The new tariff implementation by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has brought some significant changes to the pricing pattern of channels, broadcasters and DTH providers. With the introduction of the new pricing regime, the consumers have to select their channel subscriptions once again, and this time around they will only be paying for the channels which they subscribe to. As such, there is expected to be some change in the viewership of channels, and that is precisely what has happened. As per the Chrome LIVE Data, pay channels have witnessed a dip in their viewership by 24% following the 4th week of 2019. Speaking of FTA channels, these channels saw a rise in viewership from 21% to 26% between week 4 and week 9.
Fluctuations for Pay and Free Channels
Before the introduction of the new tariff regime, the DPOs were operating in the fixed fee model, but with the coming of the rules, there has been a massive impact on the viewership of channels, channel reach, and subsequently ratings of non-driver channels and overall revenue. The pay channels suffered fluctuations in this period after the introduction of the new directions, Hindi GECs saw a variation between 0.5% and 10%, whereas FTA channel fluctuation was lesser in comparison. For the FTA channels, this fluctuation stood at 0.1% to 5%.
It is worth noting that if the broadcasters would like the viewership to touch their previous levels, then it would have to come with the incorporation with apt consumer education, constant monitoring of consumer preferences and the rearrangement of the bouquet packaging strategies which would be aligned keeping in mind the new consumer preferences. As per the data available through Chrome LIVE, in the genre of Hindi News, the FTA gainers stood at 10% with the prominent channels being NDTV INDIA and AAJ TAK. Other FTA channels saw a similar rise in viewership for regional channels like ZEE MARATHI, ZEE YUVA, according to Indian Television.
Effect of the New Trai Regime on Channel Viewership
As part of the new tariff regime, the consumers will only get the channels which they subscribe to, and they will just be paying the amount of those channel selections. Given this situation, the subscriber’s channel selection will depend on the DPO and will also be influenced by the communication between the subscribers and the DPOs. On top of that, the data already shows that the subscribers are opting for DPO curated packs which further puts a lot in the hand of the operators. This is also true for the fact that if there is any communication gap between the DPOs and the subscribers, then it might result in significant erosion for the broadcasters as well as the DPOs.