CASBAA's annual spotlight on the Indian multichannel TV market was recently held on March 5, 2014 at the Shangri-La New Delhi. Attracting over 150 delegates, speakers and media, the CASBAA India Forum 2014 brought together leading government officials and industry decision-makers to debate on the state of Indian television and the global broadcast market.
"CASBAA's annual India Forum has become a yearly barometer of the broadcasting market in the country," said Christopher Slaughter, CEO, CASBAA. "Our roster of knowledgeable and high-profile speakers from both the government and business sectors provides invaluable information for the future prospects of multichannel television in India."
This year's event began with an Opening Keynote by RK Arnold, Secretary, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and an Industry Keynote delivered by Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEE Entertainment.
Goenka, commenting on this year's Forum theme, said: "This industry is blessed with such great talent and potential that is has all the elements to produce content which can entertain not just Indian but global audiences. But content creators will have to adapt to the new distribution platforms apart from the primary p latforms like linear television."
Throughout the day, delegates also heard further insights from the likes of Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary Broadcasting, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting who gave Introductory Remarks during The Digital Revenue panel; Ashok Mansukhani, President, MSO Alliance on foreign direct investment; Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO, Tata Sky on DTH; Avanish Kaul, CEO, Times Now, ET Now & zoom during the content panel; Huang Baozhong, EVP, APT Satellite on satellite capacity constraints; and, Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC on advertising issues.
Remarking on the first two phases of the cable TV digitization rollout, Sahu said: "Available data indicates there is excellent positive impact of digitisation for broadcasters including more bandwidth available for more channels and greater incentive to provide better content and to invest in infrastructure." But, she also noted that, moving forward, "Support of State Governments is critical in the digitisation initiative." However, Mrs Roop Sharma, President Cable Operators Federation of India contested the Ministry claims connecting that the data was highly manipulated to show the success of the Ministry. The increased receipts shown in the presentation were actually included figures of tax dues over the last year and did not show the actual amounts paid by the MSOs She also contended that except for forced seeding of 30 million STBs, Ministry has achieved nothing as none of the MSOs have started giving choice to consumers.
An important stop in the multichannel TV calendar, the CASBAA India Forum 2014 recognizes Supporting Sponsor SES and Sponsors APT, AsiaSat, Eutelsat and MEASAT for their generous participation at this year's event.