In an attempt to wriggle out of the CAS chaos and to exercise damage
control in view of the early Loksabha elections, the government issued a
crucial notification yesterday to appoint Telecom Regulator Authority
of India (TRAI) as the regulator for the broadcasting sector.
TRAI has been given mandate to regulate broadcast industry with a view
to protect the interests of consumers who have been at the receiving end
due to CAS war among different stake holders including broadcasters,
MSOs and cable operators.
The goveornment went in for a regulator for broadcasting sector as
various unresolved issues among stake holders in broadcasting sector had
not only impeded its steady growth but also harmed the interests of
consumers. Interestingly the government has so far been dithering on
the demand by the consumer bodies and cable operators to appoint a
regulator on the ground that Convergence Bill was still pending.
Besides tackling licensing issues, TRAI will regulate the pay channel
prices, advertising on pay channels and revenue sharing arrangements in
the broadcasting sector. It will also address technical issues like
standardisation of set top boxes. The regulator will ensure healthy
competition in the broadcasting industry with a new to facilitate its
The appointment of regulator for broadcasting sector assumes
significance in view of impending DTH roll out by several players and
also to sort out several contentious issues plaguing the successful
roll out of CAS.