The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) to withdraw the NTO 2.0 case in the Supreme Court (SC). The regulator is planning to release a consultation paper on the matter and is also trying to end the problem in the backroom with IBDF. But according to an Exchange4media report, IBDF is non-committal on the backroom parley and wants TRAI to take an official stand in front of the Supreme Court (SC).
No Change in TRAI Stance Yet as of Implementation of NTO 2.0
An official aware of the matter told the publication that TRAI’s stance on the implementation of the amended tariffs has not changed. As of now, NTO 2.0 is slated to be implemented from April 1, 2022.
TRAI wants IBDF to withdraw the case in the SC so that it can release the consultation paper. The official said that TRAI couldn’t resolve the issues on the matter if it is pending before the SC. IBDF can either wait for a resolution to arrive at SC or should go ahead and withdraw the case so that the regulator can roll out a consultation paper that will also include views from the broadcasters in the country.
But IBDF doesn’t want to withdraw the case and is looking for TRAI, a government body to own up to its mistakes. The broadcasters’ body wants the regulator to affirm to the SC that it is ready to look into the demands of the broadcasters, and that will only break the deadlock between the two.
The NTO 2.0 is going to increase the end TV bills of the consumers by a significant margin as any channel that is priced above the cap of Rs 12 can’t be included in a bouquet offering. Thus, the broadcaster can price their driver channels very high. But the price capping is also going to reduce their overall subscription revenue, thus, they will have to recover it through higher-priced al-la-carte driver channels.