A tug of war has ensued between the broadcasters and LCOs regarding the digitisation deadline. While the broadcasters are all for meeting the digitisation deadline of June 30, LCOs are doing their best to convince the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to postpone the deadline for at least a few months.
Talking to exchange4media, Roop Sharma, President, Cable Operators Federation of India, (COFI) said, “The task force meeting that happened today (June 15, 2012) in New Delhi, didn’t come up with any strong decision. Still there is no clarity on the deadlines. We have mentioned earlier about the logistics issue and revenue sharing and hence, it is practically impossible to meet the deadline. Government has postponed the decision till next week.”
Convincing the local cable operators and customers is also a major roadblock for digitisation.
The task force has basically asked for details with regards to how much of deployment has taken place within the four metros and how much could possibly be completed by June 30. On this basis, they will review and finalise a deadline next week. They will see how much of an extension would be required to take a call on whether the June 30 deadline should be extended or not.
The meeting was supported by Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary, (Broadcasting) I&B Ministry. Despite number of attempts, Sahu couldn’t be contacted for comments.