The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is adamant on implementing its new rules in the DTH and broadcasting industry. After a lot of open house discussions and inviting comments on the idea of corrections on the Trai tariff regime, the regulator has finally decided on the new rules that till traverse the industry and bring in new reeling changes for the subscribers and stakeholders alike. However, the industry is not happy with the new rules that Trai has introduced. All the DTH operators and majorly the broadcasters are against these rules.
Case Already Ongoing in Bombay HC
The broadcasters are especially keen in opposing the rules presented by Trai because these regulations ask the broadcasters to reduce channel pricing in the bouquets, and this is something that will affect the business of the broadcasters. To show their opposition, the broadcasters have already filed a petition in Bombay HC through the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). But, Bombay HC is not the only place where a petition has been filed in India. In the Gujarat High Court as well broadcasters have approached with a petition, asking for interim relief from the new Trai rules.
Gujarat HC Accepts Petition by Broadcasters
The new petition filed by the broadcasters in the Gujarat High Court has been accepted by the bench which goes against the Trai rules. Sitting on the bench on the hearing of the petition was Justice AY Kogje, and he issued notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and the Union of India asking them to reply to the notice by February 3, or that is today. If Trai fails to submit a reply by this date, then the broadcasters would receive interim relief in the matter.
Petitioners Argue New Trai Rules Go Against Existing Rules
The petitioners who have filed against Trai have said that the new rules of the tariff order go against the existing Section 11(2) of the Trai act and it is also in collision with the existing acts of Cable Television Networks regulation act of 1995. The case has also been petitioned in the Madras High Court as well, and it is ongoing in the Bombay HC as well, where no interim relief has been granted to the broadcasters saying that they will have to adhere to the deadlines set by Trai.
The broadcasters are of the opinion that the new rules put forward by Trai severely restrict the business and they will also bring down ad revenue and subscription revenue both because of the unbundling of the channels and the rules against the packaging of the channel bouquets.