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McCann Erickson to design IBF's digitisation campaign

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) is launching a countrywide awareness campaign to apprise viewers of television about the benefits of digitisation.

The campaign is being designed by McCann Erickson (India). The agency was selected out of four which had responded to bids invited by the IBF.

IBF director (finance) Naresh Chahal told indiantelevision.com that a major focus of the campaign would be to encourage people to buy digital set top boxes as the four metros covered under Phase I of digitisation would not be able to get either free-to-air or encrypted channels from 1 July this year unless they have switched to new STBs.

He said the aim would be to educate the viewers about the fact that a digital STB would enable him to get more channels, give additional value added services, and ensure transparency, apart from proving to be economical in the long run.

Asked about the budgeting of the campaign, he said the TV channels would bear their own costs as every channel was going to be affected by digitisation. However, IBF would work out further details as it decides to use the print media, cinema, out-of-home, and online advertising as the next step.

Although he refused to name the other three bidders, it is understood that they included O&M.

Parliament has already passed the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Bill to speed up the process of digitisation of cable networks.

The Government has set 31 December 2014 as the final sunset date for digitisation of the cable networks. It had earlier announced a timetable for complete digitisation of cable television in the four metros by 31 March 2012, but this was put off to June 2012 in a notification issued subsequently.

The target date for completely digitising cable sector in cities with population of more than one million was 30 March 2013, all urban areas by 30 September 2014, and the whole country by 31 December 2014.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been authorised under the Bill to fix the tariff for ala carte basis.

Apart from improving the quality of reception, digitisation would also empower the cable operators to give larger number of channels to the consumers. There will be no prime band after digitisation.

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