Are the fruits of digitisation really being harvested?

GOA: The first session was on how digitisation has progressed and how it is no longer just a goal but the means to a critical end and a sweet spot for the convergence of national economic benefit, advanced infrastructure and content democratisation coverage.

The panel for addressing this topic had TRAI principal advisor N Parmeshwaran, DEN Networks chairman and CEO Sameer Manchanda, Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal and Star India president & general counsel Deepak Jacob. The session was moderated by Anil Wanvari and Vivek Couto.

“The entertainment and media space is doing much better as compared to earlier times and is a booming sector now just like how the IT sector was in the early 90s,” says Parmeshwaran.

According to a recently released CII-PwC report the media and entertainment industry in India was valued at Rs 96,500 crore in 2012 witnessing a rise of nearly 20 per cent from the Rs 80,500 crore in the preceding year (2011).

Says Parmeshwaran, “TRAI has been doing its bit to help out in bringing systems in order by passing various recommendations, consultation papers on interconnect agreements and also streamlining the distribution process.”

Over the past few months the regulator has really been pressing for the completion of phase II of digitisation, setting strict deadlines for submission of CAFs and also instructing the MSOs to maintain proper subscription management systems (SMS). But the idea is not just to install boxes and collect forms.

Nagpal says, “The idea is to bring in processes, understand consumer behavior and more importantly focus on the content being provided, rather than just giving numbers of boxes installed and CAFs collected.”

TRAI has also been trying to address issues on direct billing, the segmentation of aggregators and broadcasters and also regarding media ownership along with giving its recommendation on the TV ratings system.

“TRAI is open to helping out anyone who is looking out for helping improve the media and entertainment segment. We have enhanced the FDI limit to 100 per cent for carriage fees and 49 per cent for the news and FM radio segment recently,” stresses Parmeshwaran.

The DTH segment has certainly made progress as far as numbers go with nearly 26.7 million STBs being installed by 31 March 2013 and this number is expected to reach a huge number of 135 million STBs by end of December 2014.

Manchanda feels that in the next five years these numbers will witness a phenomenal change. “The current situation is causing pain to everyone - broadcasters, aggregators, MSOs and consumers - but looking at the bigger picture is important and progress will be made accordingly.”

The need of the hour is for all the stakeholders to come together and nourish the ecosystem and the change will come in the next 12 to 24 months. “Currently everyone is trying to save their own bedrock, but what is needed is to go that extra mile and cater to the needs of the consumers, the consumer is just looking for the best quality to experience and once we do that, ARPUS will no longer be an issue,” adds Manchanda.

There is a problem that is faced by DTH service providers wherein they are forced to carry many of the channels that they do not really wish to but have to because of the aggregators, “even the consumer doesn’t really see the need to see these channels, so why should I carry it?” argues Nagpal.

TRAI had recently issued a consultation paper asking for comments from stakeholders on the matter of unbundling channels from the same network in the bouquets provided by the aggregators  and received more than 100 comments and is still in the process of going through all the comments to reach a decision on the matter.

Speaking on the prospect of meeting the phase III and IV deadlines Jacob opines, “There were 35 million STBs installed and CAFs collected during phase I and II put together and there are another 30-35 million STBs and CAFs to be accounted for in just the next three months, it’s going to be chaotic and will leave no time for LCOs and MSOs to breathe.”

So with phase II of digitisation being completed and on the cusp of nearing the phase III and IV, it is yet to be seen how things progress and how India can meet the dream of becoming a completely digitised country.

Latest Reads
Pune Times joins hands with the Pune Police to launch the 'City Safe' app, as part of #MakeMyCitySafe initiative

Pune Times, city supplement of leading media house, The Times of India, has joined hands with Pune Police to support an initiative for women’s safety in the city. Pune Times has launched its campaign #MakeMyCitySafe as a big shout out to the youth of Pune to come together to make the city safer...

Technology Software Applications
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories