CII organized its 5th CEOs Round table on 24 January 2014 at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi. The conference highlighted the issues of the industry in implementing Digitisation in Cable Television.
Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO, Viacom 18 gave the welcome address and Mr Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India delivered the theme address. Special address was delivered by Mr Bimal Julka, I&B Secretary. TRAI Chairman, Dr Rahul Khullar also spoke about the regulations and his future plans for the industry.
The roundtable was attended, among others, by Tata Sky MD Harit Nagpal, Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish, Siti Cable CEO VD Vadh wa and COFI president, Roop Sharma.
Despite the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stating that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has no jurisdiction over competition-related issues, Chairman Rahul Khullar is bent on pursuing the content aggregator issue till a logical conclusion is reached. Putting all speculations to rest about the delay in the guidelines for content aggregators, the TRAI chairman said that the authority would come out with its recommendations on the role of content aggregators in two weeks.
“We will take a decision on DTH licence regime, FM channels and content aggregators in two weeks,” Khullar said at the 5th CEOs Roundtable on Broadcast organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
While addressing the industry captains at the CII summit, Khullar said that the cable TV subscription price ought to be defrozen. “Indian consumers are not used to paying for quality service like digital cable, but that must change,” he said, much to the desire of the broadcasters.
He also said that the industry is going through a transition phase and it was important for all the stakeholders to resolve their differences amicably for the betterment of the industry. “The industry has to find its answers for all the issues that exist today,” he said.
Khullar took to task the multi-system operators (MSOs) for failing to be proactive in implementing digitisation in its true sense like packaging and billing. “It’s simply dumb to sit back and expect payback by just seeding STBs,” he stated.
Khullar also pointed out that the only solution to resolving legacy issues was by transitioning to the digital system which would make analogue and the governing rules redundant.
Addressing the 5th CEOs ‘Roundtable on Broadcast’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Manish Tewari said, “It is my way or the highway. This may have worked in Phases I and II but it is not going to work in Phases III and IV.” The digitisation process during Phases III and IV would have to focus on the interest of the consumers in order to ensure that they are partners in the process rather than adversaries, added Tewari.