The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has warned the broadcasters saying that it will take action if necessary in the interest of consumers and the sector. The regulator on Friday said that some of the broadcasters are “exploiting” the freedom they have got for a-la-carte pricing of the TV channels.
According to a PTI report, TRAI said that some leading broadcasters are taking advantage and of the new rules and have increased the prices of popular channels or channels, which is driving traffic. These channels are largely the sports and general entertainment channels (GEC). TRAI avoided calling out the names of the DTH operators.
TRAI Says NTO 2.0 Is Being Blamed Unnecessarily and Wrongly
The regulator has said that the new tariff order (NTO 2.0) and broadcast regulations are being blamed for the impending price increase. TRAI said that a misleading campaign has been running to blame the NTO 2.0 for the price increase. As per TRAI, it is being publicised that people who go for the top sports or the GEC channels will have to pay Rs 100 extra. But this is not true.
TRAI said that it is “a fictional pretension”. The regulator has clarified that NTO 2.0 doesn’t put forth any condition where the prices of the subscription are increased.
In a statement, TRAI has said that it recognises some of the prices are unsustainable because they are not driven by the demand or are market-determined prices. Thus, the regulator finds these prices against the interest of the consumers.
According to the regulator, the NTO 2.0 has already benefitted the customers a lot, and it is not meant to increase prices. The broadcasters are just using it as a tool to drive prices up. TRAI has said that the channel pricing has remained under the prescribed ceiling for 15 years since 2004. The regulator has also clarified that some price modifications have been done after passing a part of the benefits to consumers as well.