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June 2018


We have a new I&B minister - Rajyavardhan Rathore. He has been elevated from Minister of State, and now given independent charge. As MoS in the I&B ministry for the past 4 years, Rathore has always weighed every word said, and has maintained a calm composure at all times. He has promised a fresh look at various contentious issues taken up by the MIB in the past few months.

The Madras High Court has given its final verdict in the TRAI tariff regulations case. In essence, the TRAI tariff regulation has been approved except for the 15% cap on bouquet discounts.

Readers will recall that earlier, the Courts had ruled that the TRAI cannot specifically dictate Pay Channel Price caps. It remains to be seen whether the entire tariff regulation will be meaningful without the cap on bouquet pricing. Maybe the TRAI will reword this clause, which seems essential?

As we go to Press, Star India has 2 weeks to appeal the Madras High Court judgement, failing which the TRAI tariff regulation will be implemented (excluding the 15% cap on bouquet discounts).

Recently, I read an interview with Karan Bajaj - Head of Discovery India. He provides a superb insight on how he segments the Indian Video market. He says Indian consumers are structured as a pyramid. The top 20 million households, have a premium DTH or broadband connection. They are complete internet enabled households. In 18 months, their primary content consumption will be via the internet.

The next 100 million are the linear TV viewers with a smartphone as their second screen.

The remaining 120 million are entering the TV universe.

As Cable and Broadband delivery providers, Cable Networks are well equipped to address all these 3 segments but need to upgrade technical & interaction skills to address the highest paying 20 million subscribers.