The Welcome Address was delivered by Sudhir Gupta, Secretary, TRAI, while Keynote Address was given by RS Sharma, Chairman of TRAI. The list of the speakers at the Inaugural Session also included Ajay Mittal, Secretary, MIB, Anil Kaushal, Member, TRAI; Vote of Thanks was delivered by SK Gupta, TRAI.
The Minister also released the Bi-decadal Report on TRAI’s achievements in the last 20 years at the Seminar.
Venkaiah Naidu said the Government’s initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Digital India campaigns were clearly positive signals for new transformation including GST which would prove to be a game changer for Indian Media and Entertainment sector, especially the Broadcasting sector.
Elaborating further, Naidu mentioned that the broadcasting sector in the country was at the threshold of entering into new era of digital broadcasting, which would open lots of opportunities to use latest technological innovations to not only enhance reach but also enhance the quality of the reach. The revival of radio, the digitisation of cable and the free to air DTH audience growth point to the latent demand for broadcasting in the Indian market at a time when broadcasting in advanced markets in the west is losing out significant space to digital on-demand media platforms. The push towards Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) thus comes at a critical juncture as Doordarshan, the public broadcaster in India looks to expand its DTT footprint from the current 16 cities to another 44. The Minister acknowledged and appreciated TRAI’s recent recommendation on time bound implementation of DTT in India.
‘Digital India will boost new media’:
The Minister further stated that the government was committed to provide an enabling environment through various policies for the further growth of the Media and Entertainment sector. The Digital India campaign along with the Make in India campaign would strengthen the industries such as video streaming, online music services and gaming in In dia taking advantage of the increased internet penetration. The Minister also mentioned that indigenous manufacturing of various types of digital broadcasting equipment had taken roots under the initiative of Make in India. He urged all the stake holders to encourage and promote indigenous development of equipments in the country.
Naidu added that the gap between the premium Direct to Ho me (DTH) market and the low quality cable market lay an opportunity that was currently being tapped by the free to air (FTA) DTH platforms like Doordarshan’s FreeDish. With transparent online auctions allowing for market based discovery of the value of these free to air channels, there was an audience revolution of sorts with rural audiences getting on the FTA DTH bandwagon and contributing for enhanced number of entertainment channels.
Free Dish- 20m STBs are junk
No manufacturer- manufacturers who were assembling tile date have stopped waiting for which way the policies shift
GST: A Game Changer:
Speaking on the role of the TRAI, the Minister said that the transition to Digital Broadcasting had posed several challenges and the role of TRAI was extremely crucial in this regard for overcoming any hurdles that may put the transition to newer technologies on a slow path. Naidu congratulated TRAI for completing two decades of regulatory services to the nation, which had contributed immensely to the growth of Telecom and Broadcasting sectors while keeping consumer protection in mind.
The GST Bill, among other new transformations, will prove to be a game changer for the media and entertainment industry, Naidu said.
TRAI to launch an app to measure call quality:
RS Sharma, TRAI Chairman, said the regulator will soon roll out an app for measuring call quality, enabling the subscribers to rate the service quality after completion of a call. He added that TRAI also plans to strengthen the ‘Do Not Disturb’ registry programme aimed at deterring pesky calls by telemarketers.
“We are coming out with two measures - one of them about enabling consumers to measure call quality after a call is over. They can say how they found the call, and give it a rating,” Sharma said
Session 1 -‘Digital Broadcasting in India- Vision 2020’: The first Session was chaired by Ajay Mittal, Secretary, MIB. Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, Network18, spoke on television broadcasting; latest developments and future directions. Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM, spoke on radio broadcasting technologies, innovations and trends; Vidya S Nath, Director, Media, Frost & Sullivan, spoke on consumer’s perspective; Ashok Mansukhani, MD, CEO, Hinduja Media Group, talked about media business; changing dynamics and opportunities. Jayesh Dubey, Vice President, ByDesign India Pvt Ltd, spoke on broadcasting systems: are we ready indigenously?
TRAI’s Chairman R.S. Sharma batted for the cable TV segment and addressing its issues and challenges. He appeared in favour of robust use of wire- line broadband to achieve high speed. He added that the country needs to focus on infrastructure like laying optical fibre cables. He also said that the regional content needs to be promoted and given place and added that niche channels will grow in popularity. He also talked about ICT hardware and software defined system, and said that open standard manufacturing is an integral part of software infrastructure.
Shiva Kirti Singh, Chairman, TDSAT, spoke about the interest of the consumers. Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM, spoke on ‘Radio Broadcasting: Technologies, Innovations and Trends’. She talked about the Radio tech nologies like Digital Radio. She said that radio too is becoming digital, and India needs many more digital stations. Many new players are entering the digital radio segment. She added that FM’s reach is massive as it is heard in remote areas. She called the content as king, and said that radio streaming will become a big business.
Session 2 - ‘Technology trends for broadcasting’: Amitabh Kumar, President Technology, Dish TV, spoke on DTH services: Innovations and technology trends; T. Panesar, CEO (Video Business), Hathway Cable & Datacom spoke on Cable TV networks: Innovations and trends; Dr Peter Siebert, Executive Director, DVB Project spoke on Delivering DTT: Innovative solutions and platforms, Herbert Tillmann, Technical Director, ARD, spoke on Integrated Broadcast-Broadband (IBB) systems; Ramki Shankarnarayanan CEO and Founder PrimeFocus, spoke on Cloud technology in broadcasting services.
Session 3 - ‘Broadcasting beyond news and entertainment’: N. Parameswaran, Consultant, Ministry of HRD, spoke on Broadcasting in education; Sharad Sadhu, Former Director ABU, spoke on Broadcasting for public warning, disaster mitigation and relief; Ms Esther Kar, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture, spoke on Role of broadcasting services in agriculture and rural development; Yogendra Pal, DRM India Platform and Advisor, Ministry of I&B, chaired the Session and spoke on advisory services for masses: Role of digital radio broadcasting.
Session 4: Digital broadcasting: Emerging business opportunities: Vivek Couto, Executive Director and Founder, MPA, spoke on Realigning business models in digital era; Supriya Sahu, Director General, Doordarshan, spoke on Business models for terrestrial broadcasting; Partho Das Gupta, CEO BARC India, spoke on Media analytics: Empowering industry; Girish Menon, Director, Media & Entertainment, KPMG, spoke on Consolidation trends in broadcasting sector; K Jayaraman, President & MD, Reliance Jio, spoke on Convergence: An opportunity or Disruption?
Session 5: Enacting the future: Policy and regulatory framework: Jayashree Mukherjee, Addl. Secretary, MIB, spoke on Policy roadmap for digital broadcasting; S.K. Gupta, Pr. Advisor, TRAI/ Sunil Singhal, Advisor, TRAI, spoke on Regulatory challenges in digital era; Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, Dish TV, spoke on Challenges in export of broadcasting services; Prof. Vibodh Parthsarthy, CCMG, Jamia University, spoke on Consumer welfare in digital broadcasting.
Jawahar Goel highlighted the importance of the Export of Broadcast Services as well as the Regulations, Infrastructure & Issues. He then spoke on how Cable TV and DTH started in India and how India has the potential to become an uplinking hub for South East Asia. He emphasised on the huge demand for Indian co ntent in the overseas market and that the paying capacity of 30 million overseas Indians is equivalent to 300 million of Indian viewers.
Goel also elaborated on the steps required to spur the growth of the Broadcast Industry and why DTH operations should be allowed across the satellite footprint rather than only on Indian territory. He then spoke on the necessity of bringing the new generation distribution services under the regulatory regime, the need to control piracy through better laws and IPR and the need for laws to check overseas content coming into India via OTT or the Internet. He concluded the address by talking about the Infrastructure status requirement for the Broadcast industry.
Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd.), AVSM, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, released Video clip on TRAI’s achievements in 20 years, while Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communication and Minister of State for Railways released Commemorative Postal Stamp on TRAI’s 20 years. The ministers congratulated TRAI serving and guiding the broadcasting sector for 2 decades.
The Vote of Thanks was delivered by S. K. Gupta, Pr. Advisor (B&CS), TRAI.