Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ordinance to speed-up digitalization

Finally, we may see the D-Day of digitalization soon, may be within a month. This fact emerged from the news that trickled down from Shastri Bhavan after two meetings of the Task Force on implementing Digitalisation with Addressability in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, saying that the government will bring an ordinance on the subject to let the ball rolling. The news itself has lifted up the stocks of some large MSO companies. 
As the news reports go, first phase of total digitalization in the four metros will have to be completed by March 2012, as suggested by TRAI in their recommendations. Well, a great opportunity is coming up in the industry to catch up with rest of the world in technology as well as content. We have already seen this change take place in the DTH and the mobile sector. 
IBC this time was brimming with hopes for the broadcast industry. Technologies which were on trial last year were being deployed commercially in the developed world. HD is now passé and 3D and Super HiVision have moved in. As demonstrated by NHK in their booth, SuperHiVision will make HD obsolete soon, commencing from its first live broadcast during the 2012 London Olympics. 3D is going to be the next big thing as 3D viewing without the glasses has also been implemented. Moreover, all new technologies support multiplatform distribution on conventional as well as new media, ushering in real convergence. 
Although Indian economy has slowed down a bit following the trends in the developed world, particularly USA and Europe, Television Sector has shown positive results and grown at 12% in the last year. It is expected to grow at the same rate in future too, as projected by the Deloitte research presented by ASSOCHAM in Focus 2011, last month. 
Animation and gaming industry in India too is progressing well, showing a growth of 23% last year. According to Monica Tata of Turner who looks after the two top children channels, Pogo and Cartoon Network, 20% of their content is Indian. We find more information about the sector from her in an interview. 
TAM ratings are again under fire. This time by the News Broadcasters Association who have rejected the weekly ratings and demanded monthly figures as such short time ratings bring in unhealthy competition. 
Contrary to the last government's experience in Tamil Nadu, ARASU, this time is doing well under AIDMK. Already 3700 last mile operators and independent MSOs have joined the network in all the major districts. All pay channels except the rival Sun TV Group, have given their support to them. If it uses the right strategies, it may topple the MSO balance in their favour in the state, cutting down the monopoly of SCV. 
Festive season has commenced and we wish very happy celebrations to all of you. 

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma

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