Monday, November 26, 2012

Why digitization of Cable TV operators in India?

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 was amended in 2011 with a view to ensure good quality reception of television channels through complete digitization of all cable television networks across the country. However, the implementation of this act is planned in phased manner. As a part of first phase, Government of India has ordered the cable television networks in all metropolitan cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) to digitize their operations. So, it becomes mandatory for every customer to install a "Set Top Box" to have an uninterrupted service. The act also requires that every "pay channels" to be attached with "addressable systems" in the set top box. Through this customer can have his/her own choice of television channels subscription. Along with this the cable television operators are required to add the channels specified by the government in their basic service tier. This act also require the cable operator to submit report on total number of subscribers, subscription rates and number of subscribers for free-to-air and pay channels.

Earlier in 2009, Government of India ordered television operators to include at-least two Doordarshan channels in their "prime band". The prime band is set of frequencies receivable by a conventional television set without any additional tuner. With this prime band an operator can provide some 100 television channels. By digitizing the cable network, the concept of "prime band" would be done away with. And consumer can have more than 100 channels with better picture quality. Presently, the audience measurement is done through TRP (Target Rating Point) which plays the key role in getting advertisement to the broadcasters. So, the broadcasters tend to use their resources towards getting good TRP, that is the broadcaster would like to include their channel in cable companies which provides service for more number of people. And the cable companies would expect a hefty "carriage fee" from broadcasters to get on favorable frequency. Since, the digitization provides better subscriber base assessments, the "number of subscription" will largely take that role of audience measurement, while TRP would play lesser role and the broadcaster can effectively use their resources for the content. Moreover, the tariff rates of cable television operators can also be regulated to restrict sporadic increase in tariff rates.

In short, the digitization of cable networks will be beneficial for people as well as broadcaster and it would also allow smooth regulation of cable television sector.  

1 comment:

  1. hey nice post with relevant information..thanks for sharing it..
    set top box