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Media Monday: Television to Stay, Mobile TV to grow and Cable Industry is still going strong

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Online videos can’t replace subscription based TV

Those who are hoping that online television video services can replace Television, need to rethink. A recent survey in US tells that less than six million US households would consider canceling pay-TV service in favour of online video. That means only less than 8% of the Broadband owing households would consider cancelling their pay-TV subscription.

This is a good news for Television Industry, since US Internet audience is perceived as one of the better acceptor of new technologies, it sends a strong indication that Television is here to stay long. Interesting story is that the number of households willing to switch to online TV has decreased for past 3 years- 11% in 2008, 10% in 2009 and now 8%.

It feels good to see that oldest entertainment media will remain there for long. But with growing penetration of Internet and ease of searching appropriate content, internet definitely poses challenge to TV Industry.

Mobile Television Industry gets a Boost

I&B Ministry recently approved most of the recommendations that were submitted by TRAI for Mobile Television Services. Some of the approved suggestions include-

– 74% FDIshare in Mobile TV services.

– Freedom of choosing the technology for operators.

– Technology should be digital and should be made accessible to Global audience.

– Technology must be at par with the regulations of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Telecom Engineering Centre of India (TEC)

Apart from this the most interesting part I found was that TRAI has also proposed that the License holder of Mobile TV services will only broadcast those news channels which would be approved by Information & Broadcasting Ministry. Now what that means, those news channels which are currently on TV are not approved by the Ministry? If that’s the case then its a very serious issue- Why not first regulate the content shown over bigger medium i.e. TV? What’s your opinion on this?

Cable Industry is maturing

If you thought Cable Industry would be devoured by DTH and other digital services, give it another thought. Cable is simple, fix-rated, covers almost all channels + some local channels too, premiers all (pirated) Movies, gives local advertisements and remains operative even during bad weather. Compare these many (must have) features to just one disadvantage -picture quality and you’ll see why I’m in favour of Cable Industry. And what more- Cable Industry is also going the digital way.

That too is happening- “during 2009, HITS (Headend-in-the-Sky) was approved. HITS will allow use of satellites to distribute cable signals instead of the traditional cables that operators use. This is similar to the DTH system – the only difference being that in this case, cable operators will download signals for further distribution in homes.”- Source.

This may not be a good news for Broadcasters, as Cable cuts their lucrative subscription fees. However, I’d say that consumer remains the King for driving this Industry. Do you also think so?

  1. Chris H says

    Its interesting that interest levels in online tv have actually dropped. I think it is actually a case of different content on different mediums.

    Americans watched more than 3 billion online videos in Feb alone, and this figure has been growing over time. The majority of these are short clips, rather than full tv shows.

    People are happy to watch short news clips, music videos, ads, and entertaining videos online, but for their films and 30min – 1 hr tv shows, they prefer to be sitting on their couch in front of a nice big tv with the family.

    I wonder if cable/DTH are allowed to show unapproved news shows, or whether the official line is that no one should show them, but the government doesn’t stop them?

  2. Rohan says

    Local cable TV guys may not be the most professional ones you come across, but it is vanilla plain simple to deal with them. One of the DTH services I heard about, they provide limited channels, and ask for 10 Rs. extra for every additional channel. DTH channel menu seems more like Domino’s Pizza menu card.

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