I&B Ministry: 68% Cable TV Digitization Achieved in 4 Metros


Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has stated that 68% of Cable TV digitization has been achieved in four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. This announcement was made after a recent review of the digitization progress by the ministry in the four metros, where digitization of cable TV has been made mandatory by October 31, 2012.

Methodology: The ministry noted that the review was done based on the 2011 Census data related to the total households, TV penetration, and households having television sets in the country and the data received from Multi System Operators (MSO) and Direct-To-Home (DTH) operators.

I&B ministry mentioned that there are 103.76 households in these metros, according to the Census 2011 data. Considering an average 80% TV penetration among these metros and a 20% additional provision for multiple TVs installed in home & offices, there are 68.40 lakh cable TV subscribers in these four metros who should install a set top box, while there are only 46.71 lakh Set Top Boxes installed, resulting in a total 68% cable TV penetration, with six weeks to go for the Oct 31 deadline.

Note that this calculation doesn’t take DTH subscribers into account. The ministry notes that if DTH subscribers, which accounts to 25.59 lakh subscribers in these four metro, are taken into account, the percentage of digitization goes up from 68% to 77%.

Metro-wise Breakdown: Among the four metros, Mumbai has achieved the highest level of digitization with a 95% digitization level, followed by Kolkata with 67% digitization level, Delhi with 53% digitization level and Chennai with 49% digitization level. If DTH subscribers are considered, Mumbai’s digitization level marginally increases to 96%, while Chennai’s digitization level shoots up to 77%. The digitization level of Kolkata and Delhi increases to 72% and 65% respectively.

No Extension in Deadline: Ministry’s senior officials also noted that there will be no further deadline extension for digitization of cable TV, and the task will be completed within the allotted time frame, with active support from all stake holders.

I&B Ministry has previously extended the deadline for digitization of cable TV in the four metros- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, by four months from June 30, 2012 to October 30, 2012. The ministry had mentioned that the installation of set top boxes, which are essential for receiving the digital broadcasts, had not picked up speed since TRAI’s orders on Tariff & Interconnection, and quality of service & consumer complaints redressal were issued late, due to which their implementation was yet to take place.

TRAI had issued the regulations on Tariff & Interconnection only on April 30, 2012 instead of being issued in January, 2012 while the Quality of Service Regulations and the Consumer Complaint Redressal Regulations were issued on May 14, 2012.

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