All Local Cable Operators Association (ALCOA), a Delhi based LCO association, headed by its Chairman Vijay Pal Singh and President Ram Kishan Tomar is actively pursuing the cause of the LCOs these days, submitting memorandums to the TRAI, I&B Ministry as well as Delhi Government to apprise the authorities about the anomalies in implementation of Digital Addressable System in the Capital.
Narender Bagri, Association Secretary and Yogesh Khatri, treasurer told that inspite of more than two years of DAS implementation in Delhi, not much has been achieved from digitalisation. Hardly any consumer has benefitted in getting a choice and paying only for the selected content. LCOs are finding it difficult to survive in the digital environment as they face resistance from consumers in collecting the increased subscriptions and satisfy the demands of the MSOs.
Writing to the TRAI Chairman, Rahul Khullar the Association points out that no MSO is executing a proper interconnect agreement with the LCOs. Although, LCOs are the most important part of the value chain of Cable TV Service, no MSO ever includes them in their meetings where important decisions are taken regarding the consumer services and subscription revenue. Association has demanded a complete transparency in the business.
LCOs have also pointed out the anomaly of fallback arrangement of 35% revenue share fixed by TRAI for LCOs is becoming a bane for them as every MSO is taking this as a standard and does not give more share than this, which is not at all adequate to run their business efficiently. LCOs are mentally harassed by MSOs and Broadcasters who consider them as their labour force and nothing more.
Association has also complained that no MSO gives them a proper receipt for the subscription money or activation fee for STBs paid to them on behalf of the consumers. Every transaction is done verbally. As no agreements are in force, MSOs keep showing outstanding dues against them every now and then. In another memorandum, Association has complained that no MSO sells the STB to consumer, but in case of a fault, demands Rs 100- 400 for carrying out repairs which is not justified. No MSO is complying with TRAI Tariff Orders or Regulations.
Memorandum also highlights the non-compliance of ad cap by the broadcasters. Consumers keep complaining to the LCOs about excessive and irritating ads of broadcasters in a programme but LCOs have no place where they can complain about this. They have demanded that if TRAI cannot enforce ad cap on broadcasters, it should fix pay channel rates at Rs 1 per channel per month as done in some other countries.
In another memorandum to Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodiya, the Association has pointed out how the MSOs do not pay the entertainment tax on subscriptions and VAT on cost of STBs and blame the LCOs for everything. Mentioning the recent notice of Delhi government to the MSOs, for not paying Rs 276 crore as