Revenue sharing with Multi System Operators (MSOs) and being treated at par with the MSOs as well as the 500 channel mandate were some of the issues taken up at the annual national conference of the Local Cable Operators (LCOs), held in New Delhi on August 16, 2012.
Addressing the conference, Dr AK Rastogi, President, Aavishkar Dish Antenna Sangh, said, “There are many issues that we have to solve as soon as possible because digitisation deadline in the metros is knocking at the door.” He stressed, “The Government should consider us as an important part too. The perception is that there is no investment from the LCOs side, hence, revenue sharing is not a big issue.”
One major concern of the LCOs remains the availability of adequate number of set top boxes (STBs) to meet the digitisation deadline. They also voiced their concerns regarding the quality of the STBs available.
For the revenue sharing part, LCOs have said that they are not willing to settle with the Rs 45 share that they are currently getting and insisted on that share being raised to Rs 100.
Col VC Khare, a well-known observer of the cable television industry, stressed on proper paper work to be done to streamline the digitisation process. He also asked the LCOs to make the customers fill up forms whenever they are fixing any STBs.
He lamented the fact that cable television had not got adequate recognition as an industry so far.
Agreeing with Khare, Rastogi called for cable operators to upgrade the skill sets of the technicians working for them so that they can service the customers in a better way. “For this, we are looking to open training institutes to educate the technicians. We are also keen to form a council of cable TV operators of India,” he added.