Trai issues new tariff order, b’casters must offer channels a la carte to MSOs

NEW DELHI: Broadcast Regulator Trai today issued a revised tariff order with an overall ceiling for cable TV services in non-Cas areas, and has ordered broadcasters to offer all channels on an a la carte basis to MSOs.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India‘s order - Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Second) Tariff (Eighth Amendment) Order, 2007 - has the stated aim of more uniform protection of consumer interests in a much more transparent manner.

The order will come into effect from 1 December in all areas with non-addressable system, excepting the areas under mandatory Cas, the Trai statement issued here today said.

The Trai order says also that broadcasters will be allowed to offer channels in bouquet forms, but to ensure that there is no unhealthy pricing, it has said that the overall price of a bouquet will not exceed 1.5 times the sum total of the channels run in that bouquet.

Trai has fixed the tariffs as per the status of cities, which is given in a list available in the order, categorising them as A, A-1, B, B-1 and Others.

While the tariffs fixed vary from a minimum of Rs 77 for all categories for FTA channels, the highest tariff fixed is Rs 260 for A and A-1 cities where the offer is a minimum of 30 FTA channels plus more than 45 pay channels.

MSOs and LCOs offering up to 20 pay channels and a minimum of 30 FTA will be paid not more than Rs 160 in top cities, Rs 140 in B and B-1 cities and not more than Rs 120 in Other areas.

If these MSOs / LCOs offer go up to more than 20 and up to 30 pay channels along with 30 FTAs, they would be able to charge a maximum of Rs 200 in A and A-1 cities, Rs 170 in B and B-1 cities and not more than Rs 160 in Other areas.

The highest rate MSOs can charge would be Rs 260 for offering more than 45 pay and 30 FTAs in A and A-1 cities, Rs 220 in the next rung and Rs 200 in the Other areas.

No. of channels
‘A-1’ & ‘A’ class cities
‘B-1’ & ‘B-2’ class cities
Only free to air channels (min.30 FTA channels)
Rs. 77Rs. 77Rs. 77
Minimum 30 FTA channels plus upto 20 pay channels
Rs. 160Rs. 140Rs. 130
Minimum 30 FTA channels plus more than 20 and upto 30 pay channels
Rs. 200Rs. 170Rs. 160
Minimum 30 FTA channels plus more than 30 and upto 45 pay channels
Rs. 235
Rs 200
Minimum 30 FTA channels plus more than 45 pay channels
Rs. 260
Rs. 220
Rs. 200

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