In the recent unfolding of events, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday has asked Tamil Nadu Digital Cable TV Operator Association to revoke the legal notice issued against it due to the implementation of the new tariff framework and deferment of revised charges by Star India. The regulator issued a letter dated January 4, 2022to the legal counsel of Tamil Nadu-based cable TV operators group stating that the association is advised to take back the legal notice as M/s Star India Private Limited has intimated about deferment of all changes made in its revised Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) filed on October 15, 2021.
The Reason Behind the Legal Notice
According to the report from ET Telecom, the state’s digital cable TV operators’ group is most probably not going to withdraw the legal notice it issued on October 18, 2021. A legal notice was issued by a Delhi-based law firm on behalf of TV operators group stating that there are no doubts on TRAI’s intentions but it is surprising to see the mala fide of pay channel broadcasters who have wrongly interpreted the New Tariff Order, 2020 and have significantly hiked the prices of the pay channels.
The action from the association has been taken in light of the revised channel pricing by top broadcasters in the country such as Star and Disney India, Sony Pictures Network (SPN), Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) and Viacom 18. The group, citing the compliance to the TRAI’s amended tariff order said that these broadcasters were in compliance with effect from December 1. According to the operator’s association, broadcasters will be hiking the prices of majorly subscribed channels by the consumers by 100% to 200% under the Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) issued by them.
To the above accusations, the regulatory authority has stated that regarding the concerns of implementation of the latest regulatory framework 2020, TRAI has issued a letter on November 10, 2021, to all the broadcasters and distribution platform operators where it has been mandated to report to the authority any changes made in the name, nature, language, the maximum retail price per month, the composition of bouquets according to the new norms by December 31, 2021. Moreover, TRAI has also extended the deadline for the enactment of the new tariff order to April 1, 2022.