After Trai Tariff Regime, Subscribers Turn to OTT Apps Due to Increased TV Bills

Majority of cable TV and DTH subscribers have complained about increased monthly bills and a lot of them have turned to OTT apps and video on demand content

Highlights
  • Trai has admitted to saying that the new tariff regime has led to increased bills
  • The regulator is now on the lookout of options for reducing monthly TV bills

As the days passed after the implementation of the new Trai tariff regime, the subscribers waited for the good effects to show up on their pricing and the working of the industry. However, the subscribers were disappointed to know that they would be paying more for the same channels after this new introduction. Later, Trai also admitted to the fact that the new norms had upped the prices of channels and hence the monthly DTH and cable TV bill of subscribers. This increase in monthly rentals gave the subscribers a chance to turn to alternatives which came in the form of over-the-top applications. The subscribers found it much more affordable to watch their favourite shows on platforms like Hotstar, Sun NXT, ZEE5, and more. A number of reports have also come up that testify for this shift in consumer behaviour.

Trai Admits Increase in Monthly TV Bill for Consumers

Ever since the new tariff regime came out, Trai kept on saying that the new regime will bring transparency and also reduces the monthly bill to the subscribers. However, in a recent interaction with ET Telecom, the sector regulator revealed the new regime has increased the monthly TV bill of users and it’s currently looking to bring down the tariffs so that it can save the consumers from switching to OTT platforms.

Mixed Reaction to Trai Tariff Regime

The subscribers were asked questions about the new Trai tariff regime and how it had affected the pricing of channels, their viewing habits and more. Jasal Shah, MD & CEO of Velocity MR said, “The opinion on the new Trai rules weighs slightly more to the positive side as more than 50% say that it allows them to choose the channels that they want to watch and hence the cost per channel is not an issue. But an equal majority of about 40% claim that by the new regulation they get fewer channels for the same price they had paid earlier. In other words, TV subscription costs have become expensive. Close to 5% are not even aware of this new regulation.”

Shah also stated, “The New rule might drive consolidation in the broadcasting industry as content will be the king and critical divergence. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services may be the inadvertent beneficiaries, as the move may bring in more subscribers to the OTT platforms, as the viewers could shift due to the rising subscription bills.”

80% Subscribers Likely to Opt for fewer Channels or OTT Services

As per the study published by Velocity MR, 80% of the people had said that they would either opt for lesser channels or switch to OTT providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. The study also highlighted that the average spend on cable or DTH connections in a month was Rs 350. In the metro cities, the study showed that almost 60% of the subscriptions were from DTH providers and 40% were cable TV. The survey also revealed that the average time users spent watching TV at homes or consuming online video content was pegged at 2 hours. 60% of the subscribers also had a broadband connection at home, and Airtel emerged to be the top broadband provider. Also, 70% of the people admitted to watching Amazon Prime videos at least once a week and Netflix was said to be the platform with the best original content.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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EsmailChaman BaggaSushantBharat KhannaKingston Recent comment authors
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Chaman Bagga
Chaman Bagga

Don’t go by the drama that TRAI is doing. It looks like a clear fraud in which cable tv operators and channels are involved. In the name of reducing tariff, even a school kid can tell you that MRP of channels is so high that you would cross the earlier package bill by subscribing to as low as 30 channels, whereas earlier you were getting more than 200. There was no need for network access fees or to call out that Multi TV should be considered a separate connection. Besides, it has complete fooled the court by saying that each… Read more »

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Tatasky
Esmail

The simple solution to this problem is to not pay for any channel that shows ads. Every Indian should make it a policy that the broadcasters should earn either from the advertisers or from the subscriber, not from both. So only subscribe to free channels, once the viewership of the paid channels falls they will automatically be converted to free channels since the broadcasters don’t mind losing the revenue from subscribers but mind losing advertising revenue. So for few months just watch this content on the OTT apps of major broadcasters and unsubscribe them on your DTH and if the… Read more »

Sushant
Sushant

TRAI will be responsible for downfall of DTH by increasing the cost of viewing the channels. Like demonetization drived the growth of Wallet money. This is gonna be good news for OTT. End of era for DTH as the cheaper internet data is available to common man .

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