'channels should think how viewers can benefit'

SansadTV Bureau

javdekar_prakashPointing to the increase in revenue base of TV channels due to digitisation drive, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar asked broadcasters to think of ways in which this could benefit the viewers possibly by a cut in subscription.

Speaking at a ‘CEOs Roundtable on Media & Entertainment’ organised by CII on Thursday, Javadekar said that as a “trade-off” for the benefits to the broadcasting industry because of digitisation, the government wants it to think how the consumer can gain.

“Digitisation has resulted in increasing your subscriber base and revenue base….But what has been done is just 25 percent and we want to do the rest also. But what are you doing for viewers? I am asking for a trade-off. Will you reduce the subscription of the consumer? Should I (the consumer) pay more and watch more advertisements as well? You say what you can do there,” Javadekar told the top executives present.

He said those in government are representatives of the people and should work in their interest.

Javadekar said most of the Set Top Boxes meant for digitisation of cable sector and other equipment were being imported and efforts should be made to produce them in the country.

“We will not delay becasue of this but some effort should be made,” he said.

Javadekar said there were issues related to the advertising code which those in the field should address.

“Somebody applies a deodorant and all women come running, this is demeaning and not the way an advertisement should be,” he said.

He said decency should be there as children also watch television. “I am not saying that the government is imposing anything but as I have said earlier the industry should evolve a code about what is decent and what is not decent,” he said.

Addressing the concerns of representatives of media and entertainment industry, Javadekar said government will not act as an obstacle in the efforts of the industry but will be a partner in the rapid progress of the sector.