Technology

NDTV 24x7 to become FTA in Cas areas













NEW DELHI: English news channel NDTV 24x7 is to be converted into a free to air (FTA) channel in the Cas-notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from
23 March.


The channel, which is already FTA in Chennai, is a pay channel in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. NDTV 24x7 is distributed by the Set-Discovery One Alliance distribution bouquet.

 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today issued an order to this effect, thus updating their earlier press releases, placing the details of Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) fixed by the broadcasters in respect of Cas areas on the basis of the reporting done by them in terms of clause 7 (ii) of the Trai Order of 31 August, last year.

 

The Trai press release said that the change had been made as the Authority had been informed subsequent to issuing its Tariff Order, that the channel, which was then encrypted, would be made free-to-air in some of the notified areas.


Detailing the reasons for the move, an NDTV spokesperson told indiantelevision.com that the channel is a “pay channel everywhere in the country except in the Cas regions”.


The spokesperson explained also that CAS area viewers account for less than five per cent of the total viewers in the nation.


Seeding of boxes, the spokesperson argued, has been much slower than anticipated, partly due to shortage of boxes and partly due to lower demand than expected.


“Seeding of boxes is so slow that it is less than 10 per cent in Kolkata, less than 15 per cent in Delhi and 20-25 per cent in Mumbai.


“This means that 80-90 per cent of homes in the CAS areas do not get pay channels. It makes business and journalistic sense to go free to air for a short period and go back to “pay” when there are more boxes seeded in the CAS areas, the spokesperson concluded.

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