It appears that it may take a few more months for the DPOs to resolve various issues. One of the big challenges for the DPOs is to provide FTA or Basic package of individual’s choice. So far DPOs made their own packages and did not give any choice to consumers. This requires their SMS and Billing system to be realigned for the purpose requiring changes in the software. Also, I feel consumers can not be given their choice at reasonable price unless cap on discounts on pay channel MRPs for making bouquets is specified by TRAI. TRAI should even workout a pricing policy for pay channels with or without ads like it is done in the developed markets.
With RJio acquiring DEN and Hathway, two of the major National MSOs, Industry may have to face a serious problem of monopoly in the market. The situation may be very dangerous for small and medium MSOs who will have to compete with a giant like RJio. We already have the experience of Telecom industry where companies like Vodafone and Airtel are also feeling the heat and fighting for survival.
Recommencement of e-auctions of DD Freedish slots is a good decision taken by Prasar Bhararti Chief. Also keeping a low reserve price of Rs 5 Lakh for MPEG4 slots and genre wise auctions is commendable because this will lead to a better ultiisation of MPEG four slots and provide a variety to the consumers. This will also give more choice to economically weaker section of the society who cannot afford cable or DTH service. In fact Prasar Bharti has been trying to increase the channels on FreeDish platform to 200 for many years.
The latest Asscocham PwC report on Indian Media and Entertainment sector focusing on spread of New Media has predicted a period of disruption where conventional media like DTH and cable TV may face a serious challenge from online services like OTT and SVOD. Cable MSOs can still survive switching over to the online services on their broadband networks; I fear a doom for the DTH operators who remain one-way networks unless they adopt ingenious ways like TATA Sky providing both, OTT services and satellite services with their own content.
Election fever is at its height and it is really sad to see the way the present government is using the media for its advantage. Majority of the channels have become like Doordarshan, losing their identity to that of the Ruling BJP. There is nothing like a Free Media today. In fact, majority of the mainstream news channels look the same during the Prime Time.
A very Happy Holi to all