COFI has reservations about digitization

16 Oct,2012

By A Correspondent

 

Fifteen days to go and controversies regarding the first phase of digitization refuse to die. Kolkata Cable Operators Digitization Committee has already written to the ministry to take into account their representation in the meetings. Now, the Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) has voiced its apprehension regarding a-la-carte packages. In a task-force meeting in New Delhi, COFI presented a paper saying, “Government’s promises of a high quality digital cable service with affordable price and a facility to choose their favourite channels and pay only for them will prove false if subscribers find on November I that in spite of paying Rs 800 to Rs 2000 for STB they don’t have any choice and being forced to pay two to four times more to get the same cable TV service.”

 

The paper then went onto list the offers from MSOs as given on their respective websites:

  • DEN Networks has NO channel from Indiacast (Viacom 18 and Sun) like Colors, Sun South Indian channels etc.
  • DIGI has no STAR channels, no ZEE channels and no SPORTS CHANNELS except DD sports and their package price is Rs. 250 PM.
  • IN CABLE has not given any names of the channels that they will carry on their network.
  • HATHWAY is the only MSO to carry all popular Premium channels on their Network but package with popular channels cost consumers more than Rs 350 (with Taxes).
  • No MSO has given a-la-carte rates of channels to allow consumers to select individual channels.

 

Channel Package Offers from MSOs

MSO Name of Package No. of Channels Rate Per Month in Rs (Exclusive of Taxes) Remarks
Digi Cable Basic 145 180 No Star and ZEE Channels. Minimum customer price after taxes in Delhi will be Rs. 260.00 Taxes applicable on all packages and monthly rentals:1. Entertainment Tax- Rs 20 in Delhi.2. Service Tax- 12.5%

3. Vat- 10%

4. STB Rental- Rs 15- Rs 100 per month

Gold 151 200
Premium 165 250
Hathway Basic 135 160 Minimum Customer price Rs 240.00 after taxes
Medium 198 220
Premium 242 275
DEN Pack1 112 180 No Colosr, Sun group etc. Minimum Customer Price Rs. 260 after taxes
Pack2 219 225
Pack3 235 270
WWIL Janta 118 100 Minimum Customer Price Rs. 160 after taxes Minimum Customer Price Rs. 160 after taxes
Popular1 (Kolkata) 151 150
Popular2 (Mumbai) 153 150
Popular3 (Delhi) 142 150
IN Cable Manoranjan FTA 100 100 Minimum Customer Price Rs. 160 after taxes
IN Silver 140 225
IN Gold 175 275
IN Platinum 200 325
IN Diamond 250 400

 

STB Selling Schemes

MSO Outright Purchase Rental Scheme Hire Purchase
DEN Rs.1999/- including taxes Rs.799/- + Rs.15/-p.m. for 5 years, excluding taxes Rs.400/- + Rs.40/-p.m. for 5 years excluding taxes
Hathway Rs.1999/- including taxes Rs.1900/- + Rs.40/- p.m. for 35 months including taxes Rs.500/- + Rs.100/-p.m. for 15 months including taxes
Incable NIL Rs.500/- + Rs.40/- p.m. for 40 months Rs.500/- + Rs.100/- p.m. for 18 months
Digicable Not available
WWIL Not available

 

 

It was also pointed out that none of the MSOs are offering the Rs 100 FTA package as provided in the regulations.

 

According to the COFI memorandum, LCOs had raised this point of packages and pricing on 8th June at stakeholders meet in Vigyan Bhawan and were assured by the I&B Minister and MSO representatives that they will come out with final packages very soon. More than 4 months have passed and still no sign of any clarity on packages, pricing of channels and STB schemes.

 

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