The cable TV digitisation process is in full swing in the country, with the first two phases already over, covering four metros and 38 cities. Now, broadcasters, leading MSOs and DTH players are gearing up for the final phase of digitisation, which is slated to conclude in December 2014.
For broadcasters, the sooner the digitisation process is completed the better, since they can avoid the carriage fees. Moreover, the subscription that is expected to kick in post digitisation is further expected to swell broadcasters’ revenue kitty.
However, the ground reality is somewhat different from the expectations.
Talking exclusively to exchange4media, Manish Tewari, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, shared that broadcasters have different viewpoints. He said, “I think the first challenge is that various stakeholders publicly pay lip service to the success of digitisation, but privately tell me that they have not reaped the fruits. There is a contradiction because every time there is a media event, we hear media moguls talking in favour of the cause of digitisation, but when they privately come and see me, each stakeholder has his own set of complaints.”
Tewari further said, “Therefore, I have asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to conduct an external audit of the process of digitisation as it has unfolded in Phase I and II, without putting the process of Phase III on hold. This is to gauge the satisfaction quotient of the broadcasters, MSOs, LCOs and most importantly, the consumer, for whom digitisation is intended.”
The objective behind the audit is to analyse the lessons that the Government has learnt, the takeaways, where has the Government failed and how Phase III can be made a better process than the preceding two phases.
Tewari added, “Last month we requested the Ministry to see that this audit is carried out at earliest. We have empirical evidence of what digitisation has yielded for various stakeholders.”