All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) appealed the Kerala High Court and challenged certain provisions of the new tariff order and interconnection regulation. The federation asked the supreme bench to put a stay on clauses relating to the placement of channels in EPG, carriage fee cap of Rs 4 Lakh and LCN allocation by DPO’s. For the time being, Kerala High Court has just stayed the clause of placement of channels in EPG mentioned in the new tariff order by Trai. Also, the supreme bench has marked that all other provisions will be operational and has asked the AIDCF to submit a detailed report to Trai regarding all the remaining provisions challenged by the federation.
Channels Must Have a Unique Logical Channel Number (LCN)
As per the new tariff order, Trai has marked that channels of a specific genre in the same language must be bundled together in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). Also, Distributors must share all the relevant information about the channels placed in EPG to Trai as well as in their official website.
Further, all the channels in the EPG must have unique Logical Channel Number (LCN) which once allocated must not be changed until the channel is live in the DPO platform. However, HC has granted interim relief to AIDCF.
Trai NTO 2.0 is limiting the Business Flexibility of AIDCF
AIDCF appealed certain provisions of the new tariff order in Kerala HC as the federation has marked that channel numbering and electronic programming guide is their property and Trai is creating hassle and autocracy by not allowing them to change channel numbers in the future period.
In another provision, Trai has directed the broadcasters to pay a sum of Rs 4 lakh per month as carriage fees to DPO’s for carrying a channel in a country. Whereas, the authority has prescribed an amount of Rs 8 lakhs on HD channels. Trai has also prescribed a basic calculation for the discontinuation threshold of a particular channel. As per the reports of census data, discontinuation multiplier for a language must be approximately 5% of the entire population in the specific target market of the DPO.