There has been a struggle going on in the DTH and cable TV industry ever since the implementation of the new Trai tariff regime. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) brought the new pricing regulations in place in the country, and that led to the increase of monthly subscription costs for the DTH and cable TV subscribers. After Trai realised the drawback of the new tariff regime, it has been since going on with the task of coming up with corrective measures to patch up these drawbacks. One of the significant areas of focus remains the reduction of monthly subscription costs for subscribers. In a new update, All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has had a breakthrough in this regard as it has implemented a small price change to bring down the subscription costs.
150 SD Channels for Cable TV Subscribers for Rs 130 NCF
In an attempt to bring down the subscription costs, the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) members have decided that they would offer 150 SD channels to their subscribers instead of the current limit of channels which is set at 100. If you are unaware, then it is notable that currently, Trai has said that the cable TV and DTH operators have to offer 100 SD channels in the Rs 130 NCF charge and that has been the case until now. For subscribers who wanted to get channels beyond 100, they had to pay an additional cost for the extra channels. This additional cost was set at Rs 20 for an additional 25 channels. But, with this new implementation from AIDCEF in place, the subscribers will save on about Rs 40 per month. In the currently prevailing scenario, if the subscribers wanted to get 150 channels, they would have to spend Rs 170 in addition to GST for these channels.
Sigh of Relief for Trai and Benefit for Cable TV Subscribers
AIDCEF President, SN Sharma, who is also the CEO of DEN Networks has written to the sector regulator about this move as well. Informing about the federation’s decision, he said that since the telecom regulator wants to implement measures that would bring down the monthly subscription costs, this move is one of those measures. This move is also a relief for Trai as the regulator has been facing criticism for increased monthly costs ever since the NTO went effective earlier this year.
Sharma remarked “In this regard, we would like to inform you that our members have discussed among themselves on the same and as of now the member of the association have agreed to charge Network Capacity Fee “NCF” of Rs. 130 (excluding taxes) up to 150 SD channels for those subscribers who renew their channels/bouquet/DPO packs on or before the due date. We are hopeful that this would take care of the concern of the Authority and help in reducing the consumer price.”
DTH Subscribers Still Have to Rs 130 for 100 SD Channels
It is worth noting that AIDCF is India’s topmost body representing Digital Multi-System Operators (MSOs), the members of whose boast of more than 80% market share in the industry. The members of AIDCEF include Hathway Digital, InDigital, Siti Networks, GTPL Hathway, Fastway Transmission, DEN Networks, UCN Cable, Ortel Communications, ICNCL, Asianet Digital, and Kerala Communicators Cable. It is also crucial to note that this change has not yet happened for the DTH subscribers, and they still continue to pay Rs 130 for 100 SD channels, although there are some DTH operators like Sun Direct who are offering discounts on NCF, and Tata Sky is offering the NCF discount through its Lite Packs.