Finance ministry moots Rs 46 FTA price

NEW DELHI: The industry had been referring to it as the day when the CAS (conditional access system) rollout picture would become clearer. What transpired though was that the government-sponsored task force on CAS today did not arrive at any consensus on the final pricing of the basic tier of free to air channels.

There were differences of opinion on the price arrived at by the finance ministry - Rs 45.90 for 60 channels. This is exclusive of local taxes. If Rs 30 is factored in as the service tax component, then it works out to Rs 75.90. A number that fits with the figures reported earlier (between Rs 70 and Rs 80) on as to what the government's thinking on the FTA pricing was.

The government today gave the task force members the break-up through which the Rs 45.90 FTA costing was arrived at.

According to the government estimates, the cable headend capital cost would be Rs 2.59 million, per channel cost at the headend (in case of upgradation in a post-CAS regime) would come to Rs 43,170, the network cost would come to Rs 36,754,562 for a network with 37,540 subscribers. The per subscriber cost has been worked out by the government to be Rs 1,137.

Then, the government has calculated the whole operational cost of a cable operator, inclusive of manpower and depreciation, as being Rs 1.257 million per month. An operational expense per subscriber per month has been calculated to be Rs 35.78 and the net cost per subscriber per month (for 60 channels) has been calculated to be Rs 45.90.

According to those who attended the meeting, though there was in-principle agreement on the costing (mostly supported by the MSOs and the broadcasters) to be fair on the whole, but certain sections like the cable operators and consumer activists have raised their objection on different grounds.

The cable ops representatives in the task force have dubbed this "too low Which if implemented would drive small cable ops out of business," while consumer activists opined at the meeting that the costing of the basic tier of channels is still on the higher side. According to one such calculation (given by a consumer activist from Kolkata), it should be around Rs 36 per month for a subscriber base of 50,000.

One of the cable ops in the task force said, "We will register our objection on this costing as the realistic costing per subscriber would work out to be far higher."

However, at the next meet, slated to be held on 27 March, another issue may crop up. The costing done by the government has not taken into account the distribution margin for cable ops, MSOs and also the broadcaster.

However, the way matters are progressing seems to suggest that over a few more meetings, the task force would be able to formalise the cost of the basic tier.

At the last meeting of the task force, the finance ministry had also circulated a proforma to be filled in by everybody. The proforma was supposed to help the government in knowing the real costing of channels from all stakeholders of the industry --- cable, broadcasting, MSOs and the consumer.

Latest Reads
Third Madras high court judge gives TRAI tariff order thumbs up

The long-awaited judgment of the Madras High Court on the TRAI tariff order has been pronounced.

Regulators TRAI
Comment: 3 areas that new MIB minister Rathore needs to target

In a recent reshuffle of his cabinet colleagues and their portfolios initiated by PM Modi, a surprise move was not Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) minister Smriti Irani’s removal, but handing the independent charge of the portfolio to her till-now junior, Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB clears TV channel applications; Rathore calls for stakeholder meets

NEW DELHI: Within days of Rajyavardhan Rathore given independent charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) by the PM Modi-led government after removal of his senior Smriti Irani, the organisation has been galvanised into action. What’s more, important issues are being discussed...

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB nudge to TV channels on content monitoring

NEW DELHI: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has cautioned 121 TV channels for not faciliatiing monitoring of content by government agencies as per existing regulations. Pointing out that as technical parameters were not being made available to the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Jaipal Reddy calls for doing away with MIB

MUMBAI: Junk the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB). That’s the call that once MIB minister Jaipal Reddy - who held the portfolio during the Congress I regime in the previous decade - is giving these days.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Amit Khare appointed as new MIB secretary

MUMBAI: Jharkhand state development commissioner and a whistle-blower civil servant Amit Khare has been named as the new secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). He will take over from NK Sinha who is due to superannuate on 31 May 2018 after a comparatively quiet stint of...

Regulators People
MIB's Rathore signals liberalised regime for online media

MUMBAI: Hardly 24 hours into his job and minister of state (independent charge) in the Information and Broadcasting ministry (MIB) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is saying things that could make him the industry’s and more specifically the independent media crowd’s darling.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Prasar Bharati Board approves finalising FreeDish policy

The Prasar Bharati board, at a meeting held on Monday, decided to finalise the FreeDish policy. According to an Asian Age report, the public service broadcaster gave its approval to Doordarshan which operates the entity. The finalised version will be submitted to Ministry of Information and...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Smriti Irani moved out of MIB as Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore gets independent charge

MUMBAI: There’s change at the top at the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB). Minister Smriti Irani has been moved out of her post and kept solely in charge of the textiles ministry. Replacing her is Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - her minister of state - who has now been given independent...

Regulators I&B Ministry

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories