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December 2017


EDITOR’S SCATVIEW


In a major relief to the industry, GST on practically all cable TV hardware has been slashed from a punitive 28% to 18%.

Some states have commenced levying a State/Municipal Entertainment Tax which negates the spirit of a consolidated and uniform GST countrywide, for all businesses.

The TRAI needs to be congratulated on its emphatic recommendations for a completely neutral internet distribution system. Unfortunately, several of its key recommendations have been ignored.

LCO in Tamil Nadu report that they are being threatened and coerced to join Arasu. A valiant, collective protest by more than 500 Cable operators, along with a court order, has restrained the state authorities, for now. It remains a shocking travesty that Arasu has been granted a 'provisional' license by the centre.

The TRAI's directive disallowing TV channels on the landing page, seems unnecessary, when advertisements are permitted on the cover page of newspapers and magazines. As expected, the directive has been challenged in court and is likely to remain stalled for a while.

Has the TRAI become a toothless tiger? Much of what it recommends is ignored and its directives are challenged in court. Significantly, recent court appeals have challenged the TRAI's very authority to issue these directives!

Reliance DTH has apparently been bought by 2 relatively unknown entities. It is quite intriguing how these relatively small entities with limited resources plan to revive the DTH platform.

The Jio TV OTT platform now offers more than 527 TV channels including 99 HD channels. Broadcasters have expressed concern and their disapproval at reports that Jio TV can be viewed on consumer's TV sets, competing with cable TV and DTH.

Channel [V] has finally been shut down. In its heyday, its VJs were atleast as popular as movie stars! Clearly, the only constant is change.

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.