Independent body to do CAS-related cost survey

NEW DELHI: Taking due note of the mounting pressure from the cable fraternity, the Indian government piloted task force on conditional access has agreed to rope in an outside agency to survey the various contentious parameters on which the costing of the basic tier of cable service would be done.

According to sources, the surveyor will be selected by the information and broadcasting ministry and is likely to begin work by the weekend or early next week. The names of agencies which cropped up during the over three - hour meeting today include- PriceWaterhouse Coopers, ORG-Marg and a Tata company, according to task force sources.

The survey, having a specified time frame of four-five days, would be carried out in Delhi and Kolkata.

The finance ministry earlier had come to the conclusion that the cost of the basic tier of free to air channels in a post CAS regime would be Rs 45.90 (exclusive of local and entertainment taxes).

The cable operators in the task force and elsewhere had dubbed the figure "too low" and disputed the parameters used to arrive at this cost, which were said to be "far from the ground reality."

For example, one of the most contentious parameters was a cable network's coverage area where the finance ministry used the parameter of a radius of 7.5 km with 32,000-odd homes passed through by the cable. These parameters were used to determine the cost incurred by a cable operator in providing the cable service.

The cable fraternity, in turn claims, that no individual cable network in India covers over 30,000 cable TV homes and that the radius should be 4.8 km.

At today's meeting, where most of the time was taken up by discussions on this topic, the government representative, who heads the panel, is also said to have asked the broadcasters whether they are ready with the maximum retail price of pay channels in their respective bouquet and whether there is a chance of any pay channel turning free to air.

According to sources, the broadcasters' lobby said that individual companies are internally studying the situation and would come up with the relevant information soon.

Meanwhile, the cable operators across the country, especially those in the four metros where CAS is being sought to be implemented in the first phase, are trying to put up a semblance of unity as they feel threatened that a low price of the basic tier would ultimately kill their business.

According to Rakesh Dutta, a task force member and a Delhi cable operator, a resolution, signed by 1,500-odd cable ops from cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore and Kolkata states that cable operators would be unable to carry on their business if the price of the basic tier is below their cost of operation.

The relevant part of the resolution, submitted to the government today, reads, "We unanimously declare we shall be unable to carry on our business at a price which is below our cost of operation, which stands at Rs. 180 per month (per subscriber), as already submitted (earlier) to the members of the task force."

The chairman of the task force today criticised the agitation, including dharnas and press conferences (held yesterday under the aegis of the Cable Operators United Front in Delhi), being organised by a section of cable operators having so-called allegiance to a particular MSO, saying that shouting slogans against the task force or the government would not solve any problem.

Still, it is learnt that the venue of today's task force meeting was besieged by a sizeable number of cable operators who are not members of the task force, but want their voice to be heard and also get first hand information of what transpired behind closed doors.

The next meeting of the task force would depend on the outside agency's report and feedback on various aspects of cable business.

(1$ =Rs 47.73 )

See related story :

Finance ministry moots Rs 46 FTA price 

CAS task force formed; to meet 7 Feb

Basic tier task force compositon to be fixed today 

Latest Reads
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony Pix to telecast 'Jurassic World' on 22 October

Sony Pix will take the viewers on a thrilling, adventurous journey with cloned dinosaurs in their Billion Dollar Premiere property. The channel plans to air Jurassic World on 22 October at 1 pm and 9 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony AXN scripts deal with Pinewood; buys stake in SVOD service Hopster

Folks at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are in a celebratory mood. Not only has it signed a six-series deal with Pinewood Television but has also acquired a minority stake in the London-based video subscription service for kids content - Hopster.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories