Wednesday, 1 August 2012

DTH Operators Demoralised

While digitalisation of Cable TV in the metros has been deferred by the government ,worst hit are the DTH operators who wanted to cash in on failure of the fragmented cable industry in fully complying with the stringent government regulations, particularly in the initial stages of the process when even the subscribers are not well prepared . Although DTH already being a fully digital service is well entrenched since eight years, it has no reasons to feel insecure but the conditions under which it is operating makes it a struggling service, mainly because it has to compete with many small players running analog cable networks with very low ARPU. 
We dedicate this issue to DTH service in India, speaking to many experts in the field to know the present and the future of the service and also analyse the service with our own inputs. 

Digitalisation of Cable TV will always be important to us for at least the next two years when the process would have reached a stable point. There are bound to be many hiccups in the beginning making the progress slow, inspite of the pressures from the Ministry. Many analysts are thinking that there may be a further delay in completing the first phase itself because STBs are not being seeded at the required speed. More over , there is no demand from the consumers. It appears that the Ministry has mandated the digitalisation policy without much research on its feasibility and acceptance by the masses. Have the I&B calculations gone wrong? We have tried to analyse the reasons that may fail the policy introduced in the public interest. 
Cross media ownership is one of the major reasons causing many problems in the broadcasting industry. While speaking in a round table on the subject organised by Assocham, TRAI chairman , Rahul Khullar accepted that Cross media ownership could prove dangerous to the nation and has decided to bring out a consultation paper on the subject. Earlier too, TRAI had given its recommendations on this in 2008 which the Ministry had ignored. 
National Telecom Policy 2012 has been released paving the way for many reforms in the industry. More emphasis has been laid on increasing the broadband penetration in the rural areas. National Fiber Optic Network has been planned across the nation to reach broadband in six lakh villages of the Nation. Cable Networks will also be utilised for the purpose. 
Government is also working on a National Media Policy that will cover every type of media. 
At present the world television media is busy with Olympic broadcasts. Doordarshan is doing a good job in India as the National broadcaster. However, it is ESPN raking the moolah in advertisements. News channels are not very happy because of many restrictions on them for monetising the Olympics. 
IBC is just a month ahead. So, prepare yourself to be there to see what’s latest in the broadcasting field. Cable Quest will be present there as the media partner. 
Happy Independence day to all of you.

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



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