DELHI: For those who believe that the government is sure to
shift the digitisation deadline for Phase II, there is a cautionary
note. Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari
has made it clear that an extension of datelines can turn
out more harmful.
who took over as I&B minister two days before the deadline
for the first phase of DAS in four metros, said he did not
relent under pressure to extend the deadline.
was under tremendous amount of pressure to relax the deadline
of phase I, but we decided that we would stay the course.
I knew the pitfalls of reneging on deadline and the implications
it has on the entire process, Tewari revealed.
today said he would have preferred a social contract wherein
all stakeholders came together to implement digitisation by
taking each other into confidence rather than pushing it down
the throat of consumers through a legal mandate.
a keynote at InfocomAssocham Mets Forum 2013, Tewari
said a social contract would have been consensual way of
implementing digitisation. He also said that digitisation
was eventually between broadcasters, multi-system operators
(MSOs), local cable operators (LCOs) and consumers.
social contract would have been possibly the most consensual
way of taking this course forward. But the government in
its wisdom thought it will do it in a legal compact by mandating
it, Tewari said.
also stressed on the need to take all the stakeholders on
board for smooth implementation of DAS (Digital Addressable
System) going forward in the remaining phases.
stakeholder in this process should feel shortchanged and
thats a responsibility that the industry has to take
upon itself so that all the stakeholders are on board and
its a win-win situation for all, Tewari stated.
we go into phase II, phase III and phase IV we would want
the industry to walk that extra mile to get all their recalcitrant
fellow travelers on board.
also said that the industry needs to move faster on the Broadcasters
Audience Research Council (Barc) to replace the current television
audience measurement system which is inadequate considering
the size of the Indian television industry.
will not get into the debate whether a particular model
is flawed or kosher because of a lack of alternative but
I think it would worthwhile for the broadcasting industry
to really move on the Barc. Its unfair to the broadcasting
industry and its unfair for the advertisers to have
such a small sample which determines how thousands of crores
of advertising revenue is spent, he asserted.
also assured that the government would walk the extra mile
should the industry fast-track the process of forming Barc.
dont know why there is hesitation in the industry
to move on it, but I can assure that if the industry decides
to take the first step forward we will walk the extra mile
to implement Barc provided the industry puts it in the front
burner, he averred.
a veiled reference to news broadcasters, the minister said
that the quality of discourse has to be in tune with the
steps taken by the government to correct the flawed business
model that exists. He said that the digitisation would in
the long run help correct the flawed business model that
is currently dependent on ad revenue.
are told that the reason why the discourse is so sensational
because the ad pie is decided by those 8,000 meters. As
we go on digitising, it is important that the stakeholders
in media industry need to realise that because the discourse
was sensational due to flawed revenue model. Now that there
is an attempt to correct it , there has to be a certain
amount of equanimity and certain amount of responsibility,
do not say this because we have 2014 in mind or 2019. As
a country we have gone through 1999 and 2004 and 2009, so
we will go through the democratic cycle - its neither
here nor there. If you look at Indias interest in
the long-term this is an issue that needs to be flagged
in a deliberation of this sort.
on the contribution of the Film Industry, Tewari stated
the Industry had grown on its own adopting innovation and
creativity at every stage of development. The industry needed
to be appreciated for the role played by it over a period
of 100 years through the cinematic portrayal of moving images
which had contributed to Indias soft power.
endeavour of the Government was to initiate suitable measures
so as to ensure the growth of India as a soft power in the
centenary year of Indian Cinema. The Minister said he was
confident that a lot of taxation issues would be resolved
for the industry once there was a shift towards the GST
the Certification process, Tewari said the Ministry was
mindful of the fact that the whole process needed to be
examined in the light of recent events. In this context,
the Ministry had set up a panel under Justice Mudgal to
review the mandate and functioning of CBFC and recommend
measures including statutory changes to enable CBFC to deal
with contemporary requirements of certification and increased
transparency / efficiency.