Cable TV

Broadcasters back low FTA package price to push pay channel bundles: cable ops

NEW DELHI: The cable operators are again taking a shot at forging a unity in a bid to neutralise the broadcasters and have the conditional access system implemented as soon as possible.

In a submission given to the information and broadcasting ministry yesterday on CAS, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Cable Networks' Association and the semi-active Cable Operators' Federation of India have said that broadcasters, some of them who have an interest in ground distribution, are deliberately trying to have the basic tier of free to air channels in a CAS regime very low so that cable subscribers would not feel the pinch going in for additional pay channels.



In the letter addressed to I&B minister Sushma Swaraj, the cable operators associations have submitted: "We wish to bring to your kind knowledge that the pay channel broadcasters who have considerable interest in the ground distribution business through their respective MSO companies in order to safeguard their own interests, want the pricing for the basic tier to be minimum, as this is in their own interest."



The letter, drafted mostly with inputs from NCTA, on the financial aspects further adds; "The stated rate of interest may be adequate at present rate of bank lending. But banks/ financial institutions do not lend to cable networks (venture risks are considered too high). Hence the rate of private borrowing, including defaults in payment schedules, should be considered, which work out to 18.5 per cent. It needs to be borne in mind that in addition to normal profit margin, there should also be scope for future upgradation in the convergence era and CAS, if this industry has to grow. Lack of adequate financial support will suffocate this industry to death."



The I&B ministry had been conducting a series of meeting to decide on the pricing of the basic tier of cable service to be offered post CAS. The prices suggested in the last meeting, held sometime back, ranged from as low as Rs 35/month/household to Rs 100/month/household.



The cable industry representatives had also pointed out that certain figures arrived at by the finance ministry representative at the meeting did not adequately take into consideration all the aspects of, especially financial ones, related to cable service.



The letter states that during the meeting held by the I&B ministry on 22 August, the analysis of the collected data was disclosed, which is as follows:

1. Total Free to Air Channels - 40

2. Total Pay TV channels - 40

3. Total Number of Channels - 80

4. Maximum Radius of area per headend - 7 Kms

5. Maximum Length of cable per Km - 1.5 Kms

6. Trunk Cable used - 42 Kms

7. Feeder [Sub Trunk] Cable used - 231 Kms

8. Total Area Covered - 154 Sq Kms

9. Cost per Channel - Rs.30, 000 - 40,000

10. No. of homes per Km - 200

11. % of TV Homes - 90

12. % of Cable TV Homes-70

13. In 154 Sq Km of Area - Homes passed - 41,500

14. Max. Number of Subs per Headend - 29,100 Subs

15. Cost Incurred per Subscriber - Rs. 800 - 1000

16. Total investment on cabled Distribution plant - Rs. 31 million

17. Net Operating expenditure per Subscriber - Rs 35 - 45 per month 18. Estimated life of Headend - 7 years

19. Estimated life of Distribution plant- 5 years

20. Rate of interest - 15%



"It is evident that the above results reached are simply based on mathematical calculations and an average mean has been taken out of the cost details as submitted by the MSOs, broadcasters, broadcaster-owned MSOs, Prasar Bharati, independent networks and industry associations," the letter to Swaraj says, hinting that many more hidden costs are involved too, which must be taken into consideration before deciding on the basic tier of cable service.



Clarifying the cable operators' point of view the letter lists out the concerns and the views which are as follows:



1. Network is to be designed for 90 channels. On an average, across the country, average number of Free to Air satellite channels is 60.



2. Total number of Pay TV channels is 32 and that too when the few popular channels are bundled along with non-popular pay TV channels in a bouquet.



3. The radius of operation of 7 km over coaxial cable, as stated, is technically inappropriate. It is not possible to deliver 68 channels with equal clarity and free of impairments within this radius. It cannot exceed 4.6 km. With trunk output of 4.5 km each (generally 4 trunk feeders are leaving headends, utilization of 500 series trunk cable will be 18 km. Whereas every trunk feeder can have 15 branches (in a cascade of 16 amplifiers in every trunk line feeder) of RG-11 employing 3 amplifiers, spaced 180 metres i.e. 3 km on every feeder and 12 km on every network. Based on this, the calculated cost of cable, support wire and connectors would be Rs 1.32 million for 500 series coaxial cable, Rs 375,000 for RG-11 feeder Cables. To add to this is Rs 250,000 for the support wire, accessories and cabling labour. The requirement of RG-6 drop cable @ 20 meters per subscriber will be 100 km for 5000 subscriber homes.



4. The cost of 64 Trunk amplifiers would be Rs 1.92 million @ Rs 30,000 each and of 192 Line Extender Amplifiers would be Rs 1.54 million @ Rs 8,000 each.



5. Therefore, the Trunk cable 500 series will be 18 km, RG-11 feeder cable will be 12 km and RG-6 drop cable will work out to approximately 110 km in a network.



6. The total area covered on coaxial cable network will be 72 sq km and on HFC 3,632 sq km.



7. The cost per channel, with low-grade modulators and receivers, shall be Rs 30,000-40,000 for RF network. Another Rs 30,000 per channel can be added for optical fibre interface. Using consumer grade modulators (recommended) would cost up to Rs80,000 per channel.



8. The average number of homes passed per sq. km is 250 i.e. a maximum of 18,000 homes per coax distribution network and 908,000 homes in HFC distribution. With a penetration rate of 60 per cent on an average, it comes to 10,800 Cable TV homes per coaxial RF network and 544,800 Cable homes on HFC network.



9. Based on calculations, the cost of distribution network per subscriber comes to not less than Rs 1,350 per subscriber on coax distribution and Rs 3,500 per subscriber on HFC distribution. The stated cost of Rs 800-1,000 is unreasonable. The total investment on distribution plant would be much less than the stated Rs. 30 million.



10. Also the stated figure of 29,100 as maximum number of subscribers per headend is inaccurate because with7,500 existing headends in India this figure works out to 218 million whereas total national CATV connectivity is only 37 million.



11. The estimated life of distribution plant cannot exceed 4 years, if the norm of amplifier-to-amplifier cable replacement when number of joints between amplifiers exceeds 4 is to be followed. That will be the fate of coaxial cable and associated accessories laid externally exposed to whether and corrosion.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/19/en.jpg?itok=D3gT426Y
DEN Network fixed-line b’band biz plan hinges on partnerships & leveraging present infra

MUMBAI: With telcos handing out data at cheap rates in various package sizes under innovative schemes, mobile data consumption has increased rapidly in India in the last few years, while the growth of fixed-line broadband (FLBB) users has been tepid, if not completely static. MSO DEN Networks now...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/15/den.jpg?itok=QQbrO9t0
DEN aims to convert 10% of SD subscribers to HD in a year

DEN Networks CEO SN Sharma has set a target of converting 10 per cent of its standard definition (SD) subscribers to high definition (HD) within a year.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/15/gtpl.jpg?itok=iHTj8qw9
GTPL Hathway appoints Viren Thakkar as new chief financial officer

GTPL Hathway , one of the major players in the Indian cable TV and broadband industry, has appointed Viren Thakkar as chief financial officer of the company. The appointment ,which will come into effect from 2nd July, was posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) website.

Cable TV People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/13/hathway.jpg?itok=j_Ps51Lv
Hathway plans to seed 2.5 lakh high definition set top boxes in FY19

Going along the lines of FY18, broadband and cable TV service provider Hathway Cable and Datacom is planning a Capex of Rs 310 crore in FY19. In addition to that, it plans to seed 2.5 lakh high definition (HD) set top boxes (STB) in FY19. The company had 2.16 lakh HD subscribers at the end of...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/05/gtpl.jpg?itok=f9kTo-vP
Jayanta Pani Resigns as CFO of GTPL Hathway

Jayanta Pani chief financial officer (CFO) of GTPL Hathway has decided to part ways with the company. Pani's last working day at GTPL, where he joined in November 2008, will be 30th June.

Cable TV People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/01/tv.jpg?itok=Ky_blUZ3
VITEC and ATX join hands for distribution of IPTV content

VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming solutions, and ATX Networks, a technology leader of optical and media access platforms, has announced a strategic partnership to provide a fully secure architecture for distribution of IPTV content throughout the enterprise network...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/29/ram.jpg?itok=bxg_Fn4I
Obit: Remembering InCable’s Ram T Hingorani

MUMBAI: “Hi I am Ram Hingorani,” said the squeaky but very amiable voice. I looked around and saw this short bespectacled man dressed in a safari suit, with his hair slicked back. “I am here to show you around and I am with the media business of the Hindujas.” The time was the mid to late nineties...

Cable TV People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/28/gtpl.jpg?itok=IpVVpMl7
GTPL revenue up as subs base, ARPU increase in fiscal 2018

As mentioned by us earlier, Indian multi-system operator and internet service provider GTPL Hathway Ltd’s(GTPL) consolidated total revenue for FY 2018 (fiscal 2018, yearunder review, year ended 31 March 2018) had increased 18.2 percent as compared to the previous year (FY 2017).

Cable TV Multi System Operators
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/29/hathway.jpg?itok=qW-ovPbC
Hathway reports improved numbers

BENGALURU: The demerged Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd (Hathway) reported standalone profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 12.62 crore (8.7 per cent of operating revenue) for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 (Q4 2018, quarter under review), 47.1 per cent lower as compared PAT of Rs 23.87 crore (17.2 per cent...

Cable TV Multi System Operators

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories