The last month in the DTH and broadcasting industry has again been very happening. We saw the rise of Tata Sky to the top ranks of DTH service providers by taking the place of Dish TV, and in another major news for the subscribers of DTH services, the big broadcasters announced price cuts on their channels. The new price cut, was announced by the broadcasters on their channels and the popular names included the likes of Star India, Sony Pictures, Viacom18 and more. As such, the subscribers got access to a lot of popular SD channels for lower costs. However, for the offer to be successful, it had to be carried from the broadcasters to the consumers. While most of the big DTH operators followed through with it, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has pulled up some Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) on account of not implementing the new broadcaster discount for its subscribers.
Trai Sends Out Notices to All DPOs
The sector regulator has issued a direction to all the DPOs in this regard, and has asked them to comply with the new regulations of the broadcasting and Cable TV service. In this direction, Trai has also notified the DPOs to follow the new implementation of the promotional scheme being offered by the said broadcasters and has asked them to modify the Distributor Retail Price (DRP) of these channels. Not only this, but the DPOs have also been asked to display this new DRP which should be accessible to the subscribers, on the website, consumer care channel and electronic programme guide as well so that there is maximum awareness about the new price cuts to the customers. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also asked the DPOs to send compliance to these orders by November 1, i.e. today.
Subscribers to Receive Benefit for the Entire Offer Period
Another major notification that Trai has sent to the distribution platform operators (DPOs) includes the fact that although these DPOs implement the new pricing of the channels from a later date, the subscribers should be charged from the date of the implementation of this offer from the broadcaster which is October 15. This means that if a subscriber is under a DPO which has not yet started offering the channels at the reduced price from these broadcasters, then he or she will receive the benefit in their account from the October 15 date for the reduced pricing and not only from the date which the DPO decides to relay the offer for the subscribers. This is good news for subscribers, as for the customers who are not yet receiving the benefits of the new pricing of these channels won’t miss out on the benefits which have lapsed in the past few days.
Popular Channels Now Available for Rs 12 Per Month
Trai has noted that the non-implementation of this offer for the subscribers is against the Tariff Order, 2017 and the QoS Regulations, 2017 in addition to being against the interest of the subscribers. The authority has further noted that some DPOs have not yet mentioned the reduced DRPs on their website and channel guides which should be amended.
Under this new offer, Star India has introduced the ‘Tyohar ka Upahar’, offer for its 16 channels which include popular names like Star Plus, Maa TV and more. Other channels like Zee TV, Zee Marathi, Zee Kannada have been reduced in pricing from Rs 19 per month to Rs 12 per month by ZEEL. Viacom18 has reduced prices of its popular Colors, Colors Kannada to Rs 12 per month on the same lines. Sony Pictures Network India has also slashed the prices of many channels.