But industry sources are of the view that the transmission will continue even if broadcasters don’t cooperate

On the last day before the deadline for the compulsory digitisation of cable television in Kolkata, users and cable operators here on Wednesday were still in the dark wondering if there would be a cable blackout in homes that have not yet installed set-top boxes (STBs).

Industry sources, however, suggest that it is likely that cable transmission will continue uninterrupted even if the broadcasters do not cooperate, as the multi-sector operators (MSOs) and local cable operators will find a way around it.

“The State [West Bengal] government has given us an assurance that we should continue to provide services and we would not like to inconvenience customers in any way,” sources told The Hindu.

No extension of deadline: Bombay HC

Mumbai Staff Reporter writes:

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected cable television operators’ plea to extend the deadline for digitisation. The extension granted by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry expired on Wednesday.

A division bench of Justices Justices Dhananjay Chandrachud and R.G. Ketkar accepted the Ministry’s submission that installation of set top boxes in Mumbai “has been substantially completed” and boxes were available in sufficient numbers. “We are assured by the Union government that steps have been taken to ensure that access to TV coverage will not be interrupted during the [upcoming Diwali] festival,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The government told the court that sufficient time had been given to the cable operators to comply with the Ministry’s notification issued in November 2011, mandating the rollout of digitisation from June 30 this year. On June 28, the Ministry extended the deadline to October 31. “The extension was given so that they [cable operators] comply,” additional solicitor general Kevic Setalvad told the court. He argued that prices of the boxes were not exorbitant.

The court rapped the cable operators for suppressing facts in their petition. “The petition suffers from serious suppression of material facts. The petitioners, despite receiving their licences on June 28, have failed to ensure a bone fide compliance with their obligations… A certain degree of inconvenience is inevitable in the enforcement of any deadline,” Justice Chandrachud observed.