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India Satellite Industry Forum
22 March, 2011 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
India is a vast market with 120 million multi-channel TV viewers including 30 million DTH subscribers – a market rife with opportunities and challenges.
CASBAA examined the state of the digital, multichannel broadcast industry during its annual India Satellite Industry Forum held on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at the Shangri-La Hotel in New Delhi. Bringing together leaders from across India and Asia, over 100 delegates, speakers and media were on hand to listen to experts discuss various important topics affecting the market today and into the future.
In attendance at the forum were a host of speakers including George Elias (Principal Advisor – Broadcast & Policy, TRAI), Rajiv Anand (Executive Director, PwC), Vikram Chandra (CEO, NDTV Convergence), Praveen Malhotra (Senior VP, Sales, Reliance Broadcast Network), Avinash Kaul (CEO, Zoom Entertainment Network), Joy Chakraborthy (Chief Revenue Officer, Zee), Terry Bleakley (VP, AP Sales, Intelsat) and Ravi Mansukhani (MD & CEO, IndusInd Media & Communication).
Taxation was a hot topic during the Forum as levies for DTH companies were reaching 35% – an unheard-of level for a product that is not a luxury good. Investment restrictions and price levels kept artificially low were also mentioned as impediments to growth. It was pointed out that the cable sector didn’t face the same regulations and tax enforcement as DTH companies with huge amounts of taxes avoided through under-declaration.
Several panelists also contended that companies were hard pressed to make money in the content industry with regulatory constraints, under-declaration, high carriage fees and rising costs all cited as factors.
On a brighter note, it was projected that, within a year, analogue switch-off would take place in the initial four cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, and for the rest of the country by 2015. Digitization is definitely coming – and coming soon!