Jackson said the logic of banning exclusive content to drive down content acquisition costs – which can then be passed on to consumers and recouped by higher subscription volumes – doesn’t work in reality.
“That’s the logic in India, and it hasn’t worked,” he said. “You need good platforms with exclusive content to make money. The first Indian operators that gets exclusive cricket rights will make a fortune.”
Jackson added that exclusive content bans also affects the ability of pay-TV operators to add new channels “because they can’t get good pricing for their content.”
Kenyon observed that the real problem with the MDA policy was that it was unnecessary overkill in addressing the issue it claims to solve.
“It’s a blanket ban that applies to all content, and there are other ways to address the problem without resorting to that,” he said. “In the UK, for example, operators can bid on exclusive deals for terrestrial content for certain types of content, and deals for satellite for other types of content.”
The MDA has said it is consulting with the industry on the issue and will issue a preliminary decision in July.