The Supreme Court has emphatically rejected STAR India's appeal against the TRAI tariff order. This ends a long and contentious battle that challenged TRAI's regulatory authority. The entire industry and 12 Crore Pay TV consumers were held back, for almost 2 years.............
12 FTV CHANNELS ON EROS NOW
Over The Top (OTT) platform Eros Now, has commenced offering FTV's 12+ Live TV Channels and 145+ hours of VOD content.
FTV, a 20-year-old global satellite TV network, delivers the latest fashion trends, models, events and celebrity news.
"FashionTV is proud to be partnering with Eros Now and we are delighted to enter this new and exciting business chapter in India. The Indian market is one of the world's largest and is of utmost importance for our company," said FashionTV Asia/Pacific SVP Alex Ecker.
AIR ON AMAZON ALEXA
Vividh Bharati and 14 other regional language streaming services of All India Radio are now streamed on Amazon Alexa.
Archival assets of All India Radio will be made available in Amazon Alexa in near future.
Alexa will supplement All India Radio's website and App.
28 GHZ FOR 5G?
Though India plans to roll out initial 5G mobile services by end 2019, the government has not yet fixed the frequency at which 5G mobile services will operate in the country. The DoT plans to set up a panel soon to examine whether 5G systems can be deployed in the 28 GHz band and coexist with ISRO's fixed satellite services in the same band.
As required by law, TRAI will also be asked its opinion on a suitable frequency and its views on pricing these airwaves.
Recently South Korea auctioned the 28 GHz band for 5G and the US Federal Communications Commission plans to do so from November 14.
TRAI's suggested base price of ₹ 492 crore per unit of 3500 MHz 5G spectrum, is much higher than ₹ 65 crore a unit at a recent 5G auction in South Korea.
TIMES INTERNET: FREE OTT
Times Internet, an India-based Internet conglomerate that acquired MX Player for $140 million in June this year, has rolled out its free OTT service, featuring more than 100,000 hours of movies and TV shows, including some that the firm has produced specially for the mobile app.
Times Internet, is now available to MX Player users in India at no charge, Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player, confirmed to the press. It will rely on ads to generate revenues. MX Pro is a separate paid service. In 2013, Times Internet had launched BoxTV, offering Bollywood content. The service was shut down in 2016.
Video on mobile phones accounts for 75% of all of mobile internet traffic in India, according to Google.
India's online video market is valued at over $700 million, and research firm Media Partners Asia expects it to touch $2.4 billion in 5 years. More than 40 streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have launched in India in the last three years.
ZEEL RENEWS WITH JIO
ZEEL has signed up with JIO to offer all its channel live on JIO OTT. In September, ZEEL had removed its content from Reliance Jio platforms, after its earlier agreement lapsed.
As part of their mutual cooperation, the ZEE5 App, which offers Video on Demand (VOD) content along with the recently launched ZEE5 Originals, Movies, TV Shows, Music Videos, Lifestyle shows, Kids shows and Plays, will also be available for download.
PIL TO CENSOR OTT
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, has accepted a plea by Mumbai resident Divya Gontiya, demanding that web series be regulated, by a 'prescreening body' along the lines of a censor board. The petition specifically mentions Netflix's serial 'Sacred Games'.
"The screening of pornographic contents, vulgar gestures and talks are overriding the Indian culture and morality," according to the PIL.
Congress member Nikhil Bhalla has sued Netflix over dialogues defaming ex- PM Rajiv Gandhi, also amended his own PIL at the Delhi High Court to include a similar demand.
The case was filed under the IT Act and under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. The latter act was amended earlier this year to include digital media. That has been the principal enabler for this petition.
A division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and M G Biradkar issued notices to the I&B Ministry, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Nagpur police commissioner, seeking replies by 31 October.
VNOS TO ENSURE NET NEUTRALITY
On July 11, Telecom Commission, the highest policy making body in the DoT, approved the recommendations of the TRAI with regard to net neutrality.
Accordingly, DoT has now modified the Unified Licence (UL) norms for telecom operators and Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) to ensure they implement net neutrality.
ISPs & VNOs now cannot engage in, or enter into any agreement that provides 'discriminatory treatment of content.'
DoT has also amended the definition of Internet Access Services, which is now 'a service to access the internet that is generally available to the public and is designed to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all endpoints on the internet.'
JIO LAGS IN ACTIVE SUBS
In the past DTH platforms posted misleading subscriber numbers, until TRAI defined 'active subscribers.'
Similarly, JIO boasts the second largest number of mobile subscribers (after Airtel).
However, going by the number of active subscribers - or the visitor location register - JIO rates a poor forth, after Airtel, Vodaphone & Idea!
According to TRAI data, the active subscriber (VLR) base of Jio was at 187.3 million at the end of July. This is lower than Airtel's 342 million, Vodafone's 206.4 million and Idea Cellular's 201.3 million.
Around 82.5% of Jio's total subscriber base of 227 million are active users but for Airtel, this is 99.42%, while for Vodafone it is 92.84%. Of the country's total mobile subscriber base of 1.16 billion, 86.97% is active.
A large part of the discrepancy is probably due to JIO extending the JIO prime membership for its first-year subscribers, free of cost for the second year. As a result, first year JIO prime subscribers who have discontinued their JIO SIMs, still show as subscribers. n