Trai’s National Tariff Order 2.0 implementation might be delayed further as Bombay High Court postpones the hearing for IBF vs Trai matter to February 26. On January 1, Trai announced new amendments to tariff regime which is heavily opposed by broadcasters. Seeking relief for broadcasters, IBF or Indian Broadcasting Foundation approached Bombay High Court and the hearing has been pending for the last four weeks. On January 30, the Bombay HC adjourned the matter to February 12, and now, the same has been postponed to February 26. This essentially means the new rules may not come into effect on March 1, as Trai planned. As part of the new rules, broadcasters are required to announce revised channel packs which may even have reduced prices for some popular channels.
IBF vs Trai Matter Adjourned to February 26
IBF which represents popular broadcasters like Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), Star India, TV18, ZEEL, Viacom 18 and Zoom Entertainment and Film & Television Producers Guild of India sought relief from Trai’s new amendments. Trai asked broadcasters to revise the way how they operate. The new channel packs which were asked to be published by broadcasters should not have individual channels priced over Rs 12 in a bouquet. Right now, broadcasters are offering a-la-carte channels priced at Rs 19 in a bouquet.
Another concern which was raised by broadcasters is they are slowly adapting to the National Tariff Order 1.0, which was introduced in 2019. The NTO 1.0 dented subscription revenue of the broadcasters and the NTO 2.0 is expected to make things even worse for them.
NTO 2.0 Will Benefit the Consumers
The NTO 1.0 benefitted the broadcasters massively as there was no restriction to them from Trai. However, NTO 2.0 will benefit customers the most. A recent survey said that the monthly subscriptions of users will come down by 14% as opposed to what they are paying right now. A lot of consumers are eagerly waiting for the implementation of Trai’s NTO 2.0.
Trai initially asked broadcasters to submit the new plans by January 15, 2020, and operators were supposed to implement the same by January 31, 2020. However, it now seems like the Trai NTO 2.0 will only get delayed for another couple of months as it will take broadcasters to publish the new prices which will be again followed by DTH operators.