Trai Tariff Regime Proves Damaging for Smaller TV Channels as Viewership Declines

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India implemented the new regulatory framework for DTH and broadcasting industry which has affected the viewership of channels

Highlights
  • The new tariff regime is working in favour of big channels and against smaller channels
  • Trai will work towards reducing the monthly TV bills in the coming months

After the implementation of the new tariff regime, which brought many other regulatory rules to effect from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the DTH and broadcasting industry has seen a lot of changes. We have already discussed how so many TV channels and broadcasters have witnessed massive shifts in their viewership, some positive and some negative. However, out of all the broadcasters and TV channels, smaller television channels are among the worst affected. As per a report issued by CLSA, one of the more prominent broadcaster Zee has witnessed a surge of 25% in its viewership while Star India continues to retain its top position.

New Trai Tariff Regime Beneficial for Big Broadcasters

This report by CLSA also states that BARC viewership data for May 2019 shows top broadcasters continue to gain viewership share from smaller players after disruption in March due to transition to Trai’s new regulatory framework. As the effects of the new Trai tariff regime unfold, we can see the viewership numbers tilt more towards the bigger broadcasters as they seem to be the one benefitting the most from the new changes. Since the implementation of the new rules in March, top broadcasters have gained 5ppt viewership share to 83%, though the current share is still below 91-92% levels pre-March.

On the flip side, the adverse effects of the new tariff regime are being witnessed by the regional language broadcasters like Sun TV. Sun TV Network in May had reported declining profits due to the implementation of the new norms by Trai. However, the experts had seen it coming before the implementation.

Trai to Find Ways to Reduce Monthly TV Bills

Pratyusha Agarwal, CMO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited had remarked back in January about the change in viewership, “Good channels which have a strong brand love and strong content, and for which we were already getting a good advertiser pull, for those channels now, you will also get a subscriber pull. Undoubtedly, then the channels that do not deliver on the basic promise of good content will automatically cease to exist.”

Now after witnessing the rise in tariff costs, finally Trai has come around and accepted the fact that the subscribers might be paying more than what was previously expected before the implementation of the new regime. The industry regulator was firstly adamant to admit it but now seems have changed sides. According to sources aware of the matter, Trai is also working on a consultation paper which will float in the coming months to decide how it can bring down the increased tariff costs. The consultation paper will invite comments from industry stakeholders and experts about the methods which can be adapted to bring down the increased monthly subscription bills of the DTH and cable TV subscribers, post the new tariff regime.

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VijayS.RAMAKRISHNANavinashsuwalSyamRamesh Recent comment authors
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Vijay
Vijay

New rules increased my bill from Rs.225 to 435 with same channels. You should rework again with cost , Popular channels cost Rs.19 is too high.
Also you should remove Fixed Rs.153 charges per month this additional cost added in monthly plan.

Trai need to take consultancy from expert .

City
Gurgaon
Operator
Airtel Digital TV
DTH
DTH
S.RAMAKRISHNAN
S.RAMAKRISHNAN

FIRST,PAY CHANNELS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO AIR ADVERTISEMENTS.OPERATORS SHOULD INCLUDE ALL REGIONAL FREE CHANNELS AND AIR THEM .DTH OPERATORS SHOULD EVOLVE A PROGRAMME THAT ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO CHOOSE THEIR CHOICE FREE CHANNELS.THAT PROGRAMME MUST BE AN EASY ONE AND CUSTOMER FRIENDLY.LIKEWISE,REMOVING/DELETING OR ADDING CHANNELS BY THE CUSTOMERS MUST BE MADE AN EASY AND TRANSPARENT ONE. WILL TRAI DO IT ATLEAST NOW?

City
CHENNAI
DTH
D2H

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