Television

Pay channel prices to remain stable for 1-2 years post-CAS: Jawahar Goel

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NEW DELHI: The prices of pay channels are not expected to be revised upward over the next 12 to 24 months after conditional access system in introduced in the four metros, Zee Telefilms additional vice-chairman Jawahar Goel said today.

 

"I don't foresee the pay channels increasing their susbscription rates in the next two years or as done by them regularly after CAS comes into force," Goel said at a seminar organised here on 'CAS: Myths & Reality'. The seminar was supported by the Cable Operators Federation of India and the National Cable & Telecom Association (NCTA), while indiantelevision.com was the online partner.



Pointing out that CAS is good for the Indian cable industry, Goel said that he would not differentiate between pay and free to air channels, but would implore the cable industry to work towards carrying on the good work that has been done by them till now.



Goel, along with TV Today Network CEO G Krishnan, Sahara TV president Mahesh Prasad, Eenadu's I Venkat, Balle Balle TV's JK Jain and TV Live's Nalini Singh, was speaking at a session on broadcasters and the scenario that would emerge for them in a post-CAS regime. The session was moderated by indiantelevision.com's executive editor Anjan Mitra.



Goel also felt that the cable industry, which has grown quite comfortably up till now, is likely to grow to be a Rs 600 billion industry by 2010 if present growth rates are maintained.



Taking this argument futher, Krishnan said that there is a huge opportunity for cable operators with the onset of CAS. "If there are 45 million cable homes at present in the country, the cable industry hs the potential of tapping the remaining 75 million TV homes," he said.



According to Krishnan, if the cable industry can convert the remaining TV homes into cable homes in a post-CAS regime, there is a goldmine waiting to be tapped. He also urged the cable industry to provide good service to the consumers as alternative technologies like DTH could kill the cable industry.



Sahara TV's Prasad said that in a post-CAS regime content would be king and the content would decide the fate of a channel irrespective of the fact whether it's pay or FTA.



Prasad also made a case that post-CAS these talks about pay channels' suffering or FTA channels gaining are all humbug because if the content is good viewers will come to that channel.



Earlier in the day, during another session Bhaskar Rao, chairman of Centre for Media Studies made a valid point that the government should not have mandated CAS as market forces would have made it an inevitability in due course of time.



Those who spoke during the day-long seminar included Ashok Mansukhani of the HTMT, Vikas Srikand from Satyam Infoway, lawyer Prabhat Kumar. PK Acharya, director Konark Communication, amongst a host of others from the broadcast and cable industry.



Parallel to the seminar attended by over 300 delegates, several companies also exhibited their products and technology.

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