Jaldi 5 with Anuj Gandhi, Group CEO, IndiaCast

19 Oct,2012

1. We have a little less than a month to go for digitization in the four metros. If the government estimates are to be believed, by now over 70 per cent of four metros have been digitized. Is that the case?

The data does not take into consideration that homes have 2-3 TV sets now. That is the only gap I see, which will have to be plugged probably in the first month. Other than this, we think that the numbers are in line with what the situation is on the ground.

 

2. With digitization, audiences will be able to choose channels. Would IndiaCast channels lose out?

It depends on what packages the channels are on. Of all the packages that have been declared, I am pretty pleased that our channels are very well-placed. I do not think that is a worry at all. Packages have been announced. we have done deals with most operators in the market and we know where the channels are being carried.

 

Have you signed the deal with all the operators?

We have signed deals that cover 70-75% of the market. Our intention is to sign with each and every operator.

 

3. There is a worry that there will be some piracy in the form of pilferage of signals after November 1.

In any transformation or reset in the industry, there is always going to be chaos or piracy. We will have to deal with it. Of course, I am not saying that there will not be. But I do not think it will be on large scale and we will have to deal with it when it comes.

 

4. What more would you like the other stakeholders to do to ensure 100% digitization?

The critical work that needs to be done, has to be carried out by ground personnel. The last mile operators and MSOs have to ensure that there are enough boxes available on the ground, and that the right communication is going to the final customer.

 

5. Will digitization cause paradigm shifts in how media brands create value in the future?

Absolutely. Most of the big media brands have been under-monetized with the subscription revenues for a very long time. And once we start getting our fair value of subscription, I am sure better part of the money will go into making better content and putting more money in the channels.

 

As told to Ananya Saha

 

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