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Jul 03, 2012, 08.36 AM IST
CNBC-TV18’s Pavni Mittal reports that the government's decision to extended the deadline for digitisation in the four metros till October 31 has irked broadcasters and relieved MSOs
The government has buckled under pressure from multi-system operators.and extended the deadline for digitisation in the four metros till October 31, reports CNBC-TV18’s Pavni Mittal, quoting sources.
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Multi-sysytem operators like Hathway and Digicable are heaving a sigh of relief. The four-month extension has been considered heaven-sent by these companies who were struggling to meet the deadline of June 30 to usher in set-top boxes in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Ashok Mansukhani, director, Hinduja Ventures and president, MSO Alliance, said, "It will help in the conclusion of broadcast and consumer contracts, creation of consumer pricing and installation of boxes."
But broadcasters and DTH operators are not pleased.Sunil Lulla, MD & CEO, Times Television Network, said, "This is a complete disappointment. The industry collectively will lose substantial money, in terms of paying carriage fees, the government will lose taxes and the MSOs and LCos will lose an opportunity to upgrade, The most affected is the consumer who has been awaiting a better quality of broadcast."
According to Harit Nagpal MD & CEO, Tata Sky and president, DTH Operators Association of India, "The boxes are in and are sitting in the warehouses. The manpower has been employed. Now, I dont know whether to wait for another four months or call off all plans. It’s going to cost us a lot of money."
The MSOs are confident that the deadline of October 31 will be met. But DTH operators and broadcasters are taking no chances. Sources say they will pushing for a stronger, and periodical review of the progress and may even consider moving court to ensure that the deadline is not extended once again.
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