Cable TV

Consumer fail to get adequate information on packages and so any agreement remains unilateral, says Chrome study

New Delhi, 28 March: Even when the third phase of digitization of cable television is underway and the country is proceeding towards the final phase, the average consumer remains unaware of answers to simple questions that can be provided by the local distributor/direct-to-home operator or cable operator.

Thus, a bilateral transaction remains unilateral as consumers pay for a certain package consisting of a series of channels but are not made aware when a package is revised, leaving them to continue paying the same amount, regardless of whether the revised price of the package is lesser.

A Chrome DM report says that “the broadcasters and consumers are both left in the dark. Similarly, consumers may not necessarily require all the channels provided in the package, and would be watching channels worth less than the amount they are paying. For example, they may pay Rs. 400 per month, whereby their content affinity may be towards channels that cost only Rs. 250”.

In fact, the Report says even basic questions remain unanswered despite the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India have introduced the e-CAF (Consumer Application Forms) to increase the efficiency in the system, and giving it priority by advertising on all TV channels.

For example, few consumes know what DTH platform they use at home, the package they are subscribed to, or the channels available on those packages, as they accept a lucrative offer that comes their way and accept it without asking questions.

The Report says these basic questions give rise to huge discrepancies on-ground, impacting the stakeholders in the scenario, in various ways; namely the government, broadcasters, cable operators and consumers.

Interestingly, the study found that consumers are under the misconception that à la carte is only for sports channels. And though there may be curious consumers who visit respective websites to get information, they find that these may or may not be updated.

Thus, the notion that the flow of information should be two-way is undermined as the key stakeholders – the consumers - remain uninformed.

“The total package implementation that collectively took place in Phase I and Phase II is 16 per cent, across the digital universe, with a subscriber base of 2,90,14,214. Despite Phase I and Phase II being implemented in November, 2012 and December, 2013, respectively, the package implementation in Phase I has only been 24 per cent and 13 per cent in Phase II,” the study claims.

Phase 1
Phase 2
Grand Total

“Discrepancies have definitely arisen from the problem of package implementation. The overall scenario requires much more clarity and I always believe that this is purely contingent on basics. For instance, a leading DTH provider launches a brilliant mobile application meant to be paired with a certain set-top box – however, they go wrong by not seeding the new boxes before launching the application itself! Transparency in the system facilitates concrete addressability. If there were no electricity metres and individuals were to pay electricity bills based purely on negotiations, havoc would ensue.”

The primary data Chrome DM collected from the ground showed some grave discrepancies. In two areas in Kolkata (Rajabazar and Radhamadhav Dutta, Garden Lane), two respondents in the respective areas are paying two separate prices to their cable operators (Rs 330 and Rs 350 respectively), whereas the former is receiving only 228 available channels and the latter is receiving 342. The respondents are not even provided with receipts.

Chrome Data Analytics & Media founder and CEO Pankaj Krishna said that “the basics should be very carefully focused upon in order to create a strong and successful foundation upon which the rest of the infrastructure can be implemented.”

The lack of awareness of the end-consumers and the gravity of this issue as a whole has to be addressed as early as possible if digital addressable system has to succeed, says the study.


Latest Reads
Competition regulator okays Goldman Sachs stake purchase in Den Networks

Investment banking major Goldman Sachs has received the Competition Commission's approval to increase its stake in Den Networks to over 24 per cent by acquiring additional shares through preferential allotment route.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DAS petitions challenging constitutional provisions listed for 3 November

With the division bench taking cognisance of several cases relating the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III which challenge constitutional provisions, the Delhi High Court will hear the DAS cases on 3 November, 2016

Cable TV DAS
MSOs finally cross 1000 as pan-India DAS deadline nears

With less than three months to go for the deadline of the final phase which will complete cable digitlization all over the country, the total number of multi-system operators has finally crossed 1000 with 774 getting provisional licences till 30 September 2016.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Several DAS III petitions may be transferred to Division Bench of Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III legal wrangle is moving on, albeit slowly and steadily.  Lawyers appearing on behalf of the multi-system cable TV operators (MSO) will inform a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court about a large volume of cases relating to DAS III...

Cable TV DAS
Going a la carte with Star and Indiacast has helped: Bibhu Prasad Rath

Bhibu Rath heads one of the small regional cable TV players in the TV distribution business: Ortel Communications. The MSO began as a local player in the state of Odisha. But, it has since spread into neighboring states such as Chattishgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In fact, it...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Bihar govt trebles cable TV entertainment tax to Rs 50

Even as the government is working on subsuming entertainment and other incidental taxes into a goods and service tax (GST) which would be around 18 per cent, cable TV subscribers in Bihar are about to be delivered a blow to their wallets.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DEN seeks Goldman Sachs investment nod from shareholders

MUMBAI: Leading Indian multisystem cable TV operator (MSO) DEN Networks –promoted by Sameer Manchanda- which got its board’s nod to issue another 1.58 crore shares at a price of Rs 90 per share to existing investor Goldman Sachs is now seeking shareholder approval for the same through an...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
NXT Digital-InCable merger gets shareholder nod; D’Silva bemoans lack of ecosystem support

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL’s) proposal to demerge its NXT Digital headend in the sky (HITS) business from its subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) and merge it into its cable TV MSO offshoot Indusind Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) got the thumbs up from its shareholders at its...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Comcast to launch wireless service using Verizon

Here is good news for all Comcast subscribers. The US cable giant’s chief executive Brian Roberts has announced the launch of a wireless service by mid-2017. It plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million WiFi hotspots and use Verizon's wireless network through a deal struck in 2011...

Cable TV Multi System Operators

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories