Govt nervous, but insists CAS on schedule in remaining 3 cities

NEW DELHI: An air of uncertainty hangs over the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry as the cities, where conditional access system (CAS) is to be introduced from 1 September, are seeking deferment of the rollout.

The chain reaction has come after the Indian government announced that implementation of CAS in Delhi was being deferred in the light of the state elections due in October.

While pointing out that, as of today, the ministry is going ahead with CAS rollout in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai from 1 September, in the absence of any formal word on it from the higher echelons of the government, officials admitted that "nothing could be said with certainty".

A senior I&B ministry official indicated that various bureaucrats of the West Bengal government have sought deferment of CAS in Kolkata too, while seeking clarifications from the I&B ministry.

Yesterday, additional secretary in the I&B ministry Vijay Singh and joint secretary in the ministry Rakesh Mohan had gone to Kolkata to discuss CAS. Incidentally, on the same day Mumbai's Shiv Sena issued a fatwa against CAS, claiming that it was anti-consumer and hence not to be rolled out in the city, unless done so in Delhi too.

Still, according to government officials, the MSOs have maintained that the demand for set-top boxes has been okay, if not enthusiastic.

A further deferment of CAS would result in "loss of credibility" for the government, especially when around Rs 3,000 million is said to have been invested by the industry in CAS-related infrastructure -- all at the insistence of the government, the officials admitted.

Asked if the government was prepared for the expected backlash from the cable industry in the wake of deferment in Delhi, and the anticipated one in Mumbai, the officials replied in the negative.

When queried as to how it would respond if cable operators in Delhi raised subscription fees to over Rs 400 per month from the current Rs 150 to Rs 200, a senior I&B ministry official said, "If the situation requires it, the government could take steps and arm itself."

Latest Reads
Nat Geo to showcase 'Before The Flood' TVC-free

On the heels of last Friday’s theatrical release of the critically acclaimed film 'Before the Flood' in New York and Los Angeles, National Geographic Global Networks CEO, Courteney Monroe, shared the network's plans to premier the show commercial free across digital and streaming platforms around...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Disney India acquires rights of 'Freaktown'

Disney India has acquired the Canadian animated comedy series 'Freaktown' from Portfolio Entertainment. Broadcasters in the UK and Denmark have also acquired the rights for the same movie.

Television TV Channels Kids
ZMCL to demerge print biz into DMCL, list; approves new home shopping channel

The board of directors of ZMCL has inter alia approved a draft of Scheme of Arrangement and Amalgamation for demerger of print media undertaking of the company into Diligent Media Corporation Limited (DMCL), merger of Mediavest India Private Limited and Pri Media Services Private Limited into DMCL...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
DD D-G Sahu elected Asia-Pacific Broadcasting vice-president

Doordarshan Director General Supriya Sahu has been elected as the new vice-president of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. The election was held during the 53rd annual Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly hosted by the Indonesian public broadcaster RRI,

Television TV Channels People
Star Movies presents 'Films To See...' every weekday starting 7 Nov

Star Movies Select HD has been staying true to its promise of impeccable curation by showcasing the best. Star Movies sets standards of storytelling high inspiring a lot of others to try and re-invent the art of movie showcasing business.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Q2-17: Zee Media operating profit up

BENGALURU: The Essel Group’s news network Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL) reported more than double (2.47 times) year-over-year (y-o-y) operating profit (Simple EBIDTA) for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) . The company reported EBIDTA of Rs 18 crore (14.3 per cent...

Television TV Channels GECs
National Geographic Channel to undergo major rebranding

MUMBAI: Come 14 November and the National Geographic Channel will have a new shortened sobriquet. The word channel will disappear from its name and it will be simply known as National Geographic and a new tagline “Further.” The change is expected to take place simultaneously across all the 445...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Maha Cartoon targets 65 per cent rural HSM via DD FreeDish, 2000 LCOs

Who can forget the Charlie Chaplin show which entertained the world audience of all ages. Maha Cartoon, the first free-to-air (FTA) Hindi cartoon channel targeted at the Hindi-speaking markets (HSM), will be launched on India's largest DTH platform DD FreeDish on 1 November. The new Maha Cartoon...

Television TV Channels Kids
Vikram Chandra steps down; KVL Narayan Rao is new NDTV group CEO

The rumours that were making rounds of Vikram Chandra quitting NDTV have now been put to rest.

Television TV Channels People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories