Star TV, the country's largest network of channels on satellite, is conspicuously absent from the task-force set up by the government to advise on the implementation of the conditional access system-based cable television rollout. Star's rivals such as Zee, Sony and Sun are members of the taskforce.
"We have incorporated the name of broadcasters forwarded by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation," said a government official. A Star TV spokesperson was not available for comment.
An IBF source said the government had asked it to send three names for the task force and it recommended ESPN-Star Sports, Zee and Sony. "Star TV is part of our internal sub committee on CAS," the source added.
However, Star TV was part of the earlier taskforce that was set up by the government to frame the Bill to implement CAS.
The other representatives in the present task force include, ESPN Software, Siti Cable, IN Cable, Hathway, RPG Netcom and members of various cable operators associations.
According to a government source, the first meeting of the taskforce would be held on February 7.
"We think the task-force would be able to put in place a system before the 14 July deadline," the source said.
The taskforce would make the recommendation regarding the size and cost of the basic service tier consisting the notified free to air channels.
According to a senior government official, the panel would study the existing composition of bouquets and the cost structure to arrive at the cost structure.
Besides, the task force would also give recommendations regarding the genre wise mix of the channels in the basic tier to provide for a mix of programming containing different genres like entertainment, education and information.The taskforce would also specify the timeframe for the rollout of the CAS systems across the country. At present, the government has set 14 July deadline to roll out the CAS system in the metros.