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Digitisation process giving DTH companies advantage: Cable operators

Last Updated: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 22:34

New Delhi: The digitisation process being ushered in by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was providing DTH companies advantage over local cable operators, the Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) Friday claimed.

A statement released by COFI president Roop Sharma said cable operators were were finding it difficult to convince the subscribers to pay more than double the subscription for lesser number of pay channels every month apart from paying for the set-top-box that does not belong to them.

"This has given undue advantage to six DTH players who are in existence for many years mostly run by 'Pay' channel broadcast companies and have nothing to do with cable TV digitisation.

As STBs are in short supply and government has ordered to switch off 'Pay' channels on analogue networks, consumers are rushing to the DTH companies putting cable operator's livelihood in jeopardy," the statement said.

The cable operators' body also submitted a memorandum to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari protesting that big DTH companies were engaging in the activity of cable networking by setting up multi-dwelling unit (MDU) set-ups.

"This may not look to be a cable networking but is akin to cable networks which is pushing out the cable operators from these societies and colonies," COFI claimed.

It said that TRAI had in the past advised that licensing conditions should be amended to ensure a regulatory mechanism to govern the installation of MDU and consumers are given a fair choice as MDU set-up tends to be monopolistic.
The COFI memorandum also claimed that DTH operators had been violating the interoperability clause given in the license agreements.

The cable operators' body requested that the state government and nodal officers responsible for digitisation should also ensure DTH operators do not violating licensing conditions and license of those who violate be cancelled. PTI

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan B Krueger said the employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

"It is critical that we continue the policies that are helping to build an economy that creates jobs and works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," he said.

"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in February to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest since December 2008.

The labour force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent in March," he said.

Krueger said now is not the time for Washington to impose more self-inflicted wounds on the economy.

"The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, while working to put in place measures to put more Americans back to work like rebuilding our roads and bridges and promoting American manufacturing," he said.

"The President will continue to press Congress to act on measures he called for in the State of the Union to promote job growth, ensure workers have the skills they need to compete, and help hardworking Americans make a decent living," the White House official said.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, said the employment report again shows that the US economy cannot afford more self-inflicted setbacks like the sequester.

"We need to focus on growth, not austerity. To spur greater job growth, Republicans should work with Democrats to make job-creating investments and replace the sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart cuts with revenue measures such as closing tax loopholes for the very wealthy," he said.


First Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 22:34
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