can we expect from the year 2001? Clear legislative
direction from the government? An advertising upsurge?
More niche channels? The broadband explosion?
If the government keeps its commitment, we should
have a convergence law by mid to late this year. Unfortunately,
governments have in the past not respected their promises
and broadcasting regulation has not seen the light
of day for four years despite a court ruling that
this should be done. What may totally slow down things
is lack of agreement amongst the various ministries
and the parliamentary sub-committee which will review
the recommendations on the convergence law. On current
form, the government will require to put all its skills
to work if it wants a convergence bill passed within
2001. Mr Vajpayee, are you listening?
believes that by late this year we will find out whether
India enters the arena of ku-band DTH broadcasting.
A lot of hype has been created around the government's
initiatives on this front, but the fact is that the
ban on sale of Ku-band reception equipment has not
been lifted completely, and there has been no follow-up
on the guidelines that have been issued. The government
has been refusing to retract the 20 per cent broadcasting
equity cap and hence DTH has at this stage found few
takers. Star TV has been tomtomming its service but
the fact is that it will have to work a miracle to
be the first to launch.
Zee TV, Sterling, Mittals, have also expressed interest
but it's unlikely that they will be in a position
to cobble together enough resources for their offerings.
DD's DTH looks like a long shot going by how it performed
the last time around with Measat. Other players like
VSNL, DoT, MTNL will examine the possibility but its
quite unlikely that they will charge ahead with their
ventures full scale. As in the words of Reliance Entertainment
vice-chairman Amit Khanna, Ku-band DTH clearance is
coming too late in the day and is irrelevant in India.
over Internet access will make further in roads into
consumer homes as bandwidth prices shrink. It will
find more consumers in the institutional segment.
But dial-up access will also become cheaper. Amongst
the MSOs, Hathway will continue to fight aggressively
in the marketplace with the might of Star TV behind
it. Cable TV penetration will grow about 15 per cent
in the coming year as will advertising which will
notch up more than 40 per cent growth. A surprise
package will be the spread of Sun TV's Sumangala Cable
Vision, and the revival of Siticable towards the fag
end of the year. Broadband will continue to progress
with a limp in the current year.
There will be a relative slow down in the number of
channels that will launch in the coming year. The
existing groups will focus on consolidation and Zee
TV will start showing signs of recovery before mid
this year as it rolls out new shows under the direct
direction of Chandra. KBC's ratings (it will continue
to hog the limelight) will wane over time, but the
ratings of other Star Plus shows will climb. Sony
will agglomerate audiences for its Govinda game show
in its early stages after launch but the numbers will
thin down to an optimum level within two months.
ad revenues will continue on the slow growth path
in the coming year and channels will really feel the
crunch. The year ahead will see a couple of closure
or near death encounters amongst the channels. The
IPO fever amongst media wannabes
will once again rise around mid this year, post the
Read more on the Year 2000 from
developments in television
Cable TV Front
broadcasting legislation perspective