Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd. (BECIL) CMD George Kuruvilla urged the cable operators to work on ‘innovative solutions’ to provide better services to consumers, while suggesting that cable fraternity too has a role to play in content monitoring, apart from regulators.
The biggest challenge for the cable industry is not only from competition like OTT, DTH, etc., but to transform for survival, so cable operators continue to “hold their ground” and “grow the business that you have already built”, Kuruvilla said while delivering the valedictory address last week at the Aavishkar Media Group-organised SATCAB Symposium.
Pointing out that the cable operators need to look at the technologies available to keep upgrading to cut costs, the BECIL CMD said, “Today the industry has to think about innovative solutions (and) how it can give better services to consumers, and continue to build the business.”
Kuruvilla cited the example of providing high-speed broadband service through the last mile that could emerge as an added revenue stream for cable operators.
“Broadband through the cable, the last mile is an added business, which all cable TV operators can do today, and that will really add value to the industry,” he explained.
Kuruvilla, who has done a long stint at India’s pubcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio, said that though the government has put in place various regulations, including those relating to content to conform to local sensibilities, the cable operators too could act as watchdogs where TV channels and their content are concerned.
Kuruvilla requested the cable operators to be alert when carrying TV channels on their distribution platforms, even though such channels may have been cleared by the government and hinted unlicensed TV channels, propagating anti-India content, should not be carried at all.
“Whenever any cable TV operator is providing the channel, they should make sure they know the channels (and) the content…(so) they do not violate the content code or the broadcast code or the advertising code of the Cable TV Act,” Kuruvilla suggested, adding, every TV channel and its content cannot be monitored at every point of time and cable operators can be responsible citizens, making sure anti-India content is not carried on their services.
He also recalled the long hard battles that cable operators of India have fought to build their businesses from the scratch since the 1990s to bring entertainment and information to millions of cable TV consumers in the country, including taking on the onerous task of seeding the populous market with digital STBs when mandated by the government.
Kuruvilla reiterated what other government officials had said earlier on the conference day: government agencies, including Becil, were there as facilitators and the industry could approach them with their problems for solutions and help.