With just 60-odd days left for the first phase of digitisation deadline in four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – the big question is what happens if this deadline is missed, for the second time.
Anurradha Prasad, Chairperson & Managing Director, BAG Films and Media, is amongst those who believe that there is no argument on whether digitisation would eventually manifest itself in India. She is of the opinion that given the changes in the media industry, digitisation is the only way forward; the question is whether the stipulated sunset date would be met or not. “The Government and the regulator look sure, so in all, it does appear that digitisation would take place,” Prasad said.
Citing the example of Punjab, she noted that in some markets, political constituents want to control the last mile operators, where the governments in power are directly or indirectly controlling the entire ecosystem and blackmail is rampant in the market. She further said that because states control the last mile connectivity, therefore, these things are bound to happen.
With the digitisation process, Prasad said, “This entire ecosystem will die because there will be stronger presence of social media. You can’t stop the broadcast of IPTV, you can’t stop the digital transmission from reaching the consumers on their laptops and mobiles.”
“Today, mobile is a very important and big distribution vehicle. It is in the best interests of every stakeholder of this industry to push for and ensure that digitisation takes place,” Prasad emphasised. She believed that this would bring about a big shift in the entire broadcasting and content industry.
Critising the entire ratings system, Prasad remarked, “If we have to run our business on the ratings system, we all know where we would head.”
She called on policymakers and stakeholders to come together and put a system which in place which takes care of the commercial deals between broadcasters and MSOs or LCOs. Digitisation will see survival of the fittest.
Anurradha Prasad was a speaker at the exchange4media organised NewsNext, presented by Dish TV and powered by Television Street Maps.