Amidst all the happenings in the broadcasting sector regarding the new tariff regime, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today stated that almost all the Cable TV subscribers have made their choices based on the new pricing scheme that was extended to be effective from March 31, 2019. The Cable TV operators had informed Trai that almost all the consumers have exercised their plans while the remaining ones are moved to the 'best-fit' plans as it asked the operators to do so. The sector regulator held a meeting with local Distribution Platform Owners (DPOs), multi-system operators (MSO) and DTH players to get an update on the migration and it seems to be on the positive side. DTH players informed the Trai that nearly 43% of subscribers have exercised the channel options.
Trai Reaches Out DPOs and DTH Players Regarding the Migration
Trai held a meeting with distribution platform owners (DPOs) on Friday, including multi-system operators (MSO) and all major DTH players, to review the progress of migration of TV viewers under the new framework. Trai Secretary S K Gupta told PTI that according to inputs received by the regulator from players, in the case of DTH services, about 43% of customers have made their channel preferences known.
"When combined with statistics for 'best fit plan', this number rises to 57%," Gupta said. Friday's meeting was attended by all major DTH companies, including Tata Sky and Airtel.
"The authority reviewed the progress of the migration with all large DPOs. As per inputs provided by DPOs, near 100% consumers of cable TV homes have been migrated to the new framework either based on options of subscribers or as per 'best fit plan'. Among DTH service homes, over 43% consumers have already been migrated," Gupta said.
The DTH service providers have submitted to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which is also the regulator for broadcasting, that all subscribers of this pre-paid platform will be migrated to the new framework in the next 2-3 weeks.
Trai Emphasises DTH Players to Offer Smooth Migration
Trai has also emphasised to players that customers should not face any inconvenience or service disruption during the migration process. "Trai is urging subscribers to exercise their options to select TV channels of their choice, immediately. DPOs have been instructed to execute the options of subscribers at the earliest," he said.
Earlier this month, the regulator had extended the timeline for consumers to make their channel preferences till March 31, 2019. At the same time, Trai had asked all DPOs to create 'best fit plan' for its subscribers who have not exercised their options yet.
The 'best fit plan' shall be designed based on consumers' usage pattern, language spoken and popularity of channels, Trai had said.
The regulator had said that subscribers would be free to change their best fit plan at any date and time on or before March 31, 2019, and the DPO will convert their best fit plan into the desired pack (opted by the consumer) within 72 hours of subscribers making their channel preferences known.