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Hopeful that NTO 3.0 will strengthen Pay TV ecosystem: Punit Goenka

The television industry is hopeful that NTO 3.0 implementation and tariff forbearance will strengthen the Pay TV ecosystem and pave the way for sustained growth in subscription revenues, Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), has said.

Speaking during the recent earnings call, Punit Goenka said, advertising and subscription will see a single digit growth this year but the focus at this point is on how to grow the Pay TV ecosystem.

India is witnessing a downfall in Pay TV subscriptions with more households migrating to either digital through connected TV or free-to-air (FTA), the silent player that is luring many households to consume free television. With this shift in the industry, broadcasters are concerned about sustaining Pay TV.

“I think the industry itself will see healthy growth in the high single digit for both subscription and advertising. But whenever my conversations with my own peers in the industry happen, everybody is focused on how we grow the pay TV ecosystem,” he said.

Goenka suggested that the industry should work together to ensure the right growth in Pay TV.

“Advertising, of course, for every network it’s a thing, but for the pay TV ecosystem, we can, as an industry, work together with the likes of TRAI and make sure that we get the right growth. Subscription revenue is continuing to grow at a steady pace. Going forward, the focus for players across the industry will be on identifying avenues to grow the pay tv ecosystem in a healthy manner.

“We remain hopeful that NTO 3.0 implementation and tariff forbearance will strengthen the Pay TV ecosystem and pave the way for sustained growth in subscription revenues,” he said.

The execution of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff (Third Amendment) Order or the NTO 3.0 allowed broadcasters to hike the prices of their linear TV channels by 10-15 %. The amended new tariff order (NTO 3.0) was issued by TRAI in November 2022 after which the broadcasters announced the price hike. It came into effect on February 1, 2023.

However, after the cable industry raised objections, TRAI had put the price hike on hold till the end of Lok Sabha elections.

Goenka, whose term as the MD and CEO ends in December this year, also said that he has not engaged with any shareholder in the company for his reappointment.

“I have not engaged with any shareholder for my reappointment. I don’t believe in reaching out. They will decide whether I should run the company or not. I have already given my targets in February. At the end of the day, shareholders will decide whether I am the right person or not,” he said. CreativeFirst

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