Television

Casbaa urges pay TV regulation rethink for India

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/23/Untitled-1_38.jpg?itok=KVBWdOnF

MUMBAI: The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) has called on the Government of India to make a shift in its regulatory approach to the pay-TV industry.
Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies says, "The Indian authorities' current positioning is holding back the industry and introducing significant new constraints of the kind that slowed India's economic development for decades".

According to Casbaa, recent initiatives by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will severely limit development, not just of pay-TV, but of the entire Indian communications industry.

Speaking at a conference in Delhi organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Casbaa said it would like to see more emphasis on promoting growth, rather than on restricting market flexibility, adding that international and domestic examples of thriving, lightly regulated markets are plentiful.

A Casbaa study last year Regulating for Growth clearly demonstrated this linkage, under-scoring the success of markets such as Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Davies adds, "India can make immediate and enormous strides towards becoming a digital leader - if it takes fundamental steps to loosen restraints on industry growth. The size of Malaysia's pay-TV market, for instance, has doubled in the last three years."

In other Asian markets bidding for cable systems is generating offers of more than $1.5 billion each, yet there is little encouragement of fresh domestic or foreign investment into the India market.

Meanwhile, Casbaa believes that the proposed Broadcast Services Bill would create a new pay-TV industry regulator potentially subject to political interference.

Favies says, "India needs to install a truly independent communications industry regulator. Regulatory decisions should be technical and quasi-judicial, responding to the demands of the fast-changing media environment, and not subject to transient political pressures."

Casbaa also highlighted items such as the recent Trai decision to set maximum retail prices for all pay-TV channels at Rs5 ($ 0.11) each and the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill (2006) - which mandates local content requirements for every pay-TV channel.

"Does the Government of India really believe that all TV channels have the same value; that a high cost movie channel should be priced in the same way as a channel dedicated to low cost chat shows? This makes no sense," argues Davies.

According to Casbaa investment in high-quality content could quickly dry up as channel providers find they cannot make a return on their investment. The rate cap decision could quickly produce a race to the bottom in terms of content, to the detriment of viewers.

The maximum retail price directive ignores market realities states Casbaa. "It is now over two years since TRAI first instituted a cable price freeze which it said would be temporary until the launch of DTH satellite services. Unfortunately, that understanding seems to have evaporated, even though we have two DTH platforms that are now competing ferociously - with each other and with cable providers," said Davies.

Casbaa also has serious concerns over a proposed 15 per cent 'local content' requirement for all channels aired in India, another example of regulation that will restrict the access of Indian viewers to premium content, especially international news, documentaries, sports and entertainment.

Many internationally focussed channels do not have India-specific feeds. "How can a global news channel meet a 15 per cent local content requirement? News happens where it happens. The same applies to international sports. And how reasonable is it to expect niche channels from Italy, or Australia, or Germany, or China to carry Indian programming?" ask Davies.

According to Casbaa, India's content industries are already strong and don't need artificial life-support. "India's film and television industry is now an export market and part of the global industry. Indeed, it benefits from the airing of Indian-generated TV programming in jurisdictions that don't impose content quotas. The domestic market should operate in sync with the rest of the world and gain the full benefit of a global marketplace.

"Without taking account of the new digital world, India's pay-TV regulators will fall further and further behind global trends," Davies warned.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/img_28012021_120915_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=T2l3OSGG
Rocky & Mayur tour Goan Gullies on Zee Zest

MUMBAI: Lifestyle channel Zee Zest is taking tis viewers on a journey through the unexplored vistas of Goa, with a twist, through its latest show Goan Gullies. Take a tour of the most exciting state, which is full of magnificent people, undiscovered art, a sport invented by the locals, culture, and...

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/pocket_films.jpg?itok=2N7JTiaC
One Life Studios syndicates Pocket Films' short films roster

MUMBAI: Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s One Life Studios (OLS) has decided to take the short films experience from India to the rest of the world. The content studio has partnered with Pocket Films to syndicate its entire catalogue of short films across the globe. This deal comes close on the heels of OLS...

Television Production House Film Production
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/times_network.jpg?itok=2wWtt43H
'Landing pages are a perfectly clean marketing tool permitted by law': Times Network

NEW DELHI: Reacting to Republic TV’s statement that Times Now used landing pages to artificially increase ratings, Times Network has released a statement clarifying that “landing pages are a perfectly clean marketing tool permitted by the law in India and very commonly used across the world by...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/dd_india.jpg?itok=_cv22ovJ
DD India now beaming to the Americas & the Caribbean

NEW DELHI: India’s public broadcaster is expanding its global reach. Starting this Republic Day, DD India has presence in North America, South America and parts of the Caribbean nations. The pubcaster has signed an agreement with International Television Broadcasting LLC (ITV) of the US, which has...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/tv.jpg?itok=1eg57Pr2
More than Hindi GECs, regional channels to drive growth in 2021

The beauty of India is in its diversity. There are 22 national languages and over 1,300 dialects spoken so much so that every 100 km the dialect, culture, tradition, clothing, eating habits and beliefs change. Indians have embraced this diversity for centuries and the world looks at it in awe.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/rise.jpg?itok=WpmPrUEg
RIL rebrands sports, lifestyle biz as Rise Worldwide

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has rebranded its sports and lifestyle business IMG Reliance Ltd to RISE Worldwide Ltd.

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/img_27012021_143620_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=QwFVyZoK
Discovery Kids makes Republic Day a grand celebration for kids across their platforms

MUMBAI:  Discovery Kids, the kids’ channel from Discovery India, is all set to bring in the 72 Republic Day with a special treat for 1000 children from ‘Save the Children India’, a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic...

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/hiv.jpg?itok=etglNDj0
Shiv Aroor named executive editor of India Today TV

NEW DELHI: India Today journalist, anchor, and celebrated author Shiv Aroor has been elevated to executive editor at India Today TV. He was earlier the senior editor at the organisation.  Aroor took to Twitter to share the news and wrote, “Some personal news to share: I’ve just taken over as...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required