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November 2017


EDITOR’S SCATVIEW


The SCaT 2017 Tradeshow was a grand success. A huge 'Thank You' to the 19,852 trade personnel who visited Exhibitors in 185 booths, offering products & services from 371 companies / brands, brought in from 19 countries. The show proved our industry is vibrant, with its focus shifting to broadband distribution.

The TRAI is finally pushing the Government to take a decision on confirming its key recommendations. One of these is a 30% ceiling on market share for Cable TV and DTH, to prevent monopolies. The recommendation has been pending approval for years. Recently, Videocon merged with DishTV to corner a 40% market share. Arasu's DAS license is another anomaly that has been permitted to slip through. Similarly, Fastway is estimated to have almost 90% market share of cable TV homes in Punjab and Haryana. There have been allegations of the MSO withdrawing news channels from its bouquet, if they carried reports unfavourable to a particular political party. The TRAI's recommendations deserve to be made into law immediately.

There are a lot of changes at FreeDish, Doordarshan's cash cow. FreeDish plans to encrypt its MPEG-4 signals. This could severely inhibit viewership of the new, MPEG-4 channels. Further, FreeDish stopped auctioning slots and has demanded a share of each channel's ad revenue. Broadcasters are up in arms and have received a 2-month respite from the TDSAT. It will be interesting to see how this matter concludes.

Reliance (RCom) DTH will shut down by the time you read this. It was inevitable. The DTH platform had not added subscribers for over a year, and was probably being sustained, primarily with the intention of selling it. In the absence of a buyer, there was no alternate. Tata Sky's offer to 'adopt' all Reliance DTH consumers to its platform, effectively provides it up to 2 million new subscribers, without buying out Reliance DTH.