The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will soon implement the National Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 for DTH and Cable TV subscribers. NTO 2.0 will bring a lot of changes and fix some major flaws of NTO 1.0, which became effective last year. Right after the introduction of National Tariff Order 1.0, a lot of DTH and Cable TV users stopped renewing their monthly subscription due to various reasons like sub-par implementation and customer support, increased monthly bills, and so on. NTO 2.0 is expected to fix a majority of these issues by implementing changes like 200 channels in base NCF slab, 40% Multi TV NCF charges, changes to a-la-carte channels to be included in bouquets and so on. Here are the key differences you should know between Trai NTO 2.0 and NTO 1.0 on a customer front.
200 FTA Channels Will Be Offered in the Base Rs 130 Slab
Trai received a lot of flak after NTO 1.0 because of expensive Network Capacity Fee (NCF). Right now, customers get a total of 100 channels in the base slab of Rs 130 (Rs 153 including taxes) and Rs 23 will be added every month for every slab of 25 channels. It is also worth noting that one HD channel shall be treated as two SD channels.
Trai has brought a major change with NTO 2.0. The regulator decided that every DTH/Cable TV operator should provide 200 channels in the base NCF slab of Rs 130. So users will get double FTA channels at the same price, which is a good thing and ultimately result in the lower monthly subscription price.
Multi TV Users to Pay 40% NCF of Primary Connection
Right now, we don't have exact numbers on how many users are making use of Multi TV service from the operators. We believe that Multi TV service will be beneficial for corporates and hotels; NTO 1.0 made things even worse for Multi TV connections as Trai left the decision to provide any discount on NCF to the operators. Dish TV and D2h tried to attract the Multi TV users by charging just Rs 50 (excluding taxes) NCF from secondary connections, followed by Airtel Digital TV with Rs 80. However, Tata Sky disappointed a lot of users and charging full NCF of Rs 130 (excluding NCF) for every secondary connection. For example, if you have three Tata Sky Multi TV connections, then you will have to pay Rs 153 NCF every month for all the four connections, including primary connection.
NTO 2.0 solves this issue by putting a cap of 40% NCF to be charged for Multi TV connections. This move from Trai will hugely benefit the Multi TV users of Tata Sky.
Prices of A-la-Carte Channels to Come Down
This is a major blow to broadcasters, but consumers will benefit the most at the end. Trai will not allow broadcasters to include a-la-carte or individual channels priced above Rs 12 in their bouquets, meaning broadcasters will have to slash the prices of popular channels to get them included in the bouquet packs. Furthermore, Trai also urged that the sum of a-la-carte channels forming a bouquet should not exceed one and a half times of the bouquet's overall price.
The regulator went with the move because broadcasters are providing up to 80% discounts on bouquets and forcing users to stay away from individual channels. The main motto of Trai National Tariff Order is to give the freedom to customers on what they want to watch.
These are the three significant differences which will be part of NTO 2.0 and ultimately said to reduce DTH/Cable TV monthly subscription priced by up to 14%. Trai NTO 2.0 was scheduled to come into effect on March 1, 2020, but broadcasters are yet to announce their new channel packs incompliance with NTO 2.0.