- Trai to offer 200 FTA channels in the initial slab of Rs 130
- Right now, Trai is providing just 100 channels at Rs 130
- The new amendments were scheduled to become effective on March 1, 2020
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) already released amendments it will make to the National Tariff Order 1.0. NTO 2.0 will focus on several areas like the reduction of NCF for Multi TV users, more FTA channels in the initial slab of Rs 130, changes to how bouquets and discounts being offered by broadcasters and operators, and more. The implementation of NTO 2.0 will see a lot of DTH and Cable TV users coming back and renewing their subscription because the new changes are said to make subscriptions affordable by at least 15%. One of the major change which NTO 2.0 will bring is to Network Capacity Fee (NCF); Trai introduced NCF charges with NTO 1.0 wherein every DTH, Cable TV subscriber will have to pay mandatory charges of Rs 153 (including taxes) every month. In return, subscribers will be offered 100 free-to-air channels for Rs 153. However, this is set to change with the new tariff order 2.0.
More FTA Channels in Initial NCF Slab Likely to Bring Back Subscribers
After the new Trai tariff regime, almost every subscriber complained of increased TV subscription. Earlier, there was nothing as Network Capacity Fee (NCF), but mandatory charges of Rs 153 every month means subscribers faced at least 20% increased bills. Consumers even urged that Trai should bring down the NCF price to less than Rs 100. However, Trai is having other plans. Instead of reducing the NCF price altogether, the sector regulator will provide almost twice the number of channels in the initial slab of Rs 130 (Rs 153 with taxes).
For the unaware, the National Tariff Order 1.0 offered just 100 channels in the base slab of Rs 130, and including taxes, the charges become Rs 153. After which, subscribers are being charged Rs 23 per month for every slab of additional 25 channels, inclusive of all taxes. So if a customer chooses FTA channels other than the initial slab of 100 channels, then they will have to pay additional charges for every channel they select. This irked a lot of users back then. While NCF pricing was an issue for the majority of customers, there were some who were disappointed with the additional FTA channel charges.
The NTO 2.0 changes this. Trai is planning to offer 200 FTA channels with the base slab of Rs 130, so subscribers will not have to worry about increased NCF charges for additional FTA channels.
Trai Tariff Order 2.0 Might Make TV Subscriptions Affordable by 14%
The Trai tariff regime fully became effective on April 1, 2019, and the subscriber base immediately dented in the quarter. The active pay DTH user base declined drastically in Q2 2019 as subscribers faced increased TV bills and sub-par implementation of tariff regime from the operators. The new rules mean the DTH and Cable TV subscriptions will become affordable by up to 14%, says ICRA.
“These changes in tariff could potentially lower the direct-to-home (DTH)/cable bills of the subscribers by up to 14% from the present levels and encourage subscribers to exercise their right to choose and opt for a-la-carte channels,” Icra said in a statement.
The implementation of NTO 2.0 was scheduled to happen by March 1, 2020. However, broadcasters have waged war with Trai seeking relief at various local courts and the final verdict on the same is expected to come out on February 12.
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