Major broadcasters such as Zee Entertainment, Sony Picture Networks and Star India have come out with the a-la-carte and bouquet prices of their channels as mandated under the new framework for broadcasting and cable services by the sectoral regulator Trai, applicable from December 29, 2018. The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view and requires TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price (MRP) of channels individually and that of bouquets.
Zee Entertainment Enterprise has welcomed it saying that it would provide customers with a wide range of choices. "The new regime, which is now applicable, would now give choice to consumers, deciding over the channel, which he wants to watch. He can now choose the channels and bouquet which he wants to watch," Zee Entertainment Enterprise President, Distribution and Affiliate Atul Das told PTI.
He added: "This would give the consumers power of choice to choose their favourite channels and packs and pay only for what they want to watch." ZEEL has brought 68 consumer-centric packs, offering genres from entertainment, movies, news, music and lifestyle. It has priced Hindi packs starting at Rs 45.
Star India has also announced its value pack in seven languages, with the price range starting from Rs 25 (exclusive of taxes) for Tamil to Rs 49 for Hindi. Star Value Pack includes entertainment, movies, knowledge and the best of Sports -compelling content for everyone in the family.
"We believe Entertainment and Sports play a critical role in shaping the nation. By including Sports in the Star Value Pack, we aim to make it accessible to every Indian and thus change the way Sports has been consumed in the country," said Star India Managing Director Sanjay Gupta.
While Sony Picture Network, which has distribution rights for 32 channels, has also declared its channel MRP for its a-la-carte and bouquets on its website. It has put an MRP of Rs 90 for the bouquet of HD channels, which includes HD channels such as Set, ET, Sab, Max, SONY BBC Earth, Ten 1, Ten 2, Ten 3, Six, SONY ESPN, Pix, AXN and AXN HD.
Trai's new framework is also supported by Multi System Operators (MSOs). A leading MSO, which did not want to be identified, said that it would improve the "quality of content" among the channels besides providing choices to consumers and bring "transparency in pricing".
A couple of days ago, Trai chairman R S Sharma had asserted that the implementation of the new framework for broadcasting and cable services would lead to lower prices for TV viewers, even as it slammed the "misinformation campaign" being carried out by some to fuel "hyperbolic fear" among consumers.