Jul 052003

what ever will be will be. the answer’s not ours to see
cas sera sera

The great indian compromise. once again. no loss of face on any side (or equal loss of face on all sides) – no change in the status quo – and of course the customer getting screwed in the bargain.

Let’s look at the figures. according to tv manufacturers there are close to 70 million telelvision sets in India. According to market experts approximately 40 million households receive cable and satellite television.

According to the cable operators the no. of c&s homes in India is less than 8 million (coz that’s what they declare and pay for.

The networks have seen a fall in revenue due to 3 main reasons : a) advertisers no longer completely trust their figures after the TRP fiasco and can bully the rates down, b)no. of channels have increased and the revenue pie hasn’t c) people are not really watching the crap they are putting out. in fact there has been a net loss in viewership across all channels – and people have gone back to traditional forms of entertainment – friends, family, making babies, fighting,drama… whatever.

so they woke up and instead of getting their own houses in order decided to make “honest women” of the cable operators. In comes CAS – one of the most stupid pieces of legislation ever conceived. presumably to give the consumer more choice. The consumer already receives close to 100 channels and 150 buck – how much more choice can he have.

the CAS legislation is set to give you 72 fta channels at around 120 bucks (all inclusinve), + a pay per view on pay channels.

Now the local cable guy decides who is pay and who is fta. he decides who takes what. so where is the consumer choice?

Else where in the world a pay channel does not carry ads. so as a viewer i pay x rs. more per month and see a break free programme, match, film whatever. but in india – it is have your cake and eat it too. Consumer Choice.

I guess that the I&B minister has defined consumers as cable operators as they are the primary consumers of the Satellite signal. The only choice is theirs to make.

It is evident that the elections are around the corner. I wonder what the contribution from the broadcasters and the cable operators has been to the election fund.

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