Trai raps six broadcasters for violating tariff order

NEW DELHI: Six major broadcasters have been directed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to adhere to the tariff order when charging from DTH and IPTV operators.

Companies which have been sent the directive are Sun18 Media Service North, ESPN Software India, Neo Sports Broadcast, Zee Turner, Star Den Media and Taj Television India.

In separate letters to the broadcasters, Trai said the companies were violating the rate cap of 42 per cent paid by cable operators for TV channels by introducing separate tariff for basic tier and add-on packages.

The sector regulator said broadcasters are required to offer channels only on a-la-carte basis or in bouquet at the maximum rate of 42 per cent as per its tariff order after the court order.

Trai, therefore, asked the broadcasters to modify their reference interconnect offer -- signed with the service providers for subscribing their channels -- so that the charges comply with the regulator‘s tariff order.
BIn an order on 18 April, the Supreme Court had directed that broadcasters cannot charge more than 42 per cent of the rates paid by cable operators for TV channels from service providers with addressable systems, such as direct-to-home operators (DTH) and IPTV. Earlier the cap was 35 per cent.
Noting that the order of the apex Court is "operating and binding" on all concerned, Trai asked the broadcasters to change their reference interconnect offer with service providers on addressable platform to comply with its tariff order.

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