December 2018

The DISH DOCTOR section of our magazine has proved to be extremely popular.

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Q: Is it possible for us to deliver only FTA channels through our Android App to our Broadband subscribers with some other content like Songs, Videos and short documentary films, free educational content, etc?

Haresh Khanna | Swiftnet Broadband Pvt. Ltd.

ANS: The service that you have proposed is to be delivered via your broadband network, not cable TV network. Hence, in principle, you will not be operating any cable TV network.

  • Currently, there are no restrictions from the government on content delivered via Broadband, as long as it's not pornographic etc. You can proceed as you like.
  • It would be prudent to seek an OK from the FTA TV channels for their retransmission via Broadband. They may or may not be OK with free distribution of their content globally via broadband. They may be offering their content via Paid OTT apps, in some countries. If you were to deliver the same content via a Cable TV network, you need would need to ensure that:
    • It is a Digital Cable TV
    • All (digital) channels Must be encrypted, even if they are FTA channels like Doordarshan.
  • The new TRAI tariff order does not allow FTA and Pay channels to be delivered via Cable TV, HITS or DTH, in the same bouquet. Hence many FTA channels (e.g. all FTA channels from Star India) have now become Pay Channels, so these are no longer FTA channels! Please thoroughly verify that channels are actually FTA after the new tariff order.


Q: Netflix has started promoting its service to Indian consumers. How much does the consumer pay?

Is it good for us, Cable TV network owners? Should we encourage it? Please advise.

K Mahalingam, Via E-mail

ANS: Netflix is delivered via broadband to SMART TVs, Laptops, Mobile phones & tablets. Netflix offers 3 schemes for Indian consumers: Netflix reportedly offers a 30% Commission to service providers like DTH & Cable Networks, who provide









Simultaneous Watching

1 screen

2 screens

4 screens

Monthly Fee

₹ 500

₹ 650

₹ 800

Netflix via their STBs. Further they require the STB remotes must have a dedicated red coloured 'Netflix' button, that will switch from the linear TV (DTH or CATV) to Netflix directly.

This implies a commission of ₹ 166 to ₹ 267 per month is very attractive.

Further, since Netflix is delivered via a high-speed broadband connection, it also pushes the consumer to subscribe to wired broadband. Many Cable TV network owners also offer a wired broadband service. This can yield further revenues from wired broadband.

Hence, Netflix is a good proposition for Cable TV networks to promote. However, they will need to integrate the Netflix button on their STBs.


Q: I am an LCO in Goa. The signal we get from the Headend is unreliable, and often there is no signal.

I would like to consider changing to a different headend, or even a HITS platform.

Please advise if I should shift to GTPL or NXT Cable network. Which one is the best network? Thank you.

Cable Operator Goa.


An LCO's decision in selecting his (DAS) Headend partner, is a long-term decision.

Each DAS headend will have its unique STBs which will have to be scrapped if you switch to a different DAS headend. Your customers will certainly not want to pay for a new STB for several years. Shifting DAS Headends could be an extremely difficult and expensive move.

Hence when finalising a Headend tie-up, you must carefully evaluate the following:

  1. The long-term business stability of the DAS headend & its operation.
  2. Your confidence and rapport with the DAS headend. You need to be sure that you will continue to get the Headend's support that they promise you initially.
  3. Financial and Technical Capability. You need to ensure that the DAS headend has the finances to upgrade their equipment as and when required & has the technical capability to smoothly roll out the next level of services in the near future, whether they are Android STBs or 4K video or OTT.
  4. Too often, LCO's simply look at the price of pay channels offered by the DAS headend. This could change quite radically from time to time depending on the broadcasters' pricing and possible new tariff regulations such as those from TRAI.

You will have to evaluate the options available to you locally and take your own decision.

Dish Doctor
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