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.
Chennai was the first city in the country to have a total implementation of CAS in 2004 but is the last one to implement DAS. Cable TV operators in the state have been terribly suffering crushed between the government at the Centre and the State. When the whole Nation was Digitising, operators in Tamil Nadu did not know what to do as conflicting orders were comi ng from different ends.
When a person like Jawahar Goel, MD and chairman of Dish TV, one of the founder members of the Satellite and Cable TV industry in the country, sends a complaint to the I&B Minister and BCCI President regarding an attempt by Star India to create Monopoly in the field of Broadcast rights of cricketing events, matter has to be taken seriously.
Government makes changes in the FDI policy
The government on 28 August announced changes in the FDI policy for all sectors. New policy for the broadcasting sector makes it mandatory for security clearance of all senior executives, directors, Foreign consultants, collaborators etc. Permission of the Ministry is required to make any change in the appointments. The last time FDI policy was amended in June 2016
Five months have passed since Digitisation Phase IV was declared completed on 31 March 2017 and the MIB is yet to get the information on the total number of STBs seeded in the country. All registered MSOs have been sent show-cause notice for not supplying area-wise STB seeding data and other required details of their headend, middleware, mandatory channels carried etc. vide MIB’s letter dated 28 June 2017, else they may lose their registration.
India has made significant strides in economic growth and development of its markets for business, thus emerging as one the fastest growing economies in the world. The IMF has branded India as the brightest spot in the Global Economy. Several Global Institutions have projected India as the leading destination for FDI in the World and a number of recent global reports and assessments, show that India has considerably improved its policies, practices and economic profile. It is expected that enabling policies and determination to continue with economic reforms, various initiatives taken by the Government such as Make in India, Smart City Mission, Skill India Mission, Digital India, etc. would further spur the growth of the economy.
In spite of all efforts of the government to uplift the economy starting with demonetisation, then GST, skill development, Digital India, Cashless economy and ease of doing business, results so far are dismal. According to RBI’s own figures Demonetisation has been proved a failure as 99% demonetised notes have come back. Country’s growth rate has slumped to a three year low of 5.7%, economic growth has come down to 6%, manufacturing sector is struggling with a growth of just 1.2% compared to 10% in the same quarter last year and businesses are still trying to understand and implement the GST.
Another top level cabinet Minister is set to leave his Ministry as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has nominated Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister M Venkaiah Naidu as its candidate for the post of Vice President of India. Naidu was picked up on July 17 by PM Modi and Amit Shah and his candidature was approved by the NDA.
With Sun Direct reporting its first full fiscal net profit in July 2017, the majority of India’s DTH industry has moved out of the red. However, ARPU has not risen substantially and remains a cause for concern. Additionally, India’s telecom regulator, TRAI numbers indicate subscriber additions have halved over the past 12 months while the inactive subscriber ratio lingers around the 40% mark. In rural Indian TV homes, Free-to-Air DTH services continue to gain ground, both in users and in carriage fees from broadcasters. Despite positive effects of GST, if subscriber additions and ARPUs remain flat, what option does that leave DTH companies to grow?
NXT Digital, the newest addition to the Hinduja Group of companies is moving ahead with the successful implementation of NXT Digital’s digital delivery platform across India in the Headend in the Sky (HITS) platform for complete cable digitalization. NXT Digital’s project ensures its viewers get uninterrupted wo rld class viewing experience at the best value for money price in the market.
Interoperability is the ability of a system or a product to work with the other systems or products without the special effort on the part of the customer. Interoperability is often achieved by either adhering to the standard interfaces between the devices or making use of intermediary services that can convert one product’s interface into another product’s interface on the go.
Cable TV Digitisation is over and digital Cable Services have mostly overcome teething problems, moving towards a stable operation, monetizing their networks, trying to recover heavy investments in building digital infrastructure. Now, they are also at par with the DTH operators and ready to compete with them.
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