100 per cent declaration unfeasible, says NCTA

MUMBAI: Underdeclaration has been the way out thus far; 100 per cent declaration is an impractical option. CAS is the effective solution in the foreseeable future. That about surmises what the New Delhi-based National Cable Telecommunication Association feels about the cable scenario in the country.

In a presentation at the Consumer Electronics & TV Manufacturers' Association (CETMA) seminar in Delhi on Thursday, NCTA's Vikki Chaudhry outlined the independent cable TV operator's side of the story, supplemented with statistics. If the cable op has to offer 100 per cent declaration to pay channel broadcasters, says Chaudhry, it would cost the subscriber Rs 402, a figure which Chaudhry claims the average subscriber can ill afford.

On the other hand, cutting operating expenditure to accommodate pay channels and taxes means 'frequent network breakdowns, poor picture quality, inferior distribution equipment and ineffective implementation of effective CAS'. Underdeclaration to pay channels has thus far entailed an average subscription of Rs 225 to Rs 250 per month, offering "commercial viability to the cable op with scope for upgradation and value service additions, but also some disruptions in pay channel services on issues of subscriber under-declaration," says Chaudhry.

The implementation of CAS, on the other hand, he says, will offer a basic tier at affordable rates to subscribers, more transparency in business with pay TV broadcasters, a level playing field for all players and additional revenue.

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