Government has decided to junk advertisements which told consumers that their TV screens would go blank if they do not buy Set Top Boxes before the deadline for Digitisation and would instead try to convince the viewers of benefits of converting to the new system.
I&B minister Manish Tewari said that he had told the task force his ministry constituted for Digitisation that the approach in Phase III and IV of the drive should be different from the first two phases.
At a roundtable organised by the CII here, Tewari said in Phase I and II the consumer was told that if he doesn't buy an STB, his TV signal would be switched off but it would not work in the next phases.
"It was my way or the highway. It may have worked in Phase I and Phase II but it is not going to work in Phase III and IV," Tewari said.
He said that he had told the officials that in Phase III and IV they "have to convince the consumer that digitisation in his interest rather than running those advertisements which say if by 31st October you don't buy a box, your television screen will be blanked out."
Tewari said the consumers, for whom the digitisation drive was being carried out, should be made aware of the benefits of digitisation in terms of quality of viewer ship and should be treated as a partner and not a adversary.
The government has implemented digitisation in the Cable TV sector in the four metros and 38 other cities in the first two phases and plans to cover the rest of the country by December 2014 in two more phases.
Tewari said that surrogate political ownership is "unfortunately a reality" in the distribution business in broadcasting and needs to be fixed while ensuring that only a few big players don't become dominant.
He said TRAI had given recommendations on distribution monopolies which are being studied by an inter ministerial committee and hoped they would be accepted.