Monday, May 16, 2022
outlook business

Digital drama

The entry of DTH players has further queered the pitch for cable operators

Digital drama
Digital drama

Everyone in our generation grew up with cable woes. Even as a boring Doordarshan gave way to huge choice in content, cable transmission would often be bad, channels would be switched at random and local operators almost never turned up to address complaints. They couldn’t care less. After all, they not only ruled over the customer but also everyone higher up in the transmission chain.

Then came the move towards digitisation, an era where everyone supposedly would get a fair deal. It was really an era because implementation of the conditional access system started in 2003 but did not take off after several false starts. Finally, after much haggling, digitisation is becoming a reality in the four metros and is at different stages of implementation across 38 other cities. 

The economics for everyone in the broadcasting and transmission business is changing not only because of digitisation but also the way the business environment is evolving. The entry of DTH players has further queered the pitch for cable operators as almost everyone in the DTH business consciously bled in their effort to pull in customers. And then, there is an even bigger unknown, which is how customer acceptance of IPTV will evolve. 

Customers will surely end up with more choice and a bigger monthly entertainment bill, but which players will thrive and which ones will be left behind is still to unfold. In our cover story, Himanshu Kakkar brings in his perspective on the winners and losers in a post-digitisation era. 

In other stories, we have Unibic, which is scaling up its presence in the mid-premium cookies segment and a feature on Mumbai based-Oberoi Realty, which is gearing up to venture outside its home territory. Oberoi has zero debt — a rarity among real estate companies — and the chairman wants to continue with his prudent ways.

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