Technology

Trai to study broadcasters' ? la carte offers, to act on complaints

NEW DELHI: Sector regulator Trai has said it will first review in detail the offers made by the broadcasters before putting these up in their websites.













It also adds that it will take up any complaints from any quarters.


There was much hue and cry over an alleged attempt to sabotage the non-Cas area Tariff Order of 4 October.


Trai has the powers of taking suo moto action but will wait and study before any action is taken, a Trai senior official told indiantelevision.com.


The broadcasters ("most of the major ones," as Trai has put it) have sent their offers; but Trai has not put these up in its website, nor are these easily locatable on the websites of the broadcasters themselves.


"It is not right for us to comment on the issue as the broadcasters have given a vast number of offers and we need to check if there has been any violation in the price declarations they have made," the official said.

 

MSOs alleged that the broadcasters had laid down conditions that violate the regulation and that they went to the extent of attempting to cast the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in the role of the regulator.


However, Trai says it has received no complaints so far.


"There are too many offers from various broadcasters and we shall have to scrutinise them in detail to see if they fall in line, before we can put them up on our website," senior Trai official told indiantelevision.com.


One such key condition laid down by Zee-Turner is that it is only upon verification of the names and addresses and other declarations regarding subscription base by IBF that the MSOs and LCOs would be given connection at the declared prices.


"Subscriber Line Reports submitted by MSOs/cable operators would be acceptable only after survey/estimation of the SLR through an independent agency accredited by the IBF," says the Zee offer, whereas such agencies as per regulation are appointed by Trai, MSOs say.


However, the Trai official did not comment on that.

 

Though the regulation says that the broadcasters have to make public their offers by the end of December, the Sony document sent to Trai says that it is not an offer they are making.


"The Rate Card is for reporting purposes only and shall not be construed as conveying an offer to existing MSOs/cable operators (‘affiliates‘) to subscribe to TOA channels on ? la carte basis," says the Sony Rate Card.


With regard to the MSOs‘ complaint that this is a violation of the regulation, the Trai official said, "Wait, are you telling me that anyone has been denied connectivity after making a request? We are interested in implementation. If anyone is denied connection let them complain and we shall take action.


But cannot Trai take suo moto action under its powers?


"Yes, we can, but for this we have to come to a decision that the action is needed, and this will surface only after we have completed studying the offer documents, which will take some time," the official said.

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