There has been a lot of activity going on in the DTH and broadcasting industry, with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) rolling out new consultation paper for solving the issues with the new tariff regime. It is worth noting that the sector regulator has just finished receiving comments and counter comments on its consultation paper and it is likely that it could bring in new regulatory changes which could cut the prices of the channels by a big chunk. Now, the major broadcasters in the country have likely foreseen this move by the sector regulator, and with the tag of a festive offer, these broadcasters have cut the channel prices beforehand by as much as Rs 7. Some of the major broadcasters like Star India, Zee Entertainment and TV18 have all cut their channel prices, and these include some of the more popular channels too.
Viacom18 Slashes Price of Colors Channel to Rs 12 Per Month
The first in the list of broadcasters cutting the channel prices is Viacom 18. The broadcaster is the hand behind channels like Colors and more. In the latest price cut which comes right before the festive season, Viacom18 has slashed the individual pricing of its Colors Kannada and the GEC Hindi channel, Colors down to Rs 12. To recall, previously both of these channels were priced at Rs 19 per month. To increase the uptake of these channels, the broadcaster has also launched a new ‘Har Din Diwali’ campaign in which it is encouraging the viewers to subscribe to these channels at the new rate.
ZEEL Follows Price Tag Move
Now, it’s worth noting that Viacom18 is not the only broadcaster which has cut down its channel rates, but ZEEL has also pulled off a similar move. In fact, Zee Entertainment has reduced the prices of six of its channels which include Zee TV, Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada and Zee Sarthak. The prices of these channels were previously Rs 19 and now similar to how Viacom18 has done, these channels are now priced at Rs 12 per month.
Star India Also Slashes Channel Prices
Now you must be wondering about Star India and whether or not the broadcaster has reduced the prices of its channels, and the consumers would be glad to know that the answer is in affirmative as Star India has also slashed prices of its channels similar to how Viacom18 and ZEEL have done. Some of the popular channels by Star India including Star Plus would now be available for Rs 12 per months instead of their older price which was Rs 19 per month.
Trai Potentially on the Path of Implementing Discount Cap
In its attempt to rectify the tariff regime, Trai is now thundering down on the bundling of channels into channel packs. The telecom regulator is of the belief that since the broadcasters are bundling channels with massive discounts in channel packs and bouquets, the uptake of the individual channels or the a-la-carte channels has gone down thus hindering the essence of the new tariff regime. Trai wants that the a-la-carte channels should be selected by the subscribers as it would mean that subscribers are choosing actually the channels which they want and not unnecessary channels which are bundled with the channel packs.
To do this, Trai might introduce a discount cap of 15%. Meaning that if a channel is retailing for a particular price as its a-la-carte pricing, then in the channel pack it can’t be included with a price tag which is 15% or lower than its original price. Now, it’s quite possible that in the run-up to the implementation of this move, the broadcasters have played their card and reduced the prices of these channels themselves.