Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has warned against any censorship by cable TV companies, saying action would be taken against Fastway or any other organisation indulging in such activity. He was responding to questions from mediapersons at a press conference held on 14th August. The Chief Minister reiterated his promise of a level playing field for all, and said while his government would not indulge in political vendetta, it would take strict action against any media or cable organisation found engaged in censorship of any channel or information.
The Madras High Court has granted interim relief to the multi-system operator (MSO) Kal Cables, thus allowing it to transmit in analogue mode. Kalanithi Maran-promoted Kal Cables contended that on 17 April, Arasu Cable was granted three months to switch-over to the digital addressable system (DAS) and was subsequently granted an extension until 17 August. Kal Cables argued that MIB’s preferential treatment to Arasu Cable was arbitrary.
Interoperability empowers consumers but to make it truly empowering in cable TV segment, the government needs to understand STB aspect. Now the good news is here. As per TRAI Chairman RS Sharma, cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers will be able to switch their service providers without changing their set-top box (STB) from 2018.
Punjab’s biggest MSO Fastway continues to feel the wrath of the Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who has asked the Chief Minister’s Office to decide on the recovery of alleged tax evasion of Rs 20,000 crore by Fastway, while also seeking an audit of the company for the past ten years.
The consolidated net profit of GTPL Hathway zoomed 5.4 times to Rs 40 crore in FY2017. The Multi-system operator (MSO) recently made its debut on the stock market. In last fiscal year, the company earned Rs 7.5 crore.
Moving with the need of the time, DEN Networks, after launching OTT and gaming services, has taken another initiative to enable its high-definition (HD) set-top boxes (STBs) with broadband connectivity by using a Wi-Fi USB dongle.
The Satellite & Cable Expo-Andhra Pradesh will take place in Vijaywada during 15-17 December 2017. The three-day exhibition is exclusively for Satellite and Cable TV, Digital media and Broadcast Industry. The venue of the show will be ‘A’ Plus Convention (A/c Hall).
The local channels of multi-system operators (MSOs) could be brought under the licensing framework of the existing Cable TV Act, according to the Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore. He told the Rajya Sabha that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) is debating on the subject.
Soon the TV consumers in Punjab may have to bear another Rs 50 for their connection, as the state government is set to charge Rs 50 as entertainment tax per television for cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) connections.
The Federation of Cable TV Associations of Tamil Nadu (FCATN), on 28 July, wrote a letter to the telecom regulator TRAI with the subject-line “Krishnagiri District Nodal Officer (District Collector) violates the Rules & Regulations of TRAI”. The Federation says that many nodal officers are deliberately supporting Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd. The Federation has sought action from the regulator against the officer.
Den Networks has discontinued 11 Discover channels which has irked Discovery Communications. Now, Discovery has complained to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). Not only this, Discovery also issued an advertisement on 23 July that in line with the Standards of Quality Service Regulations of 2012, both customers and cable operators could insist on "obtaining a discount of Rs 111 per subscriber per month", the per-item pricing of the Discovery offering, for not receiving the channel from the multiple system operator.
The Government of Telangana may have its own satellite to telecast channels, which would be against the recommendation of the telecom regulator TRAI forbidding states to have their own TV channels or distribution platforms like cable TV networks, though the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has still not given its nod to this recommendation.
India's leading digital cable TV distribution company, GTPL Hathway has deployed a next-generation software-based unified video headend system from Harmonic. At the heart of the solution is Harmonic's Electra™ X2 advanced media processor that supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC encoding for both traditional cable television and live OTT multiscreen services, saving GTPL significant space and power consumption.
On 17 July, the Supreme Court stayed the order of the Entertainment Tax Department of the Delhi Government regarding entertainment tax to be paid by the local cable operators (LCOs) with an effect from 2013, 1st April.
Hinduja Group’s HITS service provider firm NXT Digital has been launched in Punjab region on July 14. According to company sources, the launching will help existing cable operators, who want to continue to own their networks and have state-of-the- art high technology for digital TV viewing.
While addressing a meeting of the nodal officers and multi-system operators (MSOs) of North Eastern States in Shillong, I&B ministry joint secretary Mano Kumar Pingua said that the digitization has been too slow and still incomplete in North-Eastern states- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
To expand the broadband services in the state of Tamil Nadu, the state-owned Cable TV service provider Arasu has allowed over 170 companies to go ahead and start the service; it received over 300 applications.
Ajay Dabas, who had murdered his business partner Devender Rathi in the Outer Delhi’s Begumpur area in January 2016, has been caught by the Delhi Police on July 5. The 35-year-old notorious criminal Ajay Dabas is an inter-state gangster carrying a cash reward of Rs 1,50,000 on his head,; he was arrested from South-East Delhi’s Okhla.
Recently, Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu labeled an allegation against Fastaway Transmission (a prominent MSO in Punjab) for indulging in monopolistic practices and evading taxes based on its proximity to the erstwhile ruling political Badal family. Sidhu said that the MSO owes Rs 684 crore to the government and has sent the company recovery notices.
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