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Karnataka may face day-long cable TV blackout on 24 January

The state has 60 to 70 lakh cable channel subscribers

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MUMBAI: Karnataka cable TV users are likely to face a blackout of TV channels on 24 January if the Karnataka State Cable Television Operators Association goes ahead with its intention to protest against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new tariff order. The state has 60 to 70 lakh cable channel subscribers.

The association has decided to black out cable channels across the state on January 24 from 6 am to 10 pm. According to a report in The Hindu, the channels will be switched off by the respective associations.

As quoted in the report, VS Patrick Raju, president of the association said the TRAI decision is regressive. He also added it would go against the interests of both the channel subscribers and the operators.

“TRAI has come out with the new regulations without taking operators into consideration. At present, the operators are giving 450 channels for Rs 300 and if the new rules come into place, the subscriber will end up paying Rs 1,500 for same number of channels as the channel rate ranges from Rs 1 to Rs 19. In addition, a provision has been made to charge 18 per cent. The TRAI regulation is a regressive act and new rules are introduced just to favour big corporate bodies,” he added.

Cable operators across India are going against the new regime and this Karnataka incident is not any different. Many experts in the cable industry have spoken against the TRAI formula that dictates revenue sharing model.

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