CAS: MSOs at odds over carriage, basic tier fee sharing

NEW DELHI: MSOs are divided on the issue whether carriage fee is retained by them and the basic tier fee of cable channels by local cable operators.

While the Hinduja-owned IndusInd Media and Communications and Siti Cable (now renamed WWIL) opposed MSOs retaining carriage fee and LCOs keeping the basic tier fee, Rajan Raheja-controlled Hathway Datacom has supported such a model.

In their submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), both Siti Cable and IndusInd have said MSOs should also get a share of the basic tier fee, which is collected by LCOs.

Adding spice to the whole affair, the Cable Operators' Federation of India (COFI) has suggested all round sharing of basic tier fee and carriage fee between MSOs and LCOs.

All the three MSOs, responding to Trai's call for feedback on interconnect regulations, have said that distribution of signals to subscribers should only be through digital set-top boxes as analogue boxes lack credentials.

Trai had invited feedback from industry stakeholders on the proposed standard forms of interconnect agreements for CAS areas, draft regulation to mandate these standard forms and revenue sharing arrangements.

The specific issues that were raised were the following:

Should there be a uniform revenue share percentage between all broadcasters and MSOs and between MSOs and LCOs.

Should the revenue share percentages for different broadcasters prevailing in Chennai be adopted in other CAS notified areas?

Is there any other alternative method of arriving at the revenue share percentages amongst industry stakeholders.

Upholding the rights of cable operators that it represents, COFI has suggested that franchisees of MSOs could be given a commission ranging between 5-10 per cent for selling set-top-boxes and other equipment to subscribers.

The complete gist of comments of Hathway, Siti Cable, IndusInd and COFI on interconnect agreement is available on the regulator's website at

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