Will Removal of Barriers Benefit the Players?

While the broadcast industry is anxiously awaiting the second round of FM Phase-III auctions and completion of DAS 
Phase-III and Phase-IV, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has sought the stakeholder view on changes in policy required to enable sharing of infrastructure among MSOs, DTH operators, or MSOs and DTH operators, via a consultation paper.

Infrastructure sharing will lead to reduction in CapEx, bringing down entry barriers for new players. It will also enable stakeholder focus on improving delivery of services and speedy redressal of consumer grievances. The regulator believes it will benefit consumers with reduction in prices, and fuel growth of the broadcast sector.

The main issue is whether there really is a need to enable infrastructure sharing among multiple TV distribution platforms. If yes, then what will the amendments required in the respective policy guidelines be, and which model will be preferred by the stakeholders.

A recent BCG report, The Future of Television, raises concern on whether OTT’s growth will cannibalize domestic content production, as the balance of consumption time and revenues move to global OTT players. Currently the annual revenue worldwide for OTT television, representing some Rs.165,000 crore, is being generated mostly by a handful of big US-based players, including Netflix, Amazon, and Google’s YouTube. On the other hand, as the avenues for reaching consumers proliferate, and local content becomes an essential differentiator, it may spur increased domestic content production.

IBC2016 came to a close recently at Amsterdam RAI. It ended with a very clear message. The industry is trying to develop IP standards. It is a step change, moving to a more IP-based approach, more interoperable, plug-and-play, compared with a more systems integrator black-box-kind of approach in the past. Business transformation can no longer be swept under the carpet. Getting all three – the creative side, the technology side, and the commercial side in perspective – is going to be important for the industry.

We invite our readers to visit us at the Broadcast & CableSat booth at Broadcast India, Mumbai.

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