You might have seen channels flashing their prices on the bottom of their screens from quite a long time now. Even after rigorous advertisements by the broadcasters, it seems that the viewers are not fully aware of the new regulations which include channel selection and their pricing to be kicked in on February 1.
Earlier the date decided was December 29 later it was extended till 1st February 2019.
TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) new framework comprises of the Interconnection Regulations 2017, Quality of Service & Consumer Protection Regulations 2017 and Tariff Order 2017.
Presently, the viewers have limited liberty to optimize their channels in accordance with their taste and preferences. Most of the time they end up paying for the unwanted channels. The new regulation is being launched to curb this problem and will allow the viewers to pay for the channels they wish to watch.
The new regulation will propose the following changes in their framework
- Service providers will offer a basic package of 100 free-to-air channels at a base price. The limit of base price has been fixed at Rs.130 per month, excluding GST.
- Customers who desire to watch a particular pay channel should have the option to subscribe to that channel alone by paying the price fixed for it, without having to purchase a package of that channel with other channels at a higher price.
- Service providers can offer packages of channels. The MRP of a pay channel offered in a package cannot exceed Rs.19
- Discount offered on a package cannot be more than 15% of the total sums of the channels comprised in the package.
- The sum of discount on television channels and the distribution fee paid by broadcasters to a distributor of television channels cannot exceed 35% of the maximum retail price of the television channel.
- Distribution channels cannot differently price the television channels.
- High definition (HD) channels and standard definition channel cannot be in the same package of the channel
- Paid channels and free to air channels will not be in the same package of channels
- The MRP of the channels needs to be displayed on the TV screen through the Electronic Program Guide. Free to air channels should also indicate the MRP.
This time TRAI is quite firm in their part that the deadline will not be extended and also they have assured customers who do not successfully migrate to the new system by January 31 will not face a TV blackout when the new system kicks in.