By virtue of this decision the MCA is removing the Must-Carry obligation with respect to all General Interest (GI) stations from the Cable TV analogue tier. Whilst this Decision comes into immediate effect, the MCA is giving a one year transition period in order to give ample time to all stakeholders involved, that is, operators, broadcasters and the viewing public to take whatever measures they deem necessary in order to adjust to this fresh state of affairs.
The analogue cable tier is no longer marketed by Melita, given the obsolete nature of the underlying technology. The number of existing subscribers is dwindling constantly. There are no barriers to switch from the remaining analogue tier to its digital cable equivalent from both a technology and a price standpoint. There is therefore a suitable replacement offering available to analogue cable subscribers.
The continued imposition of must-carry on the analogue tier presents opportunity costs of a significant nature, and would therefore be disproportionate. This capacity is contended by digital Cable TV and cable broadband, both of which are much more efficient and provide significantly more value added than analogue cable TV.
It is understood that the removal of the must-carry obligation from the analogue cable platform does not, in any way, equate to the removal of the channels themselves.
Must-carry on the digital cable platform will remain.
Click here to view Consultation on the subject published in April 2013.
Review of Must-Carry Obligations - Consultation Document