What a coincidence it is that a few days before the new government was to take charge, there was a fire in the I&B Ministry Office and many files got destroyed. What files have been destroyed is not known to the media. We will know only when there is an enquiry.
It is also a coincidence that many RTI applications have been filed in the last few months to know the truth behind the fudged reports of success of Phase 1 & 2 of digitisation but Ministry has been dodging to providing the answers. It’s only playing a game of handball, passing on the applications to TRAI and BECIL and pass time as long as possible.
Modi has finally managed a fantastic win in the elections and has formed the government with BJP and its allies of NDA. I personally feel it is the one man strategy and conviction and an excellent way to use the media, both conventional and new media, which has made these elections a memorable historic event. It is this Modi spirit that we are celebrating this month in Cable Quest.
We are also referring to two other important personalities who may be responsible for taking some important decisions for the industry that would change the scene in the 180o. One is Sh. Prakash Javadekar, the new I&B Minister who is thinking in a very different manner as far as digitisation is concerned and the second is Mr Nripendra Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the PM, who had headed the TRAI when CAS was implemented in 2007, after having deferred in 2003. It was Mishra who introduced the MRP of Rs 5 for Pay channels and a revenue share of complete BST to the LCOs. Present regulations are completely opposite of this and he may use his office to intervene and get few regulations changed for the public good, moving in a more practical manner so as to help all stake holders equally rather than create imbalance and disturb the whole eco-system in the industry.
I&B Minister, Sh Javadekar is very keen to let the indigenous manufacturing industry come up to a reasonable level before implementing Phase 3 & 4 of digitisation. He has also shown his inclination in having tighter controls on pay channels and allow poor subscribers to get all Doordarshan and other FTA channels without any hindrance (with encryption).
Time only will tell what is in store for the industry. However, we give you some inputs fed by Cable ‘Operators’ Associations after they met the Minister recently. There are some interesting court cases going on in the industry. Cable Operators have approached TDSAT against TRAI’s recent tariff order, hiking the pay channel rates by 27.5%. Hathway has taken Media Pro to TDSAT against its discriminatory distribution price to non- integrated MSOs. Ad Cap case is adjourned till July and some cases are also being filed in High Courts against DAS regulations.
This month we shall be attending the Broadcast Asia show in Singapore and hope to see many of you there. Please don’t forget to visit our revamped website for latest news in Hindi and also Hindi articles. We hope to introduce more innovations to make the best of information available to you just with a ‘click’.