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NXT Digital-InCable merger gets shareholder nod; D’Silva bemoans lack of ecos

Thakur

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Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL’s) proposal to demerge its NXT Digital headend in the sky (HITS) business from its subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) and merge it into its cable TV MSO offshoot Indusind Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) got the thumbs up from its shareholders at its AGM yesterday.

The cable veteran and IMCL MD & CEO Tony D’Silva says that IMCL is now on the road to fully digest NXT Digital. “We are following the legal process and have already applied to the Bombay High Court and we have also informed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.”

What drove the reorganisation? D’Silva explains: “When we launched NXT Digital, it was incorporated under GIL as an independent company. At that time, we thought it’s better to apply for a licence under GIL and we got the licence. We also thought that it’s better we keep GIL as the company away from IMCL so that no operator will feel that this is a backdoor entry to take over IMCL. But now the time has passed. GIL is an established company and so the NXT Digital move.”

HVL whole time director Ashok Mansukhani adds that work is already on to integrate both NXT Digital and InCable. Says he: “We are starting with the backend. We are already synergising both the services. We have one of the best subscriber management systems (SMS) in HITS – ICC from Hansen Technologies. InCable is using Magnaquest for its SMS it is also migrating towards ICC. They will be kept separate but there will be one front end irrespective of who the operator is. “

D’Silva says that more than 700 cable operator premise equipment (COPEs) have been installed so far. “An estimated three million cable TV subscribers are watching television through our HITS platform,” he reveals. “The philosophy of NXTDigital is very clearly to encourage the cable operator to grow and develop his/her business and also that we are a pure service provider. We don’t want to own any network and that message has gone to all the operators across the country.”

NXT Digital is offering four different packages to MSOs and LCOs who opt for its service. The Gold Cope cost about Rs 13.5 lakh and gives a bouquet of 550 channels, the Silver costs Rs 10 lakh (450 channels) and the Bronze Rs nine lakh (350 channels). A new Eco package has been introduced for Phase IV areas with its price point being Rs 4 lakh (250 channels).



http://www.indiantelevision.com/cable-tv/multi-system-operators/nxt-digital-incable-merger-gets-shareholder-nod-d-silva-bemoans-lack-of-ecosystem-support-160924
 
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