Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Happy Days are here again

The year end has heralded the return of better days in the industry and 2010 should prove to be an excellent year for all of us. DEN's first attempt at listing in the stock exchanges went off well with oversubscription. Now Dish TV is adding funds in its kitty with a $ 100 million GDR for a massive expansion. 
HITS has finally been approved and Wire and Wireless, The Essel Group Broadband cable company has intensified its campaign enrolling cable operators for its service all over the country. It is the first major step for cable networks to migrate to digital but since DTH and IPTV are already spreading their digital tentacles all over, it would have been better for the industry as well as the government if a level playing field was created for the Cable Operators too by declaring CAS implementation all over the nation. Apart from digitizing the cable industry, it would have speeded up the broadband penetration too. We talked to Sudhir Agarwal, CEO WWIL to know the salient features of this technology and its advantages in helping cable operators digitize their networks. 
This month, we are focusing on imparting education through electronic media including Television, Radio, Broadband, IPTV, Mobile communications etc. All these technologies have helped empower the common man with knowledge and information to become a part of the global economy. It is this very aspect, which has helped us wither-out the financial crisis engulfing the entire world. We must thank thousands of small cable operators who ushered in the information revolution in India much before even mobile communications and Internet had set their feet. 
We interviewed Sunil Khanna who initiated India's first education TV channel from a private player 'Topper' for our lead story. He is one senior executive who completely belongs to this industry having started his career with Siti Cable in its formative years, managed a DTH company and then launched his own channel and now extending it's reach using the new media technologies. 
Haryana Government has shaken up the Cable TV industry in the state by proposing to auction the municipal areas for Cable TV operation. Existing MSOs and Cable Operators are protesting this move which will endanger their livelihood and have approached I&B Ministry for a remedial action since the ministry controls the business of Cable TV and broadcasting. We cover the story in detail in this issue. 
There is a lot of noise in the I&B Ministry on content regulations but nothing concrete seems to be happening. Inspite of numerous notices and advisories to the TV channels, there is no change in their attitude. The Government warned them against depiction of blood and gore and other graphic details of the 26/11 operation on its first anniversary but ignoring these guidelines, channels showed much more than even the broadcasts of the actual incident a year ago.

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma


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