An eventful 2012 ends and a hopeful 2013 commences. The year 2012 started with the Phase-I of Digitisation and after seeding of about 6 million STBs in the four metros, Phase-II targets the next 38 cities in 2013. Whatever may be the manner of enforcing the law for mandatory digitisation and its immediate impact, there is no doubt that the long term effects of digitisation on the industry will usher in an era of continuous growth and happiness.
One thing is sure that once the teething problems are over, many non serious players will be on the path of extinction. Many operators and broadcasters have not prepared well for the future or have not visualized how the industry is shaping up. They will find it difficult to adjust with the changing scenario. Also many who joined the industry for a quick buck are going to get a shock of their life when complete transparency and power to consumers is realized.
Even the government did not prepare well for a smooth switchover from analog to digital. It appears that some vested interests have prompted the government initiative to help only a few big players in the immediate future. Perhaps it has something to do with the forthcoming elections in 2014. Otherwise no sane person can ever think of a knee jerk reaction of the government in mandating total digitalization to be completed in just three years in a growing market of 150 million TV households. It is difficult to understand the way bureaucrats in the Ministry tried all dirty tricks to achieve something in a private industry as if some big reward was waiting for them at the end of the job.
Out of the four metros only two namely Mumbai and Delhi has been able to seed the boxes to a satisfactory level. Chennai has yet to start with the process and Kolkata is stuck between the centre government and the state government wondering whom to listen. Two to three years are required by the industry in the metros to reach a smooth going but Ministry has already announced the next phase going smoothly in the 38 cities. It has all the hopes to end the phase successfully on 31st March 2013.
Our Annual Issue deals with the subject in detail, from marketing to distribution and from what to expect and what not to in the future. We have also dwelt upon the new technologies and the way digital networks will shapeup so that industry professionals can make up their mindset to cope with the future.
The issue is full of important information and I am sure every reader will relish it with great satisfaction. This time the industry directory section is also bigger and many new categories have been added. We invite suggestions and comments from our esteemed readers so that we endeavor to do better next time.
January 2013 is a great month for the industry when for the first time two major events will take place in the same month in Delhi. First it is Convergence India 2013 (16-18 Jan) and then BES Expo 2013 (29-31 Jan). Both are very important for all broadcast professionals; first one deals with distribution and the later with content production and broadcasting.
At the end I would like to thank all those who helped to make this Annual Issue a great success with their advertisements, listings and contributions.
—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma