News Roundup: VAS License, Real Launch, Cable Pricing

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today released its recommendations on mobile value added services. In what will come as a relief to VAS companies, the telecom regulator has said that no separate license or registration is required to be a VAS operator. “The value added service (VAS) market in India has a great potential for growth and revenue to telecom access service providers and content providers/ content aggregators. The revenue from this growth potential is expected to reach above INR 250 billion by the year 2009-10 and more than 30% of the revenue of the telecom access service providers in the next 5-7 years,” the agency said in a release. The full recommendation is here (pdf).

REAL to launch on 2 March

REAL, the reality-themed entertainment channel that is the fruit of a joint venture between Turner International and Alva Brothers Entertainment, will begin broadcasting on 2 March. It’s not going to be easy for the new entrant, coming into a segment with more than ten players already, and that at a time when even top-of-the-chart channels are facing a significant slowdown in ad sales. REAL is trying to position itself away from the crowd, betting on its real-entertainment theme. The programming line up, of which we had a preview at the launch press conference last month, bets big on two reality shows–Poker Face and Sarkar Ki Duniya. Poker Face is a licensed format while the latter is supposedly an original. It’d be interesting to see how these would compete against the reality-heavy programming of the hugely popular Colors, which will soon launch the second seasons of Bigg Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi (Fear Factor). Launched in July last year, Colors has had a dream run so far, consolidating its No.2 position on the TRP charts.


The Supreme Court has refused to stay a decision by the Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal, which, on 15 January, turned down an earlier TRAI circular regulating cable tariffs in non-CAS areas. TRAI had approached the apex court against the TDSAT judgment, Indiantelevision reports.

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