Dish TV India, the Direct-to-the-Home (DTH) operator which also owns D2h is currently charging just Rs 50 NCF charges for secondary connections. A few months ago, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has left it to the DTH operators whether to discount the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) for secondary connections or not. Right after Trai’s announcement, three major DTH operators in the country- D2h, Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV announced discounted NCF charges of Rs 50 and Rs 80 for secondary connections. But Tata Sky removed the Multi TV policy altogether to charge Rs 153 as NCF even for secondary connections, something which did not go well with the Tata Sky customers out there in the market.
Multi-TV Pricing Policies What You Need to Know?
For comparing the prices of these DTH providers when it comes to multi-TV connections, it is first essential to understand how they are pricing their services for the second TV connection. While the new Trai rule governs the original connection pricing, there have been different iterations to the way of pricing of these secondary connections. Another thing to note is that the new Trai mandate ensures that the consumer enjoys full transparency about the price which they pay. As such, the consumers will pay their bills in two parts – one consisting of Network Capacity Fee (NCF) and the other one consisting of content charges which will be paid to the channel owners like Star India, Sony Pictures Network and more. It is worth noting that there won’t be any discount possible on these content charges since they are passed on to the broadcasters, the only area where the subscribers will be able to enjoy any discount will be in the NCF of multi-TV connection.
Multiple Connection Pricing for Tata Sky and D2h
The first operator to come up with the multi-TV pricing was D2h, and the operator announced that it would levy a flat NCF of Rs 50 plus taxes for the multi-TV connection. This price means that subscribers would only have to pay Rs 50 plus content charges as the total rental no matter how many channels they subscribe. Last month, Tata Sky announced that it will be discontinuing the Multi-TV policy and also introduced Room TV service. As part of this new scheme, Tata Sky customers will have to pay Rs 153 NCF charges for every secondary connection, but they now have the freedom to choose their own channels, even if it’s just one channel.
Dish TV’s Multi TV policy is pretty much identical to that of D2h and the customers will have to pay Rs 50 NCF charges for the secondary connection. D2h and Dish TV already allows users to choose their own channels for secondary connection.
Multiple Connection Policy for Airtel Digital TV
Lastly, Airtel Digital TV announced its multi-TV pricing policy thus declaring that it would charge an NCF of Rs 80, however, unlike it is the case with D2h, this NCF would not be a flat fee and subscribers would have to pay Rs 20 extra for additional 25 channel slab over 100 channels. Further, there won’t be any mirroring of channels with Airtel Digital TV’s multiple connections.
JioFiber May Not Provide Any Multi TV Service
The hot topic right now in the industry is Reliance Jio’s broadband service JioFiber. As part of its commercial launch, Jio announced that its 4K Set-Top Box would receive Cable TV signals from the LCOs. When we speak of LCO, both Hathway and DEN Networks are providing Multi TV connections to the subscribers, but we may not see JioFiber providing second Set-Top Box for Multi TV connection. Maybe the customers will have to settle down with the Set-Top Box of LCO for secondary TV connection.
On taking an overview of all the three multi-TV policies, it is pretty clear that D2h has put out the most lenient, flexible and consumer-friendly multi-TV system which will also be an economical choice for the subscribers. On the other hand, Tata Sky’s multi-TV policy will prove to be an expensive business for the consumers as they will be paying Rs 153 NCF charges for every secondary connection. Airtel Digital TV’s stance as compared to these two remains somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, as the provider is shipping discounted NCF along with the flexibility of choosing channels from scratch, but the discount on NCF is not as high as D2h.