Cable TV in India started with one video channel in 1989 by small entrepreneurs giving a low cost entertainment to the masses including educational and informative programmes. Low cost of this service and variety of programmes made the industry grow to a gigantic size of 18 million households in a short span of “/years. Today we have :
Developments in the Cyber space has some fruitful impact on broadcasting too. As the seriousness towards globalizing communication services accepts a pragmatic face, efforts have been endorsed to retain the facilities of telecommunication in broadcasting too. As a result of these picking and pecking activities, satellite telephony emerged in Telecom Sector and Cable Telephony has made its virtues felt in Cable TV broadcasting arena.
An digital pay TV services generate sufficient revenues to support the very costly project of installing a fully interactive multimedia broad band infrastructure? Broadly conceived, then the question is a particularly difficult one because what it really asks is; How to make a business case for a short term (five or ten year)?
Technology Caught in the Crossfire Between Article 19 (1) and 19 (2)
For the last few months Direct-To-Home (DTH) has been the talk of the town, courtesy Rupert Murdoch & Co. led by Mr.R.Basil, a former Director General of Doordarshan. In fact it has become a kind of war between opposing parties.
Cable Television, an innovation In the Indian context, by hooking up of 26 million Cable TV homes, without any support, financial or moral, from the government of India, became a centre of attraction, from the taxation angle by the Indian Revenue service, by way of levy of all sorts of taxes arbitrarily. Uninformed politicians and bureaucrats view this facility only as Home Cinema’ and cause harassment of the people engaged in this occupation. Down the line, in the enforcement machinery, this industry has been acing the onslaught of corrupt officials, who are semi-literate and as uninformed as their masters.
A country’s regulatory philosophy is built on its own unique history and traditions. In India so far we had the experience of state monopoly in the infrastructure development. After 50 years of independence, we are fast moving towards privatisation. However, we have to tread our path very carefully so as not to go off the track in a haste. On the other hand we have to counter the political lethargy in the country. There is a tendency to slow down the matter if there are no personal gains to be made.
In response to the Supreme directive in the Union of into versus the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) case in February 1995 in which airwaves were declared public property and were to be regulated by an independent authority with statutory status; which ultimately prevents monopolies and protects viewers to access a range of services programmes and views, enough emphasis has been given to codify the BAI in the Broadcast To pioneer the cause of listener and viewers against the authority of the broadcasters-be of public or private; the BAI is being constituted.
The ‘appease-all’ effort of the finance minister P Chidambaram might have been fully successful, as the Budget-1997-98 has been welcomed by almost every industry segment. Nevertheless, there are some sections in the industry which have been lurking in the dark for want of more enlightenment. Cable TV operating industry is one such example. The announcement of the budget that telecom industry will be considered as a part of the infrastructure has left Cable TV operators guessing into deep waters whether domestic ca©ble industry forms a subsidiary portion of the telecom industry.
Breakneck technological changes are threatening to make the already small global village into global ‘mohalla’. New discoveries are being made even before yesterday’s ‘latest’ discovery is yet to be implemented. Such is the case with the new-fangled DTH, which could be occluded by reportedly superior Ka-band.
With an increasing number of channels available to Indian audience, the job of Channels managers to build, retain and increase its share of audience is becoming increasingly tougher. The proliferation of Channels -both audience-specific (Children Cartoon) and subject-specific (Sports, Movies) has meant the fragmentation of the already fragmented audience, this makes the task of how-to-get audience, particularly difficult one for television institutions. Because it is a mass audience, the audience tastes are so diffused and so general that you have got to be guessing. You can work off precedents about what’s worked on television before. You can work off whatever smattering sociological information you gleaned from whatever sources. You can let your personal judgments enter into it to some extent - But you never really know. There is no wav to know in advance whether the audience will tune in and stay tuned. The only option available to Channel Managers is to devise risk-reducing strategies. One such strategy is to customise.
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