New Delhi :
TRAI has reduced the prize of channels forming the part of bouquets from Rs 19 to Rs 12
TELECOM Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made amendments to New Tariff Order (NTO) allowing consumers to have 200 channels instead of 100 at the same price of Rs 130. “There were 100 channels which were given at Rs 130 and it included mandatory channels broadcasted by Prasar Bharati. Now, you have 200 channels in Rs 130 excluding the Prasar Bharati channels,” said RS Sharma, TRAI Chairman. “Fine-tuning the provisions of New Tariff Order (NTO) we are providing more channels to consumers,” he said.
He said that the sum of the a-la-carte price or individual price of channels constituting a bouquet cannot be more than 1.5 times the price of Bouquet. “No channel should be priced more than the price of Bouquet and sum of the a-la-carte price of channels constituting a bouquet cannot be more than 1.5 times the price of Bouquet,” said TRAI Chairman. TRAI chairman explained that this was done to remove distortions and unfair practices.
TRAI has reduced the prize of channels forming the part of bouquets from Rs 19 to Rs 12. Now the channels having an MRP of Rs 12 or less are permitted to be part of a channel bouquet. “Many of the broadcasters have misused the Rs 19 ceiling rule and have priced the channels costing Rs 5, 7, 8, etc to Rs 19. As a result in any Bouquet the channel is either Rs 19 or less than Rs 1.
Things were either on the ceiling or at the bottom, nothing was in between. Even HD and SD channels having different prices are fixed at RS 19,” he said. “Earlier Rs 19 was the ceiling but now the channels that are priced less than Rs 12 or equal to that will be part of the bouquet,” said TRAI Chairman RS Sharma.
TV broadcasters move HC against TRAI’s order
THE Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), a representative body of TV broadcasters, on Monday approached the Bombay High Court opposing the latest amendments to sector tariffs by the TRAI. The foundation argued that it will adversely impact the sector’s growth. The TRAI had in December 2019 issued new tariff rules by which prices of the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) were lowered, benefiting consumers. Previously, a sum of Rs 130 was applicable for all free-to-air channels and consumers needed to pay more in order to watch additional channels. After the last month’s amendments to broadcast sector tariffs, consumers will pay Rs 130 as NCF charge, but will be entitled to get 200 channels. Changes were also mandated to be made in the price of individual channels. Sector regulator TRAI has mandated all broadcasters to reflect changes made to the price of pay channels for a-la- carte and bouquets by January 15 whereas operators are required to show the updated prices by January 30. The foundation, in its petition in the high court, has opposed the TRAI-mandated tariff amendments, The petition is expected to come up for hearing on Tuesday (January 14) before a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla.