January 2020


2019 was a difficult year. Most significant, was the turmoil caused by the declaration & implementation of the New Tariff Order. A revised tariff order has been declared, which makes only small ammendments, and introduces a 33% rather than the expected 15% bouquet discount cap.

OTT gained substantially, but a 40% hike in data rates by mobile operators has got OTT platforms worried.

2019 has left several mega-deals incomplete.

Airtel reportedly wants to buy Dish TV DTH, but plans have stalled due to the large AGR arrears demanded made by DoT, for Airtel's mobile business.

Mukesh Ambani is reportedly selling / merging TV18's non news channels with the Sony bouquet & its News channels could be acquired by the Times Group.

Sadly, in 2019, Subhash Chandra lost Zee - his crown jewel. There is little hope of Chandra retaking his stake, even though Punit Goenka continues to head the company.

It is significant to observe that all major broadcasters in India are now foreign owned.

2020 ushers in a new decade, not just a new year! There will be huge changes ahead. Businesses need to reinvent their strategies. Wired broadband offers MSOs & LCOs significant revenues as well as healthy margins to counter any loss in Cable revenues. Sale & installation of CCTV and broadband equipment in consumers' homes by LCOs, can also provide substantial additional earnings, using the existing team, with minimal retraining.

There is no fool proof 2020 vision for the 2020 decade. However, success will depend on exploring new avenues & adapting to change.