Trai Tariff Amendments Fail to Get Response from Cable TV Operators Like Hathway and Den Networks

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It has been more than a month since the implementation of Trai National Tariff Order 2.0 by DTH operators. However, the NTO 2.0 by Trai failed to get a proper response from Cable TV operators- even the major ones. For instance, Hathway which is one of the popular Cable TV service providers in the country is yet to implement the new rules by Trai. Similarly, other Cable TV operators like Den Networks, GTPL Hathway and Asianet are however to introduce the new rules set by Trai. We all know that there has been a war going on between the broadcasters and the sector regulator, but the basic changes like the more channels in base NCF slab and reduced Multi TV NCF charges should be implemented by the operators itself. Nevertheless, that did not happen as of this writing.

Trai NTO 2.0: Why Cable TV Operators are Ignoring It

There are a large number of Cable TV operators in the country. When Trai announced the amendments to its National Tariff Order on January 1, 2020, it took everyone by surprise, especially the Cable TV operators as they believe the new rules will dent their revenue badly. Trai came up with changes like offering 200 FTA channels in the base NCF slab of Rs 130 (excluding taxes), 40% NCF charges as the primary connection for every Multi TV connection and no channel priced over Rs 12 can be included in a bouquet.

These changes disappointed the Cable TV operators hugely which is the reason behind them not implementing the rules yet. For the unaware, Hathway and Den Networks were amongst the first Cable TV operators to implement NTO 1.0 last year. But that isn't happening this year. Oddly, Trai is not taking any action regarding the same.

When we reached out to the customer service network of Hathway Cable and Datacom, they clearly mentioned the implementation of new rules would take some time and there's clear timeline given for the same. On the flip side, Den Networks customer support team are unaware of the new changes brought by Trai.

Broadcasters Continue their Battle Against Trai

On the flip side, popular broadcasters including the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) is going against Trai regarding the new rules. For the unaware, Trai has set a maximum price cap of Rs 12 for every channel to be included in a bouquet. This essentially means broadcasters will be forced to reduce the prices of their popular channels to Rs 12 so that they can include them in a bundled pack.

Broadcasters are in the opinion that the new rules will further dent their revenues, and at the same time, they are highlighting that the NTO 1.0 effect is still going on when it comes to the revenue department.

Thanks to Coronavirus, the tussle between the two parties will continue a bit longer as local courts aren't functioning. Once things settle down, we might see a proper resolution.

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