Welcoming the notification on Interconnect Regulations for Broadcasting and Cable Services, announced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on December 10 ruling out exclusivity in providing TV signals, the Zee group promoted Dish TV has approached Star and Sony to join its DTH platform.
Said Jawahar Goel, Vice-Chairman, Essel Group, “We have already approached Star and Sony for providing their content/channels on our DTH platform. We hope they will respond positively within 30 days as provided in the notification vide clause 3.6.”
Commenting on the implication of the order, Goel said, “We are happy that TRAI has recognized the need for a ‘must provide’ regime. This regulation will promote competition in the broadcasting and distribution sector and provide a genuine choice to consumers. The various clauses of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Notification clearly reflect this spirit.”
Goel said that competition for delivery of TV channels must not only be promoted within the cable industry but also from distributors of TV channels using other mediums like Direct-to-Home (DTH), Head-ends in the Sky, etc. “It is important that all these distribution platforms are promoted so that they provide consumers with choice. The DTH services have to compete with Cable TV. If a popular content is available on Cable TV and not on DTH, then it would not be able to effectively give competition to the cable networks,” he explained.
The TRAI notification is being seen as providing a level playing field to all platforms in the TV broadcast arena. Besides Dish TV, Doordarshan has also launched its own DTH service, DD Direct Plus, which will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 16.