Infrastructure & availability will lead to innovations in b'casting, say experts

With the policy landscape & regulatory dispensation lagging behind the technology advances, industry experts are looking at the Govt to bridge the gap & set a forward looking roadmap

e4m by Abid Hasan
Published: Sep 16, 2013 8:57 AM  | 4 min read
Infrastructure & availability will lead to innovations in b'casting, say experts

Changing technology has redefined broadcasting in more ways than one, in both, content and carriage side of the business. HD is a reality, while 3D is in the offing and Ultra HD is no longer a distant dream. With broadband and new media gaining precedence, traditional broadcasting will have to reinvent itself to connect with viewers in a more compelling manner.

With the policy landscape and regulatory dispensation lagging behind the technology advances, industry experts are looking at the regulators and Government to bridge the gap and set a forward looking roadmap.

Sharing his views, Harit Nagpal, CEO, Tata Sky said, “We are not in the satellite business, we are in the content carrying business. We pick up any content, pass it on to customers through any medium willing to buy it and happy to pay for it. Start looking at it as your role, only then can you think of innovation.”

Nagpal further said that different innovations have come after a lot of thinking; Video on Demand and Catch up TV are such innovations.

“Why only TV content, the newspaper industry can also leverage the same platform. They too are in the business of content and news,” he noted.

Nagpal asked, “Why can’t a customer of mine switch on the TV in the morning and read a newspaper and pay Rs 50 per month, where I’ll keep Rs 20, while Rs 30 goes to the newspaper guys? Why can’t I distribute books over the television platform? I am in the business of carrying content to the consumer. Since, I am in the content distribution business, I should be able to do that and the technology is available for such distribution.”

According to him, what is missing and what will help this innovation is infrastructure such as satellite capacity and broadband. “Infrastructure needs to move faster. Infrastructure, availability, and policy need to be supportive for innovation in broadcasting,” stressed Nagpal.

Meanwhile, for Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO, Hungama Digital, connectivity is most important as everything is happening in real-time right now. “Videos are the real content and will continue to be so in the future,” he said, adding “Video will be everywhere and can be experienced on every device. It will shrink the consumption pattern as different formats will be available.”

Roy stressed, “The element of distribution needs to be robust. It is only then that the distribution component will drive the economy and will not be over-dependent on the advertising market.”

Giving the point of view of policymakers, Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting noted, “Innovations are very much there in every sector in India. Our policies are robust enough to accommodate those innovations. We feel that policies have not kept pace with the changing technologies, because policy-making is an extremely cumbersome and painful process and goes through lots of procedures. First there is the consultation process, then come recommendations and then take it to the Parliament, whereby it is finally notified.”

Sahu further said, “The Government is also realising the need to enhance the policy-making process, because sometime it so happens that by the time the policy is evolved, the technology has moved far ahead.”

She pointed out that the Government is panning out the national optical fibre network to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats and has asked MSOs to help tap these innovations and be a part of it.

Meanwhile, highlighting the changing trend of content creation, Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network remarked, “Content creation is moving from digital deployment to make way for digital content. It is moving from content co-creation and making various reality shows more and more like online series.”

Katial felt that digital is one of the best innovations that is letting others change revenue streams by creating content over digital.

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