Service is trying to establish its prominence in the market. 
DTH service is provided to the people by transmitting channels directly via satellite. Presently, DTH players are trying to make transmission of channels feasible through Ku Band transponders. This is because such transponders enable digitally compressed channels to be beamed direct to the consumers. Digital transmission increases picture and sound quality of the programmes and allow many value added services. This is another reason that persuades DTH operators to transmit channels via Ku band transponders. At present DTH players charge a lumpsum amount for their entire package of channels that forces the consumers to have all those channels to which they do not heed. However, DTH has value added services like video on demand, consumer interaction etc to complement its drawback of not allowing its customers to opt channels. 

MSOs Licking Their Wounds Entire FTA Fee to LCOs

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a landmark ruling said that the Rs77 paid by subscribers for watching FTA channels would remain entirely with the Local Cable Operators (LCOs). This decision was a consequence of the comments of various stakeholders that TRAI had sought in its consultation paper on review of Revenue Sharing Formula for service providers in CAS notified areas. This paper asked for comments in relation to deciding the share of Multi System Operators (MSOs) and LCOs out of the basic service tier fee and out of the 55% of the subscription charges for pay channel distribution. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Judicial Activism

Like in our day to day life, in the industry too, we are depending more and more on the judiciary to regulate the industry. Although, regulations when made have always considered the stake holders to be honest and law abiding citizens, in reality competition, greed, politics and vested interests lead us to do all wrong things to make pr ofits in the shortest of time. In doing so, we give no consideration to others and are willing to either circumvent or flout the laws . The result is ever increasing court cases. 
After TDSAT was involved with the broadcasting industry, they have been keeping busy with hundreds of cases, big as well as small filed by all types of stake holders from small cable operators to large broadcast companies. The bright side is that our courts have given some landmark judgments that would change the nature of the industry in a better way. 

May 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 -- BBC launched two new channels ‘BBC Entertainment’ and ‘Cbeebies’