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Friday, 19 April 2019 14:14

IBF raises concerns over Nepal’s proposed Bill to make foreign broadcasters air their channels ad-free

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Nepal’s proposed Bill to make foreign broadcasters air their channels without advertisements has not gone down well with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

IBF has written to the Indian ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) and External Affairs Ministry (EAM), stating that it is not commercially viable for its member broadcasters to have a separate clean feed (without ads) specific to Nepal. A delegation of Indian broadcasters has also approached various stakeholders in Nepal earlier this month.

The letter said: “The members may be forced to switch off their channels in Nepal, which in turn could lead to rampant piracy of content. We would like to state that it is not commercially viable for our member broadcasters to have a separate clean feed (without ads) specific to Nepal. Additionally, the implementation of stipulations pertaining to clean feed may be counterproductive for various reasons.”

The Foundation said it would increase the uplink and downlink cost. It stated, “The launch of a clean feed will “inter-alia entail separate playout, uplink, and downlink costs.”

The letter added: “Nepal is an emerging market with very low average revenue per user (ARPU) and such exorbitant costs to create clean feeds are not justifiable from a business perspective.”

At present, Nepal’s TV subscription revenues stand at Rs 40-50 crore annually. The Indian TV channels will have to incur recurring costs of Rs 4-5 crore to transmit a clean feed.

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