Cable TV

Cable operators reject Dual Illumination

NEW DELHI: The government's compromise solution seems to have hit a speed breaker! On conditions of anonymity, government officials say that the cable operators, who met the information and broadcasting ministry officials as also I&B minister Prasad today, categorically stated that dual illumination would not be technically feasible as the existing infrastructure that most cable operators have at their disposal is not capable to take overloads that may result because of dual illumination of channels wherein a channel would be beamed in FTA and also pay mode.

Earlier in the day, when a delegation of the cable operators met Prasad, he attempted to allay their fears on dual illumination saying it was only a suggestion that was being studied by the government. After the meeting, Prasad, who generally loves to speak to the media, spoke briefly and left. "The government is in constant touch with the cable operators (on the CAS issue and its implementation) and is trying to ensure a smooth rollout of CAS," the minister said, adding that the cable ops and MSOs are an important part of the industry.

Still, after talking to a few cable ops, who had gone to meet officials and the minister, it became clear the government had very few answers to their query, is still groping in the dark and to most of questions had a stock reply: "we are studying it or it is not final, but is under consideration."

It is also learnt that one of the cable ops today conveyed to the additional secretary (broadcasting) in the I&B ministry, Vijay Singh, that all the suggestions being studied by the government are to "protect the interests" of certain broadcasters. The cable operators, who have threatened a hefty increase in the cable subscription fee if CAS is not implemented from 14 July, have also submitted a memorandum to the government today.

Meanwhile, Zee Telefilms will submit the prices of its channels tomorrow. Zee Turner CEO Sunil Khanna told today evening, "We will convey the prices tomorrow and would try to be more rational (than Star )."


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