March 2018


25 Wild & Wonderful years behind us ... not only for the magazine but also the cable TV industry in India. So much has changed and then; so much has remained the same.

We have come a long way from trying to squeeze a second channel in Band I, to more than 500 Digital & HD channels today on Indian Cable TV networks.

I still recall the applause I received at a SCaT Workshop, when I spoke of optic fibre delivering Cable TV signals with a transmission loss of 0.3 dB per Km, compared to more than 10 dB per 100 meters of Coaxial cable!

The 1st issue of this magazine discussed Entertainment Tax & its implications. Issues with entertainment tax persisted for 25 years, until GST subsumed it less than a year ago. Now Entertainment Tax threatens to re-emerge, as a local levy by municipalities!

Cable TV has been a highly entrepreneurial industry, that has not only endured, but grown & thrived out of a chaotic environment. So much has been done, yet much needs to evolve.

Our industry is on the edge of a paradigm shift that will converge it with broadband. For the past several years, cable networks have refocused their attention on broadband retailing, for enhanced revenues. Still Cable TV distribution remains our calling card for entry into our consumers' homes.

Commencing with this - our 25th Anniversary issue, we have significantly revamped the presentation & content. Approximately half the content will now focus on broadband delivery & how cable networks can better monetise opportunities.

Businesses are shifting from owned assets to shared assets - Uber & Air B&B, the largest operators in their segments, do not own cars or the premises that are rented.

As reported this month, a novel, converged DTH + OTT platform - DIVEO has commenced operations in Germany on a shoe-string budget. It does not have a single transponder! Consumers receive their FTA channels from existing satellite downlinks, and Pay Channels via broadband. Such converged solutions, using for example FTA channels from FreeDish, with pay channels delivered via broadband, could not only change the economics of DTH operations in India, but also question the need for a DTH licence & its 8% AGR annual license fee!

The convergence of broadband with TV delivery will radically change the way we do business.