MSOs reeling under losses due to the delay in Digitization, plan to start with voluntary digitisation

Digitisation has hit a roadblock when the I&B minister announced recently that it will be postponing phase 3 and phase 4. MSOs and broadcasters were found criticising the move as they had already invested huge sum for the digitization process and are yet to realise their investments.

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Siti Cable CEO quoted “It is the MSOs who have invested in the Digitisation”. In such a case Mr. Wadhwa suggested that MSOs can opt for voluntary digitisation in the delayed phases. MSOs are fearing that they will lose their money as cable operators will not pay them incremental money due to the delay in digitisation.

MSOs are also reeling under losses as they have invested a huge sum of money and they have to keep on paying interest for the next 15 months. This has also affected the broadcasters who had pinned their hopes on increasing the subscription after digitisation. Mr. Wadhwa also suggested further that the LCOs need to increase their subscription to Rs.200-250 so as to recover the money invested for digitization. He further added that “With this, till digitization is complete, while ARPU for the MSO increases, the LSO can also get 50% more margin that what they are currently getting”

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MG
November 8, 2014 11:59 am 11:59 AM

MSOs lobbied very hard to delay digitalization for years. They feared that their real subscriber bases will be revealed to broadcasters and the government, both of whom stand to gain from the true figure. MSOs heavily under-declared, their LCOs went further and under declared to fractions of their real sub base. They evaded state and income taxes, earned a good amount of black money. No wonder politicians and goons were very interested in the business. Now the same bunch of thieves are whining about delay in digitisation.

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