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TRAI committed to protect broadcasters’ rights, says Baijal

13-October-2004
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TRAI committed to protect broadcasters’ rights, says Baijal

TRAI Chairman Pradeep Baijal has clarified that the regulatory body is committed to protect the rights of all in the broadcast business. Speaking at a FICCI seminar on recommendations of TRAI on broadcasting and distribution of TV channels, he said technology is in many ways counter-productive. When it comes to broadcasting and distribution of channels, the authority will protect the rights of existing players. “The idea is not to kill any business but to help new technology increase business,” he said.

Referring to the possibility of Unified Licensing becoming a law, he said the only salvation for India would be the availability of all services on one platform. “We will have to ensure that voice-over-internet does not kill existing players. The passing of this law will lead to fierce competition at the delivery platform level, leading to very aggressive rates. This will lead to market expansion,” Baijal said.

Dwelling on the issue of piracy on the internet, Baijal said piracy has killed many businesses. Telephony over the internet is possible due to digitisation but this has allowed piracy. It is the onus of the regulator to see that content is not pirated, he added.

Kunal Dasgupta, Co-Chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee, said it is very difficult for broadcasters to control what is happening, including piracy. Cable operators have been picking up signals without paying for them, leading to huge loss for those who have invested in rights. The only solution for broadcasters is to own as many rights to content as possible,” Dasgupta said. Going forward, channels will have to create a lot of their content, he added.

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