"We have agreed for a genre-wise switch off in phases," Media Network and Distribution Ltd MD and CEO Yogesh Radhakrishnan told Indiantelevision.com. Media Network distributes the Times Group of television channels including Times Now, ET Now, Movies Now and Zoom.
What this means in effect is that a particular genre of channels will not be available on analogue cable in the four metros in different time periods before 1 November.
"The date for digitisation deadline is not far off. All hell won't break loose and it is a practical step to take if we are to move into the new digital era. This is also a way to make consumers realise that they can't view television content from 1 November if they don't have digital STBs," an industry source said.
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and MSOs had met under the aegis of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials to discuss on the state of preparedness of the stakeholders for meeting the 31 October deadline. The government has mandated the shutting down of analogue cable TV by 31 October midnight in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.