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Digital policy should be mandatory by 2010, say broadcasters
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New Delhi, Sept 23 An association of news broadcasters today demanded that the government should make mandatory a digital policy by 2010 when several states implement the Conditional Access System (CAS) that will help TV viewers watch a specific bouquet of channels.

"The major issue being faced by news broadcasters is the enormous amount of carriage fees doled out by them. The reason why such unrealistic amounts are paid towards carriage fees is the slow digitalisation process," President of News Broadcasters Association (NBA), G Krishnan said.

He was addressing the second AGM of the association.

Unless the government takes appropriate action to effectively implement CAS and move from analog to digital transmission, broadcasters would continue paying hefty carriage fees, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent the total cost, he added.

"The government hence needs to bring out a strong digital policy which should be made mandatory by 2010 when CAS would be implemented in several states. The under declaration of subscribers by cable operators is resulting in large subscription revenue losses for the broadcasters and to the exchequer," he added.

Referring to 2008, Krishnan described it as a "difficult year" as almost every sector suffered from the adverse impact of the economic slowdown and the broadcast industry was no exception.

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