In what can veritably revolutionise the TV broadcasting industry, the Lok Sabha passed the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Bill aimed at digitalisation of cable TV even as the government allayed fears that it would not render cable operators jobless.
I&B minister Ambika Soni, who had earlier introduced the bill, said cable operators' fears were misplaced.
Cable operators will now have to switch over from the analog system to the digital. Of the estimated 13.5 crore TV households in the country, 11 crore are analog subscribers.
"Prices of set-top boxes will fall. These will be available on installments and on rent. Also, viewers do not have to take a whole bouquet of channels," Soni said insisting that the government's main concern was the viewers' interest. Digitalisation promises a new experience for consumers with more channels of their choice.
There is cheer for broadcasters too who will raise the subscription revenues and end practice of paying hefty carriage fees.