His dissenting voice comes even as members of the IBF - who run
pay TV subscription channels and whose advertising revenue could
plunge following the reduction in the number of viewing homes courtesy
CAS - have been demanding that conditional access should be rolled
out in a phased manner, first in one city and then gradually to
the remaining three, as mandated by the government.
Sarma's stand on the FTA issue has also come as a setback for free
to air broadcasters such as Sahara TV and Sabe TV which have expressed
the view that there should be no limit on the number of free channels
in the basic tier. Their fear is that cable TV operators may arm
twist them into paying fees for carriage.