Trai Tells DTH Ops to List Unavailable Channel Packs For New Tariff Regime

Trai's new rules regarding the DTH and broadcasting industry come into effect on March 1 which are being opposed by the broadcasters of IBF

Highlights
  • The new rules ask for a price reduction in channels for channel bouquets
  • NTO 2.0 also reduces the monthly bills for the DTH subscribers
  • The new rules also change multi TV pricing and some of the NCF rules

The new tariff regime rules charted out by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) bring some heavy changes related to the DTH and the cable TV industry. This basically means that the consumers will see changes going forward in a few days. The new rules kick-off on March 1. Some of the major changes include the pricing of channels and the rules which define the curation of the channel bouquets. Given this, some of the channel packs which are on the market right now and available to the consumers will no longer be available when the new rules come into play. As such, Trai has asked the DTH operators to list the channel packs on their website, which will be obsolete with the new rules. This would also help the DTH subscribers in making their new choices of individual channels or new channel packs for the month of March and onwards.

trai-tells-dth-ops-channel-pricing

Broadcasters Approach High Courts to Oppose New Rules

It is worth noting that while the sector regulator had introduced the new rules at the start of the year itself, the broadcasters have failed to realise the implementation of the same. Trai in its paperwork had given the January 15 deadline for the listing of the new channel prices and the bouquets. However, it has been observed that none of the broadcasters has complied with this deadline. Instead, the broadcasters under the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) have gone ahead and filed petitions in Bombay, Kerala and Gujarat High Court challenging the new Trai rules governing the DTH and broadcasting industry.

Now, since the matter is sub-judice, the broadcasters have decided not to take any action and have not put out any changed channel prices and the new channel bouquets. The courts have also refused to give any stay in the last three hearings. Also, the next hearing in Bombay High Court is supposed to happen on January 26.

Trai Focusing on Preparatory Activities

Trai has asserted that a lot of activities will need to be carried out in a preparatory manner before the implementation of the NTO 2.0 on March 1. The Trai is thinking about consumer interest wherein its goal is to avoid disruption in services when the new rules come into effect. The new rules are expected to reduce the DTH bills for a lot of consumers, and they will also reduce the channel prices, which is something that the broadcasters are opposing.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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