Powered by growth in digital media consumption, and the supporting environment created by regulatory reforms, the Indian broadcasting sector is prompting several investors and global players to look to the Indian market. The building blocks for growth have been cemented in H1 2015, with the announcement of auctions for Phase III FM radio channels. The industry is looking at complete cable TV digitization, which would bring unprecedented growth, wider reach, and true digital interactive connectivity to viewers.
The new digital ecosystem brings with it a new set of challenges, with increasingly fragmented and on-the-go audiences, and hurdles to monetize digital platforms. Collaboration across players may remain key to success. Undoubtedly, the momentum generated needs to be underpinned by strong implementation on the ground and partnership across the value chain.
The Finance Bill 2015 has set an optimistic roadmap from a tax perspective. With the implementation of the GST regime from April 1, 2016, the entire country will become one uniform market. The indirect tax system is currently mired in multi-layered taxes levied by the central and state governments including entertainment tax and service tax among others. In GST, all these will be subsumed under a single regime.
There is concern about the implementation process and the state-central government relationship. Also, the slab at which the GST will be levied is important. The bill has been passed in Lok Sabha, and is now pending before the Rajya Sabha, where it needs to be approved by two-third majority.
As 4K becomes mainstream in the high-end TV market, resolution continues to be pushed even higher. Japan and Korea are the most advanced countries in 4K broadcasting, but even they have only pilot broadcasting and limited 4K for satellite and cable, not for terrestrial broadcasting. Yet, the industry continues to push forward with the resolution trend even when the ecosystem is not prepared. It seems possible that 8K display penetration could start around 2018, with Japan considering 8K broadcasting in the 2018-2020 time frame.
We look forward to meeting you at the Broadcast & CableSat booth at BroadcastAsia being held from June 2-5, 2015 in Singapore!