BANGALORE: With about 90 per cent of television sets digitised, Koramangala is fast touching complete television digitization. Both local cable operators and DTH service agencies are chipping in a few extra hours to meet up the rush.
Thanks to IPL, Koramangala residents are not leaving any stone unturned to go digital. Digital cable signal was made mandatory post March 31st in most cities across India.
Koramangala, with its decent mix of residents and corporate populace, is opting for digital signals at a fast pace. Cable operators and DTH connection providers have seen a record increase in their list of digital service subscribers after digitization was made compulsory by the government. The numbers have gone up by another 20 percent as analog signals have gone completely offline.
More than a dozen cable operators of Koramangala are optimistic about the step despite the idea of digitisation not being outright lucrative.
Initially, this move by the government had received vehement opposition by cable operators across the country. Now, the cable television entrepreneurs are eyeing long-term profits provided the membership count would go up with compulsory digitisation.
Operating in Koramangala since 1993, Kasturi Cable Networks had started operations with an initial investment of Rs 2000. Covering almost 30 percent of the 8th block of Koramangala. Kasturi has already digitized 70 percent of the connections on its client list.
Kasturi is selling the set top boxes for Rs 1400 to their customers. "Before March 31 same set top boxes were being sold at Rs 1200 but with the increase in demand and less supply from the Multiple System Operators (MSOs), prices of set top boxes have gone up. This has given us stiff competition from DTH service providers and we are trying our best to cope with it," said Deepak Naidu, partner, Kasturi Cable Networks.
As per TRAI regulations, initially, digitalisation will get local cable operators a share of Rs 45 out of Rs 100 that the subscriber will pay for the basic service of 100 free-to-air TV channels,the move though hasn't gone down too well with the local cable operators.
"We are seeing an increase in demand for digitisation but as of now there are no profits earned from the venture. It would take another two months to breakeven after selling all set top boxes and starting digital signals," said Naidu. As per Naidu, in terms of revenues,MSOs would be at an advantage with digitisation.
The end result however would be dependent on the number of clients who stick to local cable television and not switch to flashy DTH services.