Digitisation of Cable Television in India

Manasvi Maheshwari

Abstract


Digitisation of cable television in India is an important and necessary step for regulating cable television sector in India and to bring transparency in the system to benefit all stakeholders, including consumers and cable operators.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2011 mandated that all Cable companies should convert their analogue systems to digital in four metros by 31 March 2012 and whole country should go digital by 31 December 2014. The Act also requires the cable operators to submit reports on the total number of subscribers, subscription rates, and the number of subscribers for free-to-air and pay channels.

In analogue systems, it was difficult to ascertain how many households are subscribing to cable services. The actual number was known only to the local cable operators who also worked as bill collection agents. TRAI mandated that revenues gathered by cable operators should be split among broadcasters, Multi Service Operators and Local Cable Operators. But cable operators undervalue the amount collected which was great loss for broadcasters.

With the digitisation of cable television every household accessing signals is counted and cable operators are forced to share their collections with MSOs and broadcasters. Consumers are also able to select and pay only for the channels they wish to see.

This research paper will study the impact of digitisation on broadcasters, MSOs, LCOs and viewers. Its advantages and disadvantages to various stakeholders, changes it will bring into television sector.


Keywords


Digitisation, Digital, Cable TV, DTH, Analogue, TV channels

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References


Bhat, R. (2012). Television in India: The starting point for digital switchover. International Journal of Digital Television, 3(1).

Mathew, P. S. Case Study: Impact of Digitization on Music Industry in the Recent Times.

Singh, J. (2002). From atoms to bits: consequences of the emerging digital divide in India. The International Information & Library Review, 34(2), 187-200.

Singh, J. (2002). From atoms to bits: consequences of the emerging digital divide in India. The International Information & Library Review, 34(2), 187-200.

TRAI consultation paper on implementation of digital addressable cable systems (Dec 2011)

TRAI consultation paper on Issues related to advertisements in Indian channel (March 2012)

Background paper on Digitising Indian Broadcasting published by CMS Medial Lab and ASSOCHAM, (May 2012)






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