Cable TV

LCOs give their views to parliamentary committee on IT

MUMBAI: If one thought that the local cable operators (LCOs) would give up without a good fight for their rights, one was surely mistaken. When around 10 LCOs from across states met the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Technology today in New Delhi, they ensured that their voices were heard on digital addressable systems (DAS). The meeting that went on for two and half hours was attended by 20 members of parliament.


While each LCO was heard by the committee, it was ABS 7 Star CMD Atul Saraf who said that the LCOs were not against digitisation, but against mandated digitisation. “Digitisation should be voluntary,” he said in the meeting.


The LCOs represented the trials and tribulations of the cable TV consumer to the committee. “We spoke on consumer interest and what they had gained with digitisation,” informed Cable Operators Federation of India president Roop Sharma. The operators opined that the consumer should be able to choose his set top box (STB).


Apart from Saraf and Sharma, the others who were a part of the committee included: Pramod Pandya, Swapan Chowdhary, Jeevan Khanna, Ajeet Singh, Sudhish Kumar, GS Oberoi, Gaurav Gupta, Chandradeep Bhatia and Paramjit Singh.


“The consumer should be able to buy portable STBs which gives him access to internet, video-on-demand and other facilities. Why should every consumer be burdened with the same quality of STB. There should be a provision that if someone wants to buy an expensive STB they should be able to do so,” said Sharma.


The operators also suggested that since it is the consumer who pays for the STB, they should be allowed to own it. “Also consumer should have the option to change STBs and his service provider. Currently if Hathway seeds a STB in a consumer’s house, they cannot switch to another MSO,” said Sharma to the committee.


The LCOs also raised concern over their own existence. Many in the meeting felt that the LCOs have been left at the mercy of the MSOs. They also said that the process of billing and the power to switch off STBs should be with the LCOs and not MSOs.


The operators put a point stating that TRAI should first successfully complete digitisation of phase I and II and then start the work in phase III and IV.


On the issue of entertainment tax, the LCO representatives opined that there should be uniformity in taxation throughout. “Also we told them that entertainment tax should be collected per household and not per TV set,” informed Sharma.


The MPs asked the LCOs for solutions to the issues with digitisation, to which the LCOs suggested that the long pending Broadcasting Bill and the DTH Act needs to be brought in to regulate and control the  the broadcasters and DTH players respectively.


Also a point on implementation of vertical monopoly and cross media holding on immediate basis, before going ahead with further digitisation was made.

The committee will also be meeting Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari in a couple of days, after which they will come out with a recommendation which will be submitted to the I&B Ministry.

Latest Reads
Hathway rebrands in-house channels

Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited has given a new dimension to some of its key channels through a rebranding move that includes new packaging and graphics of the five new channels launched earlier this year.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Q3-16: Comcast Cable Communications division video numbers improve

BENGALURU: Comcast Corporation’s (Comcast) Cable Communications division (Comcast Cable, Cable) reported 8.8 percent increase in video revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q3-16, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter. The division reported video revenue at...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Q2-17: Higher subscription revenue, activation fees boosts Ortel revenue

BENGALURU: The Bibhu Prasad Rath led regional cable television and broadband internet player Ortel Communications Limited (Ortel) reported 17.3 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) growth in total revenue from operations (TIO) for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter). Quarter-...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
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

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories