Net worth criteria for MSOs in cable TV services soon to be a reality?

Broadcast regulator Trai Tuesday initiated a discussion on entry-level net worth requirement of multi-system operators (MSOs) in cable TV services. “The objective of the consultation paper is to deliberate whether there is a need to fix entry-level net worth for MSO? If yes, what should be the value of the net worth required at the time of registration for MSO,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in its latest consultation paper.

Typically, a consultation paper, where Trai seeks stakeholders’ written comments on multiple questions, serves as the starting point for discussion on a particular issue, and the regulator comes out with its views on the matter after following a consultative process.

A MSO is an authorised service provider, providing cable TV services to its subscribers.

“…Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, mentions about financial strength of the applicant for grant of MSO registration without explicitly the details thereof,” a Trai statement said.

The consultation paper also seeks views regarding the documents and method to assess the net worth of an applicant, if a minimum value is prescribed, it added.

The consultation paper follows a reference received from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in May 2018 seeking recommendations of Trai on the suitable levels for fixation of entry-level net worth of the MSOs for operationalizing cable TV digitisation across the country.

Trai has fixed May 8 as the deadline for submission of written comments on the consultation paper while the counter comments have to be given by May 15.

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