Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cable & Satellite Industry - Digitization sunset date for Phase I

As the digitisation deadline of June 30, 2012 for Phase I approaches, differences exist among the various parties involved in extending or persisting with the same deadline.

Broadcasters have been lobbying the government to stick to the existing deadline, some of the MSOs (barring the large ones like Hathway Cable and Den Networks) and LCOs have asked for an extension of two or three months as they are finding it hard to seed set top boxes in all their households due to late announcement of the revenue share model by Trai, unavailability of set top boxes and lack of consumer awareness.

MSO's problems could be a blessing for DTH operators who are gearing up to speed up their subscriber addition. However, Hathway is best placed among MSOs, having already seeded 40% or ~1 million of its ~2.3 million subscribers in the metros and having an inventory of ~ 0.7 million STBs.

Expect at least a three month delay in implementation of digitisation even if the deadline is not extended. The final call will be taken by the ministry of Information & Broadcasting on June 25, 2012.


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