Individual Channels vs DTH Recommended Packs After Trai Mandate: How it Affects Your Overall Monthly Bill?

There are many choices for the subscribers now when it comes to selecting their channels. They can either opt for individual channels, go for broadcaster packs or select packs recommended by their operator

By February 23rd, 2019 AT 7:02 AM
  • How you make your selection can have an impact on your monthly bill
  • Make sure that you pay the lowest monthly bill by taking advantage of discounts on the right places

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s new mandate regarding the prices of channels and cable TV subscription has brought a reeling change in the way the services are priced for all the parties. Whether it is cable operators, DTH service providers or the subscribers themselves, all have been on the task of migrating to the new channel packs and pricing. While a large chunk of the population has completed the migration process, there are still a few subscribers who are lagging. It is agreeable that a large part of the viewers who are left are subscribers of independent cable TV operators and most of DTH subscribers have already migrated to the new plans except for a few. The basic idea behind this new tariff regime was to provide subscribers full flexibility to choose what they watch and to pay for just those channels.

New Pricing to be Divided into Two Parts

As such, now Trai is allowing the subscribers to pay their bills in two parts – the first will be of content charges payable to the channel owners and broadcasters while the other will be in the form of NCF or Network Capacity Fee which will be paid to the cable operators for providing the channel slot. Now the viewers have choices between FTA (Free to Air) channels or paid channels which levy content charges.

Comparing Individual Channels and Recommended Packs

The base pack mandated by Trai with 100 channels costs Rs 130 for the subscribers. On top of the individual channel offerings, broadcasters have created their own packs, bundling their channels and the DTH service providers have curated their channel packs which package channels from different owners. Besides these two, there is also the obvious choice of choosing individual channels. We decided to make a comparison between these choices to find out which is the better option. In case you have selected either one or are yet to make your choice, then this quick analysis will help you find better pricing for your particular channels.

We did a small overview of channels on D2h and Tata Sky across various genres. Firstly, we took a look at D2h Gold Telugu combo subscription which ships Telugu paid channels along with few Hindi channels and English channels as well. Some of the channels in this pack include Star Maa TV for Rs 19, Discovery for Rs 4, Gemini movies for Rs 17 and so on. On selecting channels individually, we saw that the total cost for all the channels came out to be around Rs 264.50. This total cost was divided between NCF and content charges for the respective pay channels, and it was also excluding taxes. While we visited the d2h official website, the D2h Gold Telugu Combo recommended pack was available for Rs 242, which is less than the individual selection of the same channels.

Few Broadcaster Packs Worthy of Subscription

Same was the case with Tata Sky, where we evaluated the Kids Mini HD pack and other English TV channel packs, which proved to be more beneficial when selected from the Tata Sky recommended packs. Another way is to choose the channels via the broadcaster packs. However, the problem with that is if someone wants to have a mix of Hindi entertainment channels, select infotainment channels and other sports channels, then they would have to pay for all the other unrequired channels from the particular broadcaster. Thus they will end up paying more. Although, there are a few broadcaster bouquets of less pricing like Discovery Basic with eight channels for Rs 9 and Turner family HD pack of Rs 14.75 with five channels which might be a good deal for the subscribers. Except for these few choices, the packs recommended by your DTH provider seem to be the best option to go as they come bundled with discounts.

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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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KrishnaSonuSB Recent comment authors
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I haven’t subscribed to any packs in Tatasky , today they they have migrated automatically, it has 3 main regional pay channels , my previous pack is of 169rs telugu pack. Now with only 3 pay channels it costs 219 rupees.

Tata sky

Everything is seen as mess. Recommended packs by LCO or DTH providers are just to fool the customers & to reduce their load of work & implementation. Now if you go for individual channel selection then u will be shocked by total amount. TRAI really has to do some homework on pricing & implement some rules towards the reasonable pricing so that everyone can enjoy maximum channels at reasonable price. Little more cost than earlier is acceptable but double or triple cost is not at all acceptable.

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