Towards Convergent Regulation


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Towards Convergent Regulation

  1. 1. Towards Convergent Regulation 17 th November, 2008
  2. 2. Explosive Growth of Media <ul><li>“ It’s known that people watch programmes, not channels”- Sameer Nair- CEO NDTV Imagine . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why shouldn’t people jump into the TV business? If the new players have built-in losses for three years, subscription revenue will roll in”- Haresh Chawla- CEO CNBC TV18. </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is an extremely bright future for TV channels that put together quality programming and pitch it well to a dynamically changing audience”- Indrani Mukherjea -Chairperson INX Media. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Convergence and media conglomerates <ul><li>“ Convergence will continue to play a crucial role in the development of the Indian entertainment and media industry where consumers will increasingly be calling the shots in a converged media world.”- Timmy Kandhari ED EMP-PWC. </li></ul><ul><li>“ 2006 marked the start of convergence for the industry for the industry with big names like Reliance Adlabs, Bennet Coleman and Co and Zee group forming media conglomerates to maximize growth on lines of Walt Disney and Time Warner”- Ruth David- Writer Forbes.Com. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dominance of Cable TV <ul><li>“ India’s cable TV industry already connects 78 million homes with 60% households owning a TV set connected to cable. </li></ul><ul><li>“ In USA, cable has evolved into claiming the pole position in the race to deliver converged bundles of services to the home. </li></ul><ul><li>“ But in India only 350000 homes have taken cable broadband services out of a massive 71 million. </li></ul><ul><li>Huge infusion of Indian and foreign capital is required but current regulation is ‘ intrusive’ - Media Partners Asia </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dawn of digital TV era <ul><li>“ The dawn of digital TV broadcasting will enable optimization of scarce spectrum. </li></ul><ul><li>This will lead to enhancements like mobile TV reception/HDTV/IP based TV and introduction of new convergent multimedia services and new applications such as 3G. </li></ul><ul><li>“ With digitization of content and entertainment it is now possible to bridge the digital divide effectively bringing in triple play and using the home TV or mobile phone as the bridging device.”- Subgroup on going Digital-Planning Commission .- 2006 . </li></ul>
  6. 6. Aggregating multimedia content <ul><li>Verizon USA is spending 18 billion dollars to bring fibre optic lines directly to a customer’s house. </li></ul><ul><li>This will enable it to bundle video, Internet, telephone and wireless services to ‘help counter the effects of competition and technology substitution that have resulted in access line losses. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The question is what it will do with those pipes. One answer is to reposition Verizon as the largest distributor/aggregator and originator of video content- Knowledge @ Wharton . </li></ul>
  7. 7. Glorious revolution for media? <ul><li>Media companies are about to enter a new dark age or experience a glorious revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>With a multitude of distribution platforms and over 380 TV channels, India is moving into time shift appointment TV. </li></ul><ul><li>Any kind of content that does have value in the immediate “live” moment is or will soon experience a collapsing business model. </li></ul><ul><li>Any company making equipment for the consumer, enabling them to store, move, replay, carry around, compress, archive and transmit will do very well. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Increasing multimedia competition <ul><li>The PWC global media survey for 2008-2012 forecasts that with telecom companies distributing TV,competition with cable will intensify. </li></ul><ul><li>In Asia-Pacific,an emerging IPTV and DTH will boost subscription spending. </li></ul><ul><li>DVR household universe in US has doubled to 20% but less than half viewers actually skip advertisements. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cusp of tectonic change <ul><li>Global sales of wireless media devices like iPhones and N Series Nokia will reach 222 million and cross 1.2 billion units by 2014.- Strategic Analytics. </li></ul><ul><li>Apple will make hay and potentially end up with an important distribution platform for those who do not mind electively paying for the latest movie.- Clem Chambers-Forbes . Com . </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic media is on the cusp of tectonic change. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Monopolies washed away? <ul><li>The old established monopolies of distributors and broadcasters has been washed away by ever increasing digitalization. </li></ul><ul><li>There is greater emphasis on personal movable instant reply portable entertainment devices. </li></ul><ul><li>We must grasp the reality of hyper competition and face the future boldly. </li></ul><ul><li>In such a context let us examine the regulatory scenario in India. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Protecting public rights <ul><li>Way back in 1993,the Supreme Court observed that “ airwaves or frequencies are public property.Their use has to be ‘controlled’ in the interest of the public and to prevent the invasion of their rights. </li></ul><ul><li>It directed the setting up of an independent autonomous regulatory authority as airwaves are public property. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Convergent Regulation <ul><li>The saga of efforts to implement the Supreme Court directive is replete with half hearted efforts and very effective lobbying by sections of media. </li></ul><ul><li>The first Bill came in 1997 and the last version in 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2001,Government introduced a Convergence Bill which fell through because it was ”ahead of its times” but actually tread on inter-ministerial corns. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Regulating Broadcaster Content <ul><li>In 1995,Parliament passed the Cable Act 1995 mainly to regulate mushrooming cable operators and through them the broadcasters. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005,the Bombay High Court debarred telecast of adult content by cable operators and made broadcasters also responsible for any violation of the programme and advertising code of the Cable Act. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Tra-ing to regulate broadcasters <ul><li>In 2004,Government notified broadcasting and cable services as telecommunication services and made TRAI the “interim regulator”. </li></ul><ul><li>TRAI has mainly focused on interconnection and tariff issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Recently TRAI has displayed eagerness to regulate content in recommendations on ratings and public broadcasting. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Regulatory Convergence <ul><li>TRAI has recently observed that a regulators role is to mitigate market failures with “light touch regulation”. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Technology neutral’ approach is the need of the hour with licensing to shift to service neutral from service specific approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence “demands” a single regulatory approach with well defined regulatory framework. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reviving Convergence Regulation? <ul><li>TRAI goes on to assert that a new and market drive framework for convergence is “unavoidable.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Regulator has to “ensure that competition is fair and level playing field is maintained to new and legacy service providers.” </li></ul><ul><li>Content regulation is a “prime concern”. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The path forward….. <ul><li>There is a collapse and collision of technologies which will be difficult to regulate. </li></ul><ul><li>At same time,the need to regulate in public interest is not denied. </li></ul><ul><li>Question is who is the custodian of public interest? A news broadcaster in search of TRPs or a GEC pleasing advertisers or a sports broadcaster enriching his coffers? </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Supreme Court clearly drew a line between self regulation and stressed the need for an independent regulator. </li></ul><ul><li>Recently it expressed strong views on the delay in codifying content code. </li></ul><ul><li>But we are moving towards self regulation for TV content. </li></ul><ul><li>NBA has already operationalised its code from October 2,2008. </li></ul>Regulation or self regulation?
  19. 19. What’s wrong with self regulation? <ul><li>Possibility of public being excluded from content regulation. Sure they can complain but the decision as to whether they are right or wrong is left to the creator of content or their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>TRAI urges “light touch regulation” to mitigate market failure”. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Who should regulate media? <ul><li>Is TRAI the appropriate regulator in these converged times? </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to say! Reason is the limitation to its powers to tariff and interconnection. </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Arena remains firmly in the grip of the MIB/DOT. </li></ul><ul><li>At least a dozen recommendations on electronic media are pending active consideration and“processing” in the MIB. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Is EMRA the answer? <ul><li>In the past MSO Alliance has proposed an electronic media regulator to regulate all forms of video/radio/internet/wireless/wimax content. </li></ul><ul><li>This would lead to possible extinction of two powerful ministries. </li></ul><ul><li>This is not likely in the near future. In conclusion we are very far away from a converged regulator! </li></ul><ul><li>So let us pray that at least the ministries and the Regulator converge! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Converged Regulation <ul><li>Thank You </li></ul><ul><li>Ashok Mansukhani. </li></ul><ul><li>President MSO Alliance. </li></ul>