Specials

James Murdoch slams cable ops over underdeclaration; Swaraj says conditional access coming

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2016/02/22/FICCI2002_0.jpg?itok=nV8r0v2A

The second edition of the annual global convention on the business of entertainment - Ficci Frames (Films Radio Audio-visuals Music Events and Shows) 2002, kicked off today at the Renaissance Convention Centre, Powai, in Mumbai, with two figures crucial to broadcasting in India taking strikingly opposing stances in their presentations.

James Murdoch, chairman & CEO, Star Group, set an extremely combative tone in his keynote address when he went hammer and tongs at the cable industry over the vexing issue of underdeclaration while saying: The problem is not that there is a middleman (the cable op) but that he is making a mess of it. Murdoch stated that the demand by the cable industry to introduce conditional access systems was more an exercise in obfuscation so as to maintain status quo rather than because of any real concern for the consumer. He also made an impassioned plea for easing up by the government on DTH broadcast in the country so a to introduce a more competitive environment in the broadcast sector.

Union information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj in her inaugural address however, gave little on most of the issues that Murdoch raised. Swaraj expressed concern at the kind of rates that consumers were being asked to pay. To quote Swaraj: area of concern relates to the rates which the consumer has been asked to pay for viewing cable television. I need not go into the issue of who is right and who is wrong. Surely all stake holders have a point of view which is justified. However, as policy makers we have to ultimately be answerable to the multitude of consumers. The rates at which prices of cable viewing has galloped is certainly a cause for worry. We have been toying with the idea of introducing a conditional access system which is mandatory for pay TV viewing. The committee which was constituted for this addressability issue has to give final touches to its recommendations. The objective should be that all stake holders get their legitimate due and the consumer also does not suffer.

In this conference, I hope some time can be devoted to the addressability aspects, especially the pricing, technology and availability of set top boxes.

 Swaraj made no reference to DTH in her speech at all.

Earlier in his presentation, Murdoch, while reiterating the Star Groups long term commitment to India, pointed out the root of growth in the entertainment business is the vibrancy of Indias creative community. Murdoch said that this creativity was being impeded due to the massive underdeclaration by cable operators which made it difficult to pump back monies into programming. Citing examples outside India, Murdoch said broadcasters get 35 to 40 per cent of total subscription revenues and in turn 30 per cent of this was pumped back into programming.

In India, the broadcaster earned only 5 per cent of subscription revenues due to underdeclaration by cable ops to the tune of 85 per cent on an average.

Murdoch said underdeclaration was locking up a good Rs 20,000 million at the operator level and termed this as outright theft of copyright that needed to be stamped out.

Referring to the stand by the cable industry that a conditional access system regime would take care of this problem, and till such time as it was introduced rates should be held at present levels, Murdoch said this was a delaying tactic which was working on the hope that the issue would get entangled in bureaucratic red tape. Furthering the argument, Murdoch said it was still to be fixed who would pay for the set tops that would have to be distributed to consumers.

The only way forward, Murdoch said, was for 100 per cent declaration to become the norm in the industry. In return, broadcasters should be willing to sit down and thrash out related issues and an arrangement that was fair to all could be introduced.

The government to needs to step in, otherwise there can be no resolution to this problem was Murdochs conclusion. Murdoch also made a plea for a relaxation of the DTH policy, saying a fully digitalized service would be a potent incentive to improve services.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/06/rajiv.jpg?itok=_XjLJGEq
Govt extends support to M&E sector in fighting digital piracy

NEW DELHI: The government of India yesterday stressed that it stood alongside the media and entertainment (M&E) industry in fighting digital piracy to safeguard loss of revenue and ease norms for doing business, while CII entertainment committee head and Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/05/Media%20and%20Entertainment%20Industry.jpg?itok=MnCSdBVE
M&E industry to hit Rs8 trillion revenue by 2022: report

According to a report published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s media and entertainment (M&E) industry is expected to reach revenue of Rs7.5-8 trillion by 2022 from an estimated Rs4.5 trillion in 2017. Over the next five years, the industry...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/01/atf_0.jpg?itok=tdmv_6Vr
ATF’s first Animation Pitch announces winners

MUMBAI: As the Asia TV Forum (ATF) draws to a close today. The event saw several activities such as an exciting round of on-stage pitches where producers from all over Asia presented their ideas, the winners of the inaugural Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) Animation Pitch and the unveiling of the...

Specials Event Coverage ASIA TV FORUM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/28/ATF800.jpg?itok=7d6mb_hu
Indian OTTs to be in focus on day 2 of ATF

MUMBAI: Singapore-based Reed Exhibitions’ Asia TV Forum (ATF) will commence today with 60 countries taking part. The first day will see sessions based on content, advertising and the evolution of storytelling and digital traditions and innovation Ninety thought leaders will deliver fresh insights...

Specials Event Coverage ASIA TV FORUM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/25/Kriss_Barker.jpg?itok=vVWGtO0T
'It is criminal for TV not to think of social change' - PMC's Kriss Barker

For most programming executives and managements in TV companies today, television is all about running on a treadmill chasing ratings, viewership, and the concomitant revenues, followed by the next bonus and promotion. Every trick in the creative book and outside it is resorted to keep the...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/23/atf.jpg?itok=Pv-14Qq8
ATF 2017 attracts Indian content studios, both big and small

MUMBAI: Singapore-based Reed Exhibitions’ Asia TV Forum (ATF) is round the corner and the buzz around the event only seems to be ramping up. This year, the forum will see around 60 countries from all over the globe. From 28 November to 1 December 2017, more than 90 thought leaders will deliver...

Specials Event Coverage ASIA TV FORUM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/22/atf.jpg?itok=J8JpuLp1
Singapore's ATF 2017 promises more than ever

Reed Exhibitions’ Asia Television Forum (ATF) is back. And Asia’s leading content market cum conference which brings together Asia’s broadcasters, digital platforms, distributors, studios, content creators to strike deals amongst each other and other international buyers and sellers from ---...

Specials Event Coverage ASIA TV FORUM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/13/MIPCOM800.jpg?itok=G89xfoU-
MIPCOM 2017 - Content Really is King!

Eye-opening, international, new content for multi-platform that fully embraced digital and VR were my key takeaways from MIPCOM 2017. The world may be going digital but content will always be king!

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/16/Chhota%20Bheem_0.jpg?itok=ehNRJugd
Chhota Bheem becomes Mighty with Netflix

CANNES: The studio behind the popular animated show Chhota Bheem, Green Gold Animation has been commissioned by Netflix to make an exclusive 13-episode series on its trademark show. Paradoxically titled Mighty Little Bheem, the series is set to be released in August 2018. Each episode of Mighty...

Specials Event Coverage Mipcom

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories