In November 2011 the government cleared a bill for digitization of Cable Television Industry, to provide choice and better services to the consumers. It also aimed to bring transparency and accountability of revenue both for the stakeholders as well as the government. It was not a happy start as there was no infrastructure to make digital signals reach every region of the country, in particularly the rural areas and hinterlands. There was no manufacturing support for digital STBs leaving MSOs and Cable Operators at the mercy of foreign manufacturers. Lack of funds with small as well as large MSOs also posed a big problem. Contrary to the initial perception that the National MSOs like Siti Cable, Hathways, InCable and DEN were well prepared with their resources for the job, they also bled through the process running short of funds to create infrastructure as well as procurement of STBs. Six years hence, we are still struggling to digitize about 40 million households, mostly in Phase 3 and 4.
Today, the news agencies’ reputation is at stake not because of some outside threat, but just because some yellow minded media men want to earn big or destroy someone’s image or create conflict between two communities by destabilising the centuries old trust of the people all over the world. Fake news is highly dangerous and may create riots and break human harmony in any society, leading to conflicts and serious law and order problems. We also see it in our country.
Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has said that the model structure of broadcasting should focus on democratized viewership. This should be based on an accurate measurement system that reflects the strength of regional languages, varied tastes of viewers/consumers and bridges the divide on issues related to agenda setting, creative content and revenue between the mainstream and regional platforms. Smt. Irani stated this while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2017 on 26 October on the topic “Model for Broadcast landscape for Democracies.”
Demonetization, GST and pending regulatory issues have halted the growth of the industry emonetization declared on 8 November 2016 has been much discussed and criticised. It also found words of appreciation and many called it a path-breaking step in Indian economy. But the fact is it brought industries to its knees with job cuts, depletion of revenue and massive discomfort to the common man. Media and entertainment was no exception, it also suffered deep revenue cut as advertisers withdrew their ads.
The policy for digitization and restructuring of cable TV industry has been under consideration and planning since 2003 when the CAS amendment to the Cable TV Act was introduced. Millions of rupees were spent by MSOs in importing STBs, mostly from China and I&B Ministry was very much aware of this. Country had no manufacturing support for STBs and a demand of 150 million STBs were required to implement CAS. No efforts were also made to encourage indigenous manufacture resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in foreign exchange.
India’s public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is in a bad shape and is getting ready for a revamp, due since long. At present the organisation is unable to utilise all its resources efficiently to earn a decent sum and wants to change all that now.
While visual forms can have a strong impact, music is able to reach consumers on a deeply primal level.
On 8th November 2017, the government will be celebrating ‘the Anti Black Money Day’ whereas the opposition parties will protest against the demonetisation process and its negative impact on the medium and small industries. Although, an year ago, on 8th November 2016, PM Modi told the public to wait for 50 days to complete Demonetisation and enjoy ‘Achhe Din’ once black money is removed from the country, none of this is visible even now, after an year.
There is an old saying, ‘An image is worth a thousand words’. Now we can say ‘a video is worth a million words’. It is human tendency to get attracted more and faster by moving visuals than words. Earlier, people had no freedom of choice and convenience, but they had always longed for some system which can free them and fulfil their long drought – watching video of their choice, at their time and in privacy.
We all are aware how the BJP led by PM Modi won the last Lok Sabha elections using Social media creating a blitzkrieg of a sort. After that, every political party has understood the value of new media and started creating new media cells to counter the propaganda of BJP with online videos, messages and images. The massive proliferation of new media after 2014, has created a full fledged Industry in the country. Today there are thousands of app designers and mobile content creators in the country. In fact many of these companies are catering to the global market.
Over-the-Top (OTT) distribution is now a firmly established means to deliver content to consumers. All the research – and general experience – points to increasing numbers of consumers who prefer to choose the time and place that they watch entertainment programming.
The National Telecom Policy, NTP-2012, had suggested the licensing of Virtual Network Operators (VNO) delinking licenses for networks from the delivery of services. TRAI was asked to give its recommendations on the issue including associated issues of definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) under the UL regime’. The Authority had given its recommendations on “Introducing Virtual Network Operators in telecom sector” on 1st May, 2015.
There is a small but decisive revolution taking place in the world of brands. Slowly and steadily brands are dedicating their energies towards excellence in providing customer care digitally. Some have taken it as an imperative while others are doing it to save on costs but the fact remains that work has already begun on this front at every level.
The International Broadcasting Convention or IBC at Amsterdam hosted its 50th annual convention this year. This international tradeshow and conference is the fulcrum of media technology announcements and updates, and attracts about 55,000 delegates from 170 countries. This year promises to be exciting as several small companies exhibited solutions that will aid the transformation of the media industry.
Star India’s presence was overwhelming at the bidding of the highly lucrative Indian Premier League media rights (TV and digital) for 2018-2022 in the first week of September. Star was the only bidder that bid for all rights and won due to its consolidated bid (`16347-Cr, a record sum), while Sony bid only for the TV rights. Did Sony fail to understand the power of digital? Does everything now belong to Star? Will Star play the Big Brother in Indian broadcast sector? These are the questions that the industry insiders are asking.
Our industry is facing a business crisis due to prevailing economic conditions in the country. It all started with demonetization followed by hurried implementation of GST. Although government has advanced the date for submission of GST reports/ there is still a lot of confusion in its implementation, particularly in the small and medium industries. Moreover broadband infrastructure is not yet adequate and efficient enough to take on millions of high speed transactions. Many areas in the country do not even have access to broadband network to get connected to the GSTN.
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