Television

'CAS'e closed - Prasad allays Sena Supremo's fears

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/09/23/Untitled-1_9.jpg?itok=ftdCJ7YS

MUMBAI: "The post-CAS scenario - good interplay of market forces; healthy intervention of the government!" These were the words with which information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad signed off at a press conference held in Doordarshan Kendra in Mumbai this afternoon.

 

The minister addressed a packed media conference after a delay of nearly two hours - he met Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray (at his Bandra residence). Prior to that, he attended an Indian Merchants Chamber- organised seminar on the conditional access system (CAS) earlier in the day.

Speaking about his meeting with Thackeray, Prasad said the Sena chief's concerns were justified and shouldn't be seen as "opposition". It may be recalled that on 5 June Thackeray, an ally of the BJP-led coalition government, had warned that the decision to go ahead with CAS would prove an "expensive one".



Prasad said that Thackeray's reservations about CAS revolved around two key issues: 

a) consumers interests must be safe-guarded and 

b) the interests of cable operators must be taken care of because the cable operators had spearheaded the cable revolution in India through their enterprise

(entrepreneurial spirit). 



Prasad said Thackeray had asked him to focus on these two aspects while implementing CAS.



Prasad said he had given assurances to Thackeray and his son Uddhav Thackeray on the matter. He also added that he had informed the Sena leaders that the monthly rental cost of the set-top-boxes (STBs) would be as low as Rs 30; as against the initial apprehensions that consumers would have to shell out up to Rs 7,000 for buying STBs outright. Prasad added that he would continue to have further interactions with the Thackerays and would keep them abreast of developments.



Prasad added that as a step in this direction, he was appointing Shekhar Joshi of Cablevision on the CAS task force. Prasad said that this move would allay the fears of the Mumbai cable trade, which didn't have any representation on the government appointed CAS task force.



While reiterating that CAS would soon be a reality, Prasad noted that he was happy with the latest developments wherein MSOs (multi system operators) were willing to offer 70 plus free-to-air (FTA) channels at a monthly price of Rs 72. "I have got confirmation from the MSOs and cable operators that the channels in the FTA bouquet include 25 entertainment channels, 10 news channels, all the Doordarshan and it's affiliate channels, several film/movie channels, music channels such as Balle Balle, regional channels such as Lashkara amongst others. Consumers will get choice," Prasad added.



While talking about pay channels, Prasad said he didn't foresee any problems in the non-declaration of individual channel rates by several broadcasters as yet. "The broadcasters have asked for some extra time as they need to address several issues and I don't see any problem or resistance. In the near future, every cable operator will have to display a list of all the pay and FTA channels outside his premises - akin to that of a ration shop," said Prasad, while expressing the hope that all the constituents of the trade would work unitedly to make CAS a resounding success.



Prasad expressed confidence that the monthly outgo for consumers wouldn't exceed Rs 200. He also said that MSOs had given assurances that they would make things convenient for the consumers by giving quality after-sales service - such as warranty; buy back schemes; replacements; receipts amongst others. He envisaged that the post-CAS scenario would entail practicality and scientifically oriented practices into the earlier disorganised nature of the cable business.



Prasad was optimistic that CAS would go through primarily because the government and ministry had taken care of two important aspects -- 



* Choice of platform - in terms of CAS, DTH, HITS 

* Choice of content - choice in the FTA as well as pay bouquet



While answering queries about the need for a regulatory body, Prasad said that he was open to suggestions but decried the fact that there were some

vested interests pushing for a regulatory body in an attempt to delay and frustrate CAS. "This kind of manipulation wouldn't be tolerated, as the

appointment of a regulatory body would be juxtaposed with the wider context of the Convergence Bill," Prasad said. 



Referring to the process of educating the consumer, Prasad said several activities had been initiated and more would come. He added that the MSOs would start their helpline (call centres) by mid-June. He also requested the media to avoid creating confusion in the minds of the consumer.



While answering a query on the issue of licences or monopoly of the cable operator in any given region post-CAS, Prasad said: "Our primary concern is to

ensure quality of service, choice of content and platform. We feel that the industry constituents will not disappoint the consumer - and the policy makers.



If a consumer is disillusioned, he can opt for DTH. Even in DTH, we have taken steps to ensure that there is no private monopoly. The national broadcaster

Doordarshan has been encouraged to start DTH services and attain a big degree of professionalism."



Prasad might have inherited CAS from his predecessor but the I&B minister is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the CAS "project" becomes

successful.



Also present at the briefing were several MSO representatives including Ashok Mansukhani (Hinduja TMT), Jagjit Singh Kohli (Win Cable) and others from the Star India-backed Hathway Cable and Datacom.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/Nivedita-Oak.jpg?itok=75PAewjb
Times Television Network elevates Nivedita Oak to DGM

Times Television Network (TTN) has elevated Nivedita Oak to deputy general manager - influence. Earlier, Oak was the regional head for Zoom, FCT and branded content. She has been working with the Times Network for the last 11 years.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/pathan.jpg?itok=tah626ME
History TV18 to release third film in ‘Special Operations India' series

History TV18, a pan-Indian television channel, is to create a documentary on counter-terrorist operation at Pathankot air base named Special Operations India: Pathankot. This one-hour documentary will be aired on June 25 at 9 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/cnbc.jpg?itok=opviMAi9
CNBC-TV18 successfully concludes the 8th edition of the ‘India Healthcare and Wellness Awards 2018’

NBC-TV18, India’s leading English business news channel along with ICICI Lombard hosted the 8th edition of the ‘Indian Healthcare and Wellness Awards 2018’ at The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/mn.jpg?itok=QPriVkLO
MN+ to air Indian Television premier of ‘Tulip Fever’

MN+, the Gold Class of Hollywood Movies from the Times Network, brings to the viewers, for the first time on Indian television, the celebrated romantic historical saga– ‘Tulip Fever’. The movie will premiere on Sunday, 24th June at 1 pm and 9pm on MN+.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/india.jpg?itok=M2oqHiQO
Sony Music acquires the music rights for 2018’s much awaited sports drama film ‘SOORMA’

Global music giant, Sony Music has acquired the music rights for Soorma – the greatest comeback story of the hockey legend Sandeep Singh.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/vs.jpg?itok=pVjUI8CY
Epic and Rupa publications announce the umeed india book on the occasion of international olympic day

EPIC TV - India’s only Hindi language, Indian Infotainment channel celebrates International Olympic Day with an exclusive unveiling of the first look of the Umeed India book published by Rupa Publications and based on its popular series, of the same name hosted by ace cricketer Virender Sehwag.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/bbc.jpg?itok=gE0qxQNX
Iconic series Blue Planet II set for Indian TV premiere on Sony BBC Earth after a successful theatrical run

All eyes on TV as India’s #1 factual entertainment channel, Sony BBC Earth, premieres the world-renowned, path breaking and breath-taking series Blue Planet II for the Indian audience on June 25th at 9 pm.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/fox.jpg?itok=tK9XckqM
FOX Life celebrates a perfect celebrity mismatch in Great Escape’s new season

He’s rugged, she’s delicate. He’s adventurous, and she is spiritual. They are two friends who, at a distance, might seem like polar opposites. But get closer and you are sure to be surprised. FOX Life, India’s favorite premium lifestyle channel,

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/22/dev2.jpg?itok=LqKTXd3c
Engaging viewers with diversified content, COLORS brings you investigative thriller - Dev2

He thinks like a criminal, is at home around a crime scene and possesses an ironclad will to rid the city of nefarious wrongdoers; Detective Dev Burman returns for an explosive second season on COLORS – India’s premium Hindi entertainment channel.

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories