@IDNS: Quotes On IPTV, Media Valuations, Policy In India, And Unbundling In UK

“I think the opportunity for broadband lies in offering it along with PayTV (Ed: i.e. not IPTV, which is the other way round). I don’t think broadband is being marketed well. Our license (DTH) does not forbid us from providing broadband but the condition is that we will have to apply for broadband connectivity.” — Vikram Kaushik, CEO Tata Sky

“Mobile and cable TV in India are thriving, but fixed line penetration is softening, and broadband penetration is low. Cable will remain the dominant last mile pipe in India. Cable operators are aggressively investing in content.” — Vivek Couto, ED, Media Partners Asia

“Broadband is a part of the whole digital exercise. Regulation has held everything back. With 300 odd channels, we think valuations in media companies and content are excessively high. There are times when its easy to invest and make good returns. and maybe not that scenario right now. I don’t think content is the key – frankly, there’s enough content in this market. What this market lacks is investment in digitization, and the regulatory environment that allows them to charge. For consolidation, you need at least one of three things, preferably all three – high level of competition, changes in regulation and investment.” — Brahmal Vasudevan, MD ChrysCapital

“Every broadcasting company is looking at India. The regulator needs to get involved, ’cause who knows who is applying on behalf of whom. One needs to take stock of who’s putting in the money. The TRAI is doing a remarkable job, and 3-5 months to get an application through is not unthinkable in the larger scheme of things.” — Peter Mukerjea, CSO, INX Media

More in the extended text

“Different rules for different platforms. Everything is in a flux. On IPTV, as per TRAI recommendations, any channel can be broadcast without registration. Interactive services allowed on IPTV are not allowed on DTH. If you look overseas, most markets have diversified into at least instant messaging on DTH. In India, one needs a V-Sat licence to offer interactivity.” — Amitabh Kumar, Director, Essel (Zee) Group

“Before the unbundling of the local loop (in the UK), most service providers apart from British Telecom (BT) were struggling for survival and broadband was being rolled out slowly. BT (NYSE: BT) agreed to the creation of a seperate company for access – Openreach. With 80 percent of homes unbundled, the growth was dramatic. Broadband speeds doubled to just under 5 megs; in some cases broadband is now being offered free. Broadband is delivered to nearly half the households. There is considerable scope for new entrants – there are no barriers to FDI. We don’t worry about foreign control. We’re looking to ensure a plurality of voice and open competition. Around 30 percent of users in the UK use wiress Internet. The other thing is to have people pay for spectrum so they use it efficiently.” — David Currie, Chairman, Ofcom (UK)