But it was wrong to argue that the MSO would have to approach
any broadcaster for any additional channel because a single
consumer has demanded it.
however, agreed with MSO and LCO counsels C S Vaidyanathan
and Naveen Chawla that the statement 'carried over the cable
network of the operator' only appeared in the explanatory
memorandum and not in the main Tariff Order. This had caused
confusion among MSOs and LCOs that they might be forced to
make available every FTA channel demanded by their consumers.
had issued the Tariff Order on 30 April for digital addressable
said there were more than 200 FTA channels available in India
and the consumer had been given a choice to opt for any 100
from amongst those available with his MSO. If a particular
channel was not part of the MSOs network, then the consumer
would have the right to demand it. The consumer will have
to choose the FTA channels from among the ones the MSO carried.
the Trai counsel said as all FTA channels were similarly priced,
taking one or another FTA channel will not result in any loss
to the MSO or local cable operators.
fixed under Cable Act and Tariff Order
he said that the Tariff Order in compliance with the Cable
Television Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Act of December
last year had laid down some criteria with regard to the genres.
Five channels each in seven genres had to be provided - news
and current affairs, infotainment, sports, music, lifestyle,
movies, and general entertainment channels -- in Hindi, English
and the regional language of the concerned region. He said
this worked out to 50 channels. In addition, there were around
fifteen channels of Prasar Bharati, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
The bouquet of FTA has been increased to 100 in DAS from 30
in conditional access system.
the viewer still had enough choice to choose other channels
of his liking. He said there was a ninth genre - religion
- but TRAI had chosen not to link that to the Tariff Order.
The broadcaster would have to declare which genre his channel
fell into, Malhotra added.