NEW DELHI:To lend some weight to those who are for quick implementation of conditional access, Zee Telefilms chairman and managing director Subhash Chandra has also accompanied the Indian Broadcasting Federation team that is meeting the parliamentary Standing Committee on IT, telecom and convergence at the moment in Parliament House in Delhi.
According to sources close to Chandra, it was felt that his presence would lend the whole cause more momentum, especially at a time when a section of broadcasters are seeking a deferment in the CAS rollout or phased introduction of addressability in Indian cable homes post the deadline of 14 July.
Indiantelevision.com has also learnt that the agenda of the IBF-Standing Committee meeting includes seeking a deferment on CAS rollout and reduction in duties on set-top boxes, which would be necessary to access all pay channels as mandated by the Indian government.
At an IBF meeting yesterday, the broad consensus was to apprise some of the Indian policy makers of the various aspects of CAS and the fallout and chaos that is likely to be witnessed if the implementation is enforced as per deadline without having certain other things in place.
One of the reasons being cited for a deferment on CAS is the lack of availability of STBs in the country. Hence, it is likely to be suggested at today's meeting by broadcasters that if the government is bent upon adhering to the July 14 deadline, then CAS rollout should be done in a phased manner, starting off with one of the metros instead of in the four metros simultaneously as had been envisaged earlier.
However, Zee up to some extent and Sahara TV are for quick implementation of CAS, which is aimed at benefiting the consumer. At yesterday's IBF meeting, Zee, represented by Jawahar Goel, one of the younger brothers of Chandra, maintained that if at all some postponement is being sought, then it should not be for a long period of time, and should be for only 15-20 days.
Keep tuned in for more on this CAS meeting.