Cable TV

DAS Phase III: MIB’s big dilemma

MUMBAI: The past fortnight has seen High Court directives in five different states make a mockery of the 31 December, 2015 deadline set by the government for the Phase III roll out of digital addressable system (DAS).

The courts have urged the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to not act against multi system operators (MSOs) and cable operators who have not been able to place set top boxes (STBs) in homes for two months. In essence, the DAS sunset date has been extended in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Odhisa, Tamil Nadu and now Guwahati.

The Bombay High Court specifically cited a Supreme Court judgment and noted that a stay granted by a high court on a central notification in one state would be applicable in other states as well. That was the case of Kusum Ingots vs the Union of India, in 2004. (

The question on everyone’s mind is: would other petitioners in other states under the DAS Phase III ambit also approach their respective High Courts for relief? Hence, did it make sense for broadcast networks to continue with digitally encrypted signals, which they had resorted to once the clock struck midnight of the new year?

Most of them including Viacom18, Star India, Zee and Sony thought it did not. Hence, they have all switched on their analog signals a day or so after switching them off.

Now that has put the MIB in a bit of a quandary. The team lead by MIB secretary Sunil Arora - and including special secretary JS Mathur, and joint secretary RS Jaya apart from other members - have been driving DAS III digitisation and were quite clear that no extension should be given. 

Sources indicate that one line of action being considered by the MIB is to approach the Supreme Court for relief against the restraint orders granted by the various courts. Experts such as Supreme Court advocate KV Dhananjay have argued against the stance taken in the Kusum Ingots case by the courts. (

Whether the MIB will go ahead and approach the Supreme Court or not is a moot point, but the industry is putting its might behind it. Most of the industry associations like the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, the DTH Operators Association and the MSO Alliance have all reportedly urged the ministry to move the apex court.

Industry believes that the extension is unlikely to serve any purpose, as cable operators knew of the phased rollout of DAS as much as for the past three to four years and hence they could have prepared for it. Complaining about a shortage of STBs or interconnect agreements or capital post the sunset date is simply facile, professionals state. 

“The analog switch off is mandatory,” says an industry observer. “Digitally encrypted signals need to be the only mode of television delivery via satellite in India in Phase III areas. Private DTH operators and the government owned FreeDish can deliver television wherever there are signal dark areas courtesy cable TV’s unpreparedness. The government needs to approach the courts to ensure that DAS Phase III proceeds as soon as possible.”

We will have to wait and watch if it does.

Latest Reads
Hathway Cable and Datacom Q1 FY23 revenues at Rs 447.2 crore

Mumbai: Hathway Cable and Datacom on Friday reported its first quarter results for the financial year FY23. The company reported gross revenue of Rs 447.2 crore and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of Rs 102.6 crore. The company reported profit after tax of Rs...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
GTPL Hathway Q1 FY23 consolidated revenues up 10 per cent YoY at Rs 645.4 crore

Mumbai: Digital cable TV and broadband company GTPL Hathway announced its financial results for the first quarter of FY2023 on Thursday. The company reported consolidated revenue of Rs 645.4 crore a growth of 10 per cent year-on-year (YoY). The company reported subscription revenue of Rs 272.7...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
MIB revokes 12 and grants 6 MSO licenses between April & July

The ministry of information and broadcasting has granted six new licenses to multi-system operators (MSOs) between 21 April to 4 July and cancelled 12 licenses between April and 4 July. The total number of registered MSOs stood at 1753.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
GTPL Hathway reappoints Anirudhsinh Jadeja as a MD for three years

GTPL Hathway has reappointed Anirudhsinh Jadeja as managing director for three years, at its 16th annual general meeting held on Friday.

Cable TV People
FY 2022-23 will be a transformational year for the company: Hathway Cable & Datacom MD Rajan Gupta

On building a profitable business, Hathway Cable and Datacom managing director Rajan Gupta stated that he believes FY 2022–23 will be a transformational year for the company.

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
Nxtdigital records revenue of Rs 1152.19 crore for FY22

Nxtdigital Ltd on Wednesday announced the results for financial year 2022. The media and communications company recorded revenue of Rs 1,152.19 crore for the year ending 31 March, registering a growth of 14.3 per cent year-on-year.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
MIB cancels three MSO licenses in April

Mumbai: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) reported that there are 1761 registered multi-system operators (MSOs) as of 30 April compared to 1763 registered MSOs on 22 March. The ministry granted one new license, cancelled three licenses and rejected two applications for license in...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
GTPL Hathway to maintain FY22 revenue and EBIDTA growth in FY23

GTPL Hathway saw 12 per cent growth in revenues at Rs 24,154 million and four per cent increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to Rs 5,677 million year-on-year in FY22. The company expects to maintain this growth rate for the current financial year i.e.,...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
Hathway Cable and Datacom reports revenue of Rs 1,793 crore in FY22

Mumbai: Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd reported gross revenue of Rs 1,793 crore in FY22 an increase of four per cent over FY21. Its broadband revenue stood at Rs 621.9 crore while CATV revenue stood at Rs 1171.1 crore for the financial year. The company reported profit after tax of Rs 130.4 crore a...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators