Govt working on ordinance to speed up digitisation

NEW DELHI: The government is working on an ordinance to speed up digitisation of the cable and satellite television industry worth Rs 200 billion, a route that is set to upset several cable TV operators in the short run while accelerating pay-TV revenues for broadcasters and curtailing their carriage costs.

The multi-system operators (MSOs) are unwilling to voice their views openly at this stage but feel that an ordinance to pass such a complex issue is not a step in the right direction.

With the next session of Parliament still about two months away and the deadline for digitisation in the four metros (31 March 2012) fast approaching, the Indian government is expected to issue an ordinance to amend the rules and ensure complete digitisation by December 2014.

Ministry sources said a draft of the ordinance is being prepared by the Ministry, which would be placed before the Cabinet shortly.

The ordinance will particularly amend Section 4A of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 as it currently does not have any provision for beaming free-to-air (FTA) channels through the set-top box (STB).
"The government should have first rolled out complete digitisation in Cas areas before gradually moving up to digital addressable system under which the FTA channels will also have to go through a STB. There will be a consumer anger. We will also have shortage of STBs," said Digicable Network India MD and CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli.

Hathway Cable & Datacom, however, is in support of such a move. "It will be a step in the right direction. There is no need to delay digitisation," said Hathway Cable & Datacom MD and CEO K Jayaraman.

The Ministry sources said while there may not be any reference to the FDI limit in the ordinance, there will be an enabling provision to increase the threshold.

Earlier this year, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in its final report on the schedule issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had said the first phase covering the metros would be completed by 31 March 2012 (as against Trai‘s revised deadline of 31 December 2012).

The Ministry said Phase II covering cities with a population more than 1 million will be fully digitised by 31 March 2013 (as against the revised Trai deadline of 31 December 2012).

Phase III covering all urban areas (Municipal Corporations/Municipalities) will be digitised by 30 September 2014 (as against Trai‘s revised timescale of 31 December 2013).

Phase IV covering the rest of India will be digitised by 31 December 2014 (as against Trai‘s revised timeline of 31 December 2013).

Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) President Roop Sharma told that three different groups have been formed, which is creating an impediment to the digitisation process.

The 18-member Task Force had been constituted to oversee and facilitate the implementation of digital addressable cable TV systems in the country.

The Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (Becil) has entered into an agreement with Society for Broadband Professionals (SCTE) of London to receive training in digitisation. Becil will then impart the training to Indian personnel involved in the digitisation process.

Meanwhile, Den Networks shares jumped 12.25 per cent to close Monday at Rs 61.85 on the BSE. Hathway Cable & Datacom also saw 6.78 per cent growth to Rs 88.15, while Hinduja Ventures rose 1.15 per cent to close at Rs 307.25.

Shares of Dish TV, the only DTH company to be publicly traded, rose 1.11 per cent to Rs 77.55.

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