Cable TV

Distribution vet Tony D'silva departs from IMCL

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MUMBAI: Tomorrow, Tony D’silva will serve his last day as the MD and CEO of IMCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hinduja Ventures.

"I have decided not to renew my contract (with IMCL) as I wanted to take a break," D'Silva told Indiantelevision.com. He denied knowledge of his replacement. "They may announce it tomorrow, or whenever," he said.

During his stint at IMCL, he helped roll out the Hinduja-promoted headend in the sky (HITS) project NXT Digital, a process which took the group sometime, courtesy regulatory cholestrol. He also rolled out pre-paid subscriptions for the both NXT Digital and the cable network INCable which resulted in a consistent revenue stream for the latter. However, the haphazard management of the DAS III and DAS IV process by the government resulted in idelays. This meant that NXT Digital could not get fair digital content deals with some broadcasters. And this impacted its business planning.

Looking back at the broadcast industry in India, the cable veteran of 20 years said that he witnessed exciting times in the industry. "There were tremendous challenges as well -- some were natural and others created," he remarked.

The cable and broadcast industry was at cusp of a paradigm change, he said. "With new regulations, changes are taking place at least in spirit -- if not (practically, or) legally. I hope it changed the course of the industry's progress," he said.

With the positive changes -- from push to a pull economy, each constituent and stakeholder of the distribution value chain, he said, must be able to sustain on its own. He said he hoped the industry's fortunes would turn around sooner than later. He would not hazard a guess on the possible changes the budget may bring in.

About the recent development that one MSO licence would permit pan-India service, he said the regulation, rather amendment, had come rather late in the day. "Simply, allowing the MSOs to function across India would not help immediately. From where would they get head-ends or how soon can they lay their fibre connectivity in newer area?" he questioned with a puzzled tone in his voice.

"Until and unless, infrastructure sharing is allowed (and practically operational), there is no point in relaxation of rules which allow a cable operator to operate pan-India with a single licence," he quipped.

After his break, D'Silva said that he might start a business independently. On prodding about the sector he would be haring into, he shared that he only knew the broadcast industry, with a smile. .

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