Bombay High Court witnessed various appeals from different broadcaster regarding Trai’s new NT0 2.0 as the new plan had some terms which were not supported by the broadcasters. However, the supreme bench has reserved its orders in the matter as both Trai and Broadcasters have shared their concerns and completed their arguments. Earlier, Bombay High Court asked the telecom regulator if they can defer the implementation of new NTO 2.0 which was supposed to go live from March 1, 2020. However, Trai denied the appeal from Bombay High Court.
Trai Seems to Create Hassle in Broadcasters’ Business
Many Broadcasters such as Viacom 18, Star India, Disney India, TV 18, The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and many more have appealed the supreme bench regarding the modified terms mentioned in the new NTO. As per the broadcasters, Trai has revamped the entire structure and method in which we do business. Broadcasters have challenged the NCF cap of Rs 19 which was just Rs 12 in the older NTO.
Also, the implementation of twin conditions on bouquet pricing along with restrictive incentives to only a-la-carte channels has been challenged in the court. However, Trai noted that the new NTO 2.0 had been implemented to curb the market distortions by Broadcasters. Trai assumes that broadcasters are providing unwanted channels by mixing them with demanded popular channels in a single bouquet.
Not only this, Trai feels that a-la-carte prices have been kept at the maximum to lure customers into buying bouquets. However, this will limit the choices for the customers. To ensure that customers get the freedom of selecting their preferred channels, Trai has modified the conditions of bouquet pricing.
NTO 2.0 will make business unviable for smaller channels
Broadcasters feel that Trai is sceptical and biased about the bouquet pricing which provides variety to customers without burning their pockets. Also, Broadcasters noted that Trai NTO 2.0 would limit their ability to invest in quality content. Bombay HC earlier asked Trai to defer their implementation of New NTO 2.0 as it would be difficult for the bench to cover all the arguments and pass orders on interim relief. However, Trai denied the deferment of New NTO.