As per Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), broadcasters have become dependent on the MSOs for their subscription revenue under the MRP regime. “If MSOs have not been able to upgrade their existing technologies to ensure that their Subscriber Management Systems (SMSs) and Conditional Access Systems (CAS) are generated in line with the regulations.”
“Member broadcasters have indicated that they still have to deal with the receipt of manual subscriber reports from MSOs, significant under-declaration of subscriber bases, and incorrect subscriber reports. It further noted that the service providers who have the requisite technological expertise are not keen to provide services to such MSOs apprehending non-payment,” the Foundation added.
It said: “The lack of financial support is a direct consequence of not having an adequate net worth requirement that would ensure financial stability for the MSO.”
As per IBF, the MSOs at individual/proprietorship and partnership level in the absence of net-worth requirement is not in the position to have the infrastructure in the form of customer care centres, the establishment of websites, the supply of customer premise-equipment in place. “We, therefore, propose the corporatisation of MSOs and higher entry-level net-worth.”
The Foundation added that the corporatisation of MSOs is the best way forward for MSOs in terms of compliance and from a transparency perspective. This will ensure that all MSOs are treated at par as regards to maintenance of proper records which are easily accessible, effective control mechanism, penalties for defaulters (as envisaged under the Companies Act, 2013) being made applicable to the cable TV industry.
It added: “Further, this would also complement the non-discriminatory vision of TRAI since broadcasters, DTH operators and HITS operators are mandated to be registered as companies.”
For full comments, please visit TRAI portal.