Denouncing the claims about the new broadcast tariff resulting in higher bill amounts of cable TV and DTH subscribers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday said the new framework may actually decrease TV bills.
The new statement comes after a new Crisil report on Monday claimed that the new norms would result in higher bills for the cable and DTH subscribers.
TRAI Chairman Ram Sevak Sharma, while addressing the media, said the report was prepared on an “inadequate understanding” of the TV distribution market and it was incorrect.
“The report is based on choosing top-rated channels on the all-India basis and considers only one weekly report dated January 25, 2019, from TV Rating Agency, BARC,” a TRAI statement said.
TRAI Secretary S.K. Gupta said: “In three months, we expect prices of various channels to go down.”
The Crisil report said, “The network capacity fee (NCF) and channel prices announced by broadcasters and distributors as per the TRAI’s new guidelines could increase the monthly bill of most subscribers of television channels.”
TRAI said that as per the new regulations customers are eligible to even get discounts according to the network capacity of the DTH provider.
Sharma also mentioned that the regulators have been receiving several complaints from consumers regarding the blackout on DTH platforms, and offerings of multiple TV connections which TRAI is looking into and has issued necessary guidelines to the operators.
He noted that the primary aim of the new norms is to empower consumers to choose their own channels and let the market forces decide the prices.
TRAI has also asked operators to provide an option for separate connections and choices of channels for more than one television in a household, the Chairman told reporters.
TRAI’s new regulatory framework for cable and DTH subscribers have come into effect since 1st of February.
Customers can choose 100 base channels(more channels can be added although it will increase the prices) from a range of free-to-air channels(which are free). Customers can also pick their favorite paid channels or the broadcaster bouquet.
The base pack will include 100 channels and will be available for a fee of ₹130/month. The base pack will only include Standard Definition channels. Customers can choose any 100 channels among a variety of free-to-air channels.