New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on “Entry level Net-worth requirement of Multi System Operators (MSOs) in Cable TV Services” based on the request seeking recommendations from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) vide its letter dated 16th May, 2018.
Based on the comments of the stakeholders received during the consultation process, open house discussion and its own analysis, the Authority has finalized its recommendations on “Entry Level Net Worth requirement for MSO in Cable TV Services”.
After careful consideration the Authority has recommended that,’ … there is no necessity for fixation of a minimum entry-level net worth for MSO registration. As at present, any individual, company, corporate firm or LLP that fulfils provisions of the Cable TV Rules may be granted MSO registration.
Moreover, TRAI also stated that a minimum net-worth criterion or entry could discourage the growth of smaller MSOs in far-flung areas and in-turn may hinder the incubation and growth of local and regional channels. Thus, an entry barrier like fixing a minimum net-worth requirement may adversely affect overall program diversity and development of local and regional content
Summary of Recommendations:
- The Authority recommended that there is no necessity for fixation of a minimum entry level net worth for MSO registration. As at present, any individual, company, Corporate firm or LLP that fulfils provisions of the Cable TV Rules, may be granted MSO registration.
- The Authority endorsed that there is no basis for introducing minimum net worth classification based on the area of operation for MSO registration. The DAS system enables subscription-based billing and there is no rationale of introducing area-wise registration.
- As the area-wise minimum net worth classification for registration of MSO is not required, there is no need to prescribe minimum net worth for remote areas of Jammu & Kashmir or North-East region.
- The Authority recommends that there is no merit in introducing minimum net worth for registration of MSOs based on network cost criteria.
- The Authority recommends that MIB may prescribe a standard proforma for self-declaration of net worth by applicants seeking registration as MSOs.
- The Authority recommends that MIB may consider skill development requirement of the sector and take appropriate action so that trained manpower is available to perform specialised tasks.