Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has stated that 77% of Cable TV digitization has been achieved in four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, up from 68% last month. This announcement was made after a 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 stated that the review was done based on the 2011 Census data, released by Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India and the data received from DTH operators regarding the number of DTH subscribers present in these four metros as well as data data received from Multi System Operators (MSO).
Citing Census 2011 data, I&B ministry states that there are 103.76 households in these metros. It considers an average 80% TV penetration among these metros and a 20% additional provision for multiple TVs installed in home & offices and states that there are 67.08 lakh cable TV subscribers in these four metros who should install a set top box and only 51.84 lakh Set Top Boxes have been installed till now, resulting in a total 77% cable TV penetration, with two weeks remaining for the Oct 31 deadline.
Note that the ministry hasn’t taken DTH subscribers into account during this calculation. It noted that if DTH subscribers, which currently accounts to 26.69 lakh subscribers in these four metros, are taken into account, the percentage of digitization goes up to 84%. This is 7% increase from 77% digitization achieved last month.
Metro-wise Breakdown: Among the four metros, Mumbai has achieved the highest level of digitization with a 99% digitization level, followed by Kolkata with 73% digitization level, Delhi with 66% digitization level and Chennai with 59% digitization level. If DTH subscribers are considered, Mumbai’s digitization level remains at 99%, while Chennai’s digitization level shoots up to 84%. The digitization level of Kolkata and Delhi increases to 76%.
Last month, the ministry’s senior officials had stated 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. It had previously extended the cable tv digitization deadline in the four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, by four months from June 30, 2012 to October 30, 2012.
The ministry had attributed the deadline extension to the delay in the installation of set top boxes, which are essential for receiving the digital broadcasts, since TRAI’s orders on Tariff & Interconnection, and quality of service & consumer complaints redressal were issued late on April 30, 2012, instead of being issued as planned in January, 2012.
Earlier in the month, Cable television service provider Siti Cable Network Limited had inked a Digital Addressable System (DAS) Interconnect agreement with 55% of its local cable operators (LCOs), to improve the implementation of digitization across the top metros across India. The company had stated that it will be working with local operators on a revenue-sharing basis of the carriage fee, although there was no word on any revenue share ratio or other financial details of the agreement.
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