Cable TV subscribers in Bangalore and Mysore, who have not made the switch from analog to digital, could find their television sets going blank at any time, starting Wednesday.
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by cable operators to extend the deadline for cable TV digitisation, mandated by the Union government, that expired on April 1.
The High Court had temporarily extended the deadline while asking the authorities to continue analog signals till April 16 as the petitions filed by cable operators was pending adjudication.
With the court on Tuesday dismissing the petitions, the interim order for continuing analog signals has now lapsed and Multi-System Operators (MSOs), who provide signals to local cable operators, could discontinue the analog signals at any time. After that one can watch cable television channels in Bangalore and Mysore cities only by installing set-top boxes for existing cable connections or installing Direct to Home (DTH) equipment.
In his order, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer refused to interfere with the deadline fixed by the Union government to switch to digital signals from the existing analog signals while dismissing the petitions filed by the Mysore District Cable Operators’ Association, and the Karnataka Cable Television Operators’ Association.
The court did not find merit in the reasons cited by the petitioners for extension of deadline. The cable operators from Mysore had claimed that they should be under the list of cities for which the deadline for digitisation is November 2014 as the population of Mysore is not more than one million for it to come under the second phase of digitisation.
The cable operators from Bangalore had said that there was insufficient number of STBs to meet the deadline, among many other reasons.
According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as on April 5 about 68 per cent of television sets in Bangalore had switched to digital signals, both through STBs and DTH