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May 2018


Star India has shared only a few IPL matches on Doordarshan, that too with a 1 hour delayed feed. The Indian TV viewer has been deprived of viewing their national sport. Star India's stand is that the IPL tournament is a club event and not an event of national importance. Interestingly, individual viewership ratings dipped 9% in week 2. If viewership sags for the rest of the tournament, advertisers may not return next year. Star needs to substantially raise even the current ad rates over the next 4 years to break even, on its exorbitant bid price.

The TRAI has been compelled to withdraw its Landing Page regulation which was declared in haste & without prior consultation. The Landing Page on an STB is similar to the cover page of a newspaper or magazine. While there are no restrictions on advertisements on the cover page, or placement fee on Cable & DTH, it seems unreasonable to prohibited ads on the STB Landing Page. The TRAI banned it on a minor technical issue of dual LCNs.

It is alarming that the Government has formally declared a committee to regulate online media. The Indian Government's presence has turned increasingly intrusive on online content. India already tops the list of countries demanding removal of online content. Such action is inappropriate of the world's largest democracy.

The I&B Ministry's move to force all STBs to carry monitoring chips, invades the personal privacy of viewers and will almost certainly be challenged in court. Further the cost is being passed down to the service provider who may or may not be able to recover the additional cost from the consumer.

It is a matter of national pride that ISRO's GSLV rocket successfully launched the GSAT-6A satellite. India joins an extremely select group of countries that can now launch a large communication satellite into geo-orbit.