Cable TV

Cable TV act incorporating CAS introduced in Parliament today

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The Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2002, incorporating mandatory conditional access for cable TV systems was introduced in the lower house (Lok Sabha) of parliament today by information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj. It marked a major victory for Swaraj who has been at the forefront of pushing through the legislation which has been perceived as a bugbear of some broadcasters but has on the whole been welcomed by cable TV operators.

The Bill is to be discussed in the Lok Sabha tomorrow, and if passed it will be introduced in the Upper House the day after, just before Parliament closes.

The CAS ammendment will result in the introduction of set top boxes in consumer homes, government control over the free to air bouquet with similar control for pay channels being in the hands of cable TV operators.

Its announcement resulted in a schism in the broadcasters' ranks with Zee TV openly favouring it, ditto with Sahara. Sony has been sitting on the fence, while Star India and ESPN Star Sports have been opposing it.

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