DAS: Televisions to go blank in north-east & east Delhi on 20 Jan

NEW DELHI: Around one million households in north-east and east Delhi will go without their favourite television programmes as cable operators are observing a blackout on 20 January to protest against the "unfair and unworkable" revenue-sharing formula under the digital addressable system (DAS).

About 200 cable operators from the two areas of the capital will join in the blackout, which will be for 24 hours to begin with.

Ashok Pandit, representing the cable operators from the trans-Yamuna east Delhi areas, told the cable operators fully supported the decision to go digital, but the revenue sharing where the cable operator who did the entire ground work got only Rs 45 out of every basic service tier of free to air 100 channels costing Rs 100.

The balance is shared with the multi-system operator (MSO).

Pandit said residents who were paying just Rs 100 to Rs 150 under the analogue system would now have to pay two or three times more than that, and will also have to purchase a digital set-top box (STB).

The cable TV operators have already submitted memorandums to the Delhi government and the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry in this connection but failed to get satisfactory replies.

Pandit said if the blackout proves successful, cable operators from other areas of the capital may also join the protest demanding a higher revenue share and lower tariffs for consumers.

The Cable Operators Federation of India President Roop Sharma, who is also a member of the I&B Ministry‘s Task Force on Digitisation, said the blackout will be in phases and will be held in other parts of the capital as well, and may later be taken to other metros.

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