Trai rolled out New Tariff Order 2.0 with significant changes in the entire pricing structure which were challenged by broadcasters. Many Broadcasters appealed the supreme court and asked the bench of Justice AA Syed and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai to provide an immediate interim stay or defer the new NTO which has been implemented by Trai from March 1, 2020. As per the broadcasters, the new NTO will limit their ability to invest in good premium content which will further lead to fierce competition from OTT services such as Netflix, Prime and many other video streaming platforms along with multiplexes. Also, NTO 2.0 will change the entire structure and method in which broadcasters operate their business.
Multiplex Chains Are Not Subjected to Pricing Caps
Nearly, eight broadcasters, cable operators, representatives of television producers along with Mumbai-based cable operators have appealed the supreme bench to provide interim stay or defer the NTO 2.0 implemented by Trai. However, the supreme court has denied the appeal of interim relief and considers the case fit for further discussions.
On the context, counsel team of Star India argued with the supreme bench and noted that broadcasters will not be able to compete with multiplexes like Netflix, Prime and many other streaming platforms as these multiplexes are not subject to any pricing regulations whereas broadcasters' ability to invest in good content is declining because of Trai’s new tariff order. This news is reported by Bloomberg.
Trai and Broadcasters Disagree on NTO 2.0
As per the Broadcasters, Trai is creating barriers in their business pattern. In new NTO 2.0, Trai has increased the NCF cap to Rs 19, which was Rs 12 in the previous tariff order. Apart from this, Trai has also implemented the twin conditions on bouquet pricing along with restrictive incentives to only a-la-carte channels. All these regulations will make business unviable for broadcasters and especially smaller channels.
On the other hand, Trai feels that Broadcasters are providing unwanted channels to customers by bundling them with popular channels in a single bouquet. So, to curb the market distortions by Broadcasters, Trai has implemented the new tariff order. Not only this, Trai feels that new tariff order will give customers more freedom of selecting their preferred channels.