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Urban cable TV to go digital by 2014

Cabinet panel clears mandatory digitisation of TV services

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has cleared a proposal for mandatory digitisation of TV services for all urban areas by 2014.

This will have to be done in the four phases as recommended by the I&B Ministry and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

According to the I&B Minister, Ms Ambika Soni, who briefed the media soon after the Cabinet meeting, "Cable operators will have to abandon analog in the four metros by March 31, 2012. Cities with a population of one million will be covered by March 31, 2013. All urban areas would be covered by September 30, 2014. The entire country will be covered by December 31, 2014."

According to Mr Nikhil Vora, Managing Director, IDFC Securities, "We believe that the regulatory trigger will change the TV Distribution industry dynamics from hereon. Our sense is that while both Multiple System Operators as well as DTH players will capitalise on the mandatory digitised environment, the delta gains will be far sharper for nationalised MSOs such as DEN and Hathway."

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