December 29, 2018
New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai has given time till January 31 for consumers to opt for channels of their choice under the new framework for broadcasting and cable services.
The telecom regulator had earlier asserted that the implementation of the new framework would lead to lower prices for TV viewers and slammed the “misinformation campaign” being carried out by some to fuel “hyperbolic fear” among consumers.
Trai Chairman R S Sharma had, earlier this month, said the regulator was working to ensure a smooth transition to the new framework without causing any disruption for consumers. The Supreme Court had recently dismissed a plea challenging the Trai’s March 2017 regulations and tariff order, relating to fixation of charges for free and pay channels.
Here is what the TRAI order on channel tariff said and how it will impact viewers and operators:
The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view
Every broadcaster shall declare the nature of each of its channel either as ‘ free – to – air ’ or ‘pay’
It requires TV broadcasters to disclose the maximum retail price (MRP) of each channel and that of bouquets
Such bouquet shall not contain any pay channel for which maximum retail price per month is more than Rs 19
Maximum retail price of a channel shall be uniform for all distribution platforms
MRP per month of such bouquet of pay channels shall not be less than 85% of the sum of maximum retail prices per month of the a-la -carte pay channels forming part of that bouquet
Such bouquet shall not contain any free – to – air channel
Also that such bouquet shall not contain both HD and SD variants of the same channel
Broadcaster can offer promotional schemes on MRP per month of its a-la-carte pay channel provided that period of any such scheme shall not exceed 90 days at a time
Subscribers will not pay beyond Rs 130 per month for network capacity upto initial one hundred SD channels
Subscribers will pay Rs 20 for additional 25 SD channels, beyond initial one hundred channels capacity
One HD channel shall be treated equal to two SD channels for calculating number of channels within the distribution network capacity subscribed