Thursday, 1 November 2007

Regulations in Full Stream

Oflate the Electronic Media, instead of giving news has itself become a news. 
Last month, the I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi held a meeting of the stakeholders regarding the television rating system which he had earlier commented, was inadequate to provide information about the viewership of TV channels. He showed his surprise that a mere seven thousand people meters fixed in some unknown households are used to measure the viewership of more than 200 channels amongst 115 million TV households. Over and above, there is only one company that has a monopoly in this business and is literally controlling an ad market of Rs500 crores. Not only this, what surprised the minister most was that Doordarshan, that has the maximum reach in the country is hardly ever represented in this race for TRPs because rural, semiurban areas and many states like Orissa, Northeast and J&K were not even covered at all. The I&BMinistry is now carrying out a review of the TRP system with the help of other stake holders and we hope to see some good results. 

Content Code is another issue the Minister is personally interested in finalising soon. Broadcasting Bill has been again kept in the cold storage but content matter is still hot. The ministry did not hesitate in banning channels for violating the content code in spite of all protests and cribs from the broadcasters, particularly the news broadcasters. 
TRAI, the regulator has just announced one of the most far reaching regulation, that of pricing of cable services in the Non CAS areas. This was due since long as 90% of the 72 million cable & satellites homes fall under this category. If we implement these regulations in their, true letter and spirit, people will soon realise the value of CAS and its implementation in rest of the country will get a big boost. This will also help cable operators fight the competition with other platforms like DTH and IP TV. 
IBF, the broadcaster's apex body has shaken up the ad world by announcing a 25% hike in the ad rates. This has been done inspite of the tremendous increase in the number of channels dividing the ad spend of the advertisers. There are protests and bicotts from the advertisers and ad agencies. 
On the technical front Omnibus, a UK based company has presented an innovative software based solution for production and delivery of a television channel, a process that is dominated by dozen or more hardware components. This automated solution will reduce the cost of production besides making the process more efficient. We bring you a review. 
We welcome readers to send their comments and observations and share their views with others. 

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



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