IBF for one city CAS rollout initially

NEW DELHI: A delegation of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) today made a strong pitch for some relaxation in the government-mandated deadline for implementation of conditional access (July 14) in front of some policy makers some of whom, however, felt that the foundation itself is divided over the issue of CAS.



The broadcasters' meeting with the Left party Member of Parliament Somnath Chatterjee-chaired Standing committee on IT, Telecom and convergence, it seems, did not have the impact that some would have liked to have.

That some of the parliamentarians felt that IBF is a divided house may be the result of the presence of Zee Telefilms chairman and managing director Subhash Chandra who is reported to have conveyed to the Standing Committee members that though India, at present, does not have the capacity to manufacture set top boxes needed to access pay channels in a post-CAS regime, but the boxes could be had from some S.E Asian countries at reasonable prices of about $ 48 a piece.

Some of the broadcasters like Sony, Star and ESPN Star Sports have been maintaining that lack of adequate number of STBs in the country from July 14 would lead to widespread chaos and confusion in Indian cable homes in the metros.

At the moment, that stand seems to carry some weight as despite Zee's assertions on the easy availability of boxes at reasonable prices, quite contrary most multi-system operators have not finalised the orders for the boxes yet, which is likely to frustrate cable consumers post July 14.

According to political sources, the members of the parliamentary panel heard the broadcasters' viewpoints and reserved taking any stand till its next meeting when the information and broadcasting ministry secretary is scheduled to appear before the policy makers and give the government's viewpoint on CAS and related issues like availability of boxes.

The three-point agenda of today's meeting included seeking reduction in duties on import of STBs, get some relaxation in the rollout of CAS, which can be probably restricted to one city (probably Chennai) instead of the four metros and that more than 30 channels should be part of the basic tier of free to air channels that should be made mandatory all over the country.

At one point, according to the sources, SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta is understood to have said that if CAS is implemented in an orderly and phased manner, then down the line six months later even Sony may look at manufacturing STBs in India. SET is part of the Japan-based Sony group.

One of the MPs, who attended today's meeting, later said: "The lobbies and counter lobbies for CAS seems to indicate that this is all a game of advertising revenue and the impact of CAS on such revenue."

Another parliamentarian felt that the broadcasters looked a divided lot; a clear division that can be seen as a battle between the Indian broadcasters and their foreign-owned counterparts.

Those who attended today's meeting included Prasar Bharati CEO K.S. Sarma, Chandra and his brother Jawahar Goel, Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea and IBF secretariat's Bhuwan Lall.

Sahara TV president Mahesh Prasad did not attend the meeting with the Standing Committee as, according to sources close to him, he did not want to be a mute participant in a process where he had fundamental disagreements.

The IBF is slated to meet on Monday to further discuss the issue of CAS as also a show cause notice that has been issued to Prasad.

But the big question is: whether petitioning before the Standing Committee would bear some results? Simply because the panel on its own constitutionally cannot take up any issue (like deferment of CAS) , which have to be referred to it by Parliament.

Will Parliament awaken to the impending chaos that may result post July 14? Intezaar kare kuch samay.

Latest Reads
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
U Sports launches India's first ever Multi-Platform Multi-Game E-Sports Championship - U Cypher with MTV

The Indian E-Sports scenario is all set for a major revamp as U Sports, one of India’s biggest sports business companies in association with India’s No. 1 Youth Brand, MTV, announces the premiere of their all new month-long championship, U Cypher with MTV. Premiering today, on 19th January, the...

Television TV Channels Sports
TV ownership increased by 14% in 2017: IRS

After a gap of four years, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which documents the growth of the media industry, has been released for 2017. The survey methodology was criticised in 2014 and, therefore, was halted for an upgrade. This time, the sample size has been increased by 34 per cent to 3.2...

Television TV Channels Viewership
CNN-News18 launches 'If I Were FM Challenge'

As part of its Budget programming, CNN-News18 is launching the ‘If I were FM Challenge’. The campaign will encourage viewers to contribute their suggestions for the Union Budget. The channel will run an extensive on-air campaign to promote the same.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories