Calcutta, Jan. 4: The Rs 8000-crore cable TV industry is poised to take the first step towards becoming an organised sector as the government has decided to implement the conditional access system (CAS) in the four metros within the next six months.
“This year will be a watershed for the Indian cable TV industry. For the first time in 13 years, the industry will come under the purview of government law on use and management of technology through CAS,” said Sanjay Mansukhani, secretary of CTMA (Cable TV Equipment Traders & Manufacturers Association). He was speaking at the inauguration of the Cable TV Show 2003 organised by CTMA.
The introduction of CAS will bring in at least Rs 1000 crore of hardware sales by the year-end. “There are an estimated 5 million cable TV households in the four metros. Even a 20 per cent migration to CAS will result in Rs 500 crore sale of set-top boxes. Technical upgradation will fuel another Rs 500 crore of hardware sales,” said Mansukhani.
In case of implementation, CAS at the national level is expected to generate revenues worth Rs 8,000 crore through the sale of set-top boxes alone, assuming that a minimum of 40 per cent of the nation’s 40 million cable TV homes migrate to CAS in the next few years.
“Cable operators have to diversify into value-added services in order to stay afloat and meet the challenges of competition in this convergence area,” said Somnath Chatterjee, chairman of the Standing Committee on Information Technology.