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Digitisation's many hues

How the transition from analog cable will impact the various players of the broadcast industry

The picture’s not going to clear up anytime soon. Broadcasters and multi-service operators (MSO) have welcomed the government mandate for complete digitisation of the cable sector by December 2014, but not the local cable operators (LCOs). That’s understandable: according to a Chrome Media report, at present, broadcasters get 21% and MSO 20% of the subscription revenue of the broadcast industry (Rs 20,160 crore), while the rest (over 59%) is pocketed by last-mile cable operators who now hide actual subscriber numbers. That break-up will change drastically with digitisation, with cable operators’ share dropping to just a quarter.