October 2018


New pay channel tariffs have been declared by most broadcasters except Star & Discovery who have decided to wait for directions from the Supreme Court to their appeal. Broadcasters have declared significantly higher tariffs, pushing the ₹ 19 limit on bundled pay channels. Distribution platforms feel these new higher tariffs are not sustainable in DAS3 and DAS4 areas.

Tata Sky has taken a hard stand against Sony and Zee while re-negotiating its tariffs. The DTH platform has insisted on linking bundled tariffs to actual demand it receives from its subscribers. As a result, most of Sony's channels have been thrown out from bouquets and shifted to a-la-carte only. The rest of the distribution industry should take a clue and negotiate similarly for all pay channels.

The new tariff order provides for a compulsory 20% 'Distribution Fee' for all cable networks & DTH platforms. This, along with the new higher pay channel rates, will bring in much needed revenues into the distribution chain. This is an ideal time for cable networks to upgrade their CATV hardware and STB's for HDTV delivery.

Jio Fibre has not provided any significant installs on the ground since it declared its free trials in July. Competitors will certainly complain to TRAI if Jio extends its free trials beyond 6 months. Hence this is an excellent window of opportunity for smaller networks to upgrade to provide 100 MBps download speeds. Even if Jio offers its service at half the price of existing telcos like Airtel, there is still enough money for smaller networks to thrive & earn well through Broadband delivery.

India's biggest annual Cable TV event - the SCaT 2018 Trade Show will be held at the World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai from 24th to 26th October. Admission is Free. More than 200 brands will be exhibiting thousands of products. There will be several new product launches for both CATV and Broadband along with special, attractive prices for purchases confirmed during the show. Be There !