independent cable operators sought an extension of six months
for the first phase, citing the shortage of digital set
top boxes, the late issuance of the tariff regulations by
the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the high
carriage fee and the non-viability of the DAS.
Some MSOs wanted extension of at least three months, a participant
who attended the meeting said on condition of anonymity.
operators said that failure to switch to digitisation by
1 July may lead to law and order problems.
broadcasters were represented by heaveyweights like Zee
Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) MD and CEO Punit Goenka,
Star India CEO Uday Shankar, NDTV executive vice-chairperson
KVL Narayan Rao and Times Television network MD and CEO
Sunil Lulla, among others.
broadcasters vehemently opposed any shift in deadline and
said that even a minor delay would send wrong signals to
the industry. Sticking to the deadline would ensure that
set-top boxes would move fast," a source who attended
the meeting said.
(DTH) service providers were not invited for the meeting.
was firm on sticking to the deadline but said that the final
decision would be conveyed by 15 June. She also said that
cable operators had moved the High Courts in Delhi and Mumbai
but a final verdict was pending.
also said that the STB penetration was not satisfactory
and emphasised that cable networks needed to do a lot of
work on that front.