Consultation paper on Tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services

Last Date Aug 31,2019 00:00 AM IST (GMT +5.30 Hrs)
Submission Closed.

TRAI, in March 2017, notified the ‘New Regulatory Framework’ for Broadcasting and Cable services. The new framework came into effect from 29th December 2018. TRAI’s new ...

TRAI, in March 2017, notified the ‘New Regulatory Framework’ for Broadcasting and Cable services. The new framework came into effect from 29th December 2018. TRAI’s new regulations/orders for the television and broadcasting sector gave freedom to consumers to select television channels they want to watch. Analysis reveals that while new regulatory framework has brought the transparency in TV channel pricing, harmonised business processes in the sector, reduced disputes among stakeholders. However, adequate choice to select TV channels has not been given to the consumers.

In all fairness, a lot much was expected from the broadcasters and the DPOs to use flexibility given under new regulatory framework to address the concerns and aspirations of the consumers. However, given flexibility was misused to throttle market discovery of TV channel prices by giving huge discounts on the bouquets. It has been observed from the tariff declared by the broadcasters under new regulatory framework that broadcasters are offering bouquets at a discount of upto 70% of the sum of a-la-carte rates of pay channels constituting those bouquets. It indicates that in absence of any restriction on the discount on the offering of bouquets, broadcasters are making prices of a-la-carte channels illusory thereby impacting the a-la-carte choice of channels by consumers.

Further, no restriction on number of channels has created another problem wherein broadcasters and DPOs are offering too many bouquets. TRAI has observed that too many bouquets are formed by the broadcasters/Distributors and many of them contain very similar set of channels, with very few changes. This too many bouquets are not only creating confusion among consumers but also becoming a hurdle in choosing the channels by consumers. With too many bouquets of broadcasters and DPOs, the consumers get confused and as a result forced to adopt some suggested packs of TV channels which kills the freedom given to consumers to choose desired TV channels.

TRAI had extensive interactions with the stakeholders including consumers and consumer organizations, at various forums, wherein stakeholders have also raised certain issues such as variable NCF for different regions, NCF for Multi TV home, discount on long term plan, DD channels as part of one hundred channels etc.

In order to deliberate upon above issues that have come post implementation of the new regime, this consultation paper has been floated seeking stakeholders’ views. This paper primarily discusses issues related to discount given in the formation of the bouquet, ceiling price of channels for inclusion in bouquet, need for formation of bouquet by Broadcasters and DPOs, Variable NCF and discount on long term plan. These issues are significant in terms of consumer welfare and considered it appropriate to obtain the views of the stakeholders.

Written comments on the Consultation Paper are invited from the stakeholders. Counter comments, if any, may be submitted by 30th September 2019.

Click here to read Consultation paper on Tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services

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Dinesh P 10 months 2 weeks ago

TRAI also noted that Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) use platform services to offer innovative services and product differentiation. It also acts as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for DPOs and also helps them in meeting the specific needs of their subscribers. TRAI received a reference from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) on 2nd July, 2019.They have realised that they have created a mess and now blaming the Broadcasters and DPOs

SREENIVASA_43 10 months 2 weeks ago

The new tariff structure is not at all beneficia to the consumer. The prices supplier in blauwe should be supplier for al carte channels also. If nit possible, old system should be restoran. Before trai regine I used to get around 70 hd channels and my favourite local channels for an amount of 250 only. Now for the same channels I have to pay around 800 to 900.
More over some al carte channels are put for a locking period of 1 month which takes away the user freedom.

Dinesh P 10 months 2 weeks ago

As per present Regulatory framework, Broadcasters are permitted to offer promotional schemes on maximum retail price per month of its a-la-carte pay channels. However, such scheme should not exceed ninety days at a time and the frequency of any such scheme should not exceed twice in a calendar year.It is further mandated that the price of a-la-carte pay channels offered under any such promotional scheme should be considered as maximum retail price during the period of such promotional scheme.

Dinesh P 10 months 2 weeks ago

TRAI has played an important role in shaping the regulatory and policy framework governing the sector by making timely interventions through regulations, tariff orders, directions and recommendations to the Government.

Ramakrishna Lakshmanan 10 months 2 weeks ago

It is a very comprehensive consultation paper on Tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services. It covers all aspects and it is fair for all stakeholders like Broadcasters, Cable operators, DPOs and Subscribers. It ensures impartial benefits to all stakeholders. It ensures a level playing field for all competitors. It is transparent and well defined. It ensures that none of the stakeholders are at disadvantage. It is acceptable by all stakeholders.

Dinesh P 10 months 2 weeks ago

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper on tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services.