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Choose & Pay for your DTH Channels

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a new tariff order for the DTH and internet television providers in India.

Highlights of the Order

  • Every entity providing broadcasting services or cable services to subscribers needs to offer all pay channels (offered by it) on a-la-carte basis.
  • It shall be up to the service provider to specify the minimum monthly subscription amount, not exceeding `150 (exclusive of taxes), per subscriber and the charges per channel, either a-la-carte or on a bouquet basis.
  • No service provider shall increase the charges for a subscription package for a minimum of six months from the date of enrolment of the subscriber. But they are free to reduce charges.

TRAI stopped short of fixing tariffs for individual channels, though it reduced the maximum amount broadcast-ers can charge direct-to-home (DTH), internet protocol television (IPTV) and digital cable providers for channels.

  • DTH operators have to currently pay broadcasters at the rate of 50% of the tariff fixed for cable homes by Trai. The revised tariff order reduced this cap to 35% of cable tariffs.

This move has irked broadcasters, who plan to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal — authorised to address all disputes in the telecommunications space — against the tariff order.

On the other hand, DTH, HITS, IPTV and digital addressable cable TV operators have welcomed the move. It is also an indication of a likely tariff war between cable operators and DTH operators. For the common man, DTH subscription charges may now get lower than the cable charges.

The seven DTH operators in India are Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct, Videocon, BIG TV and DD Direct.

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Categories: Indian Industry News
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