Trai sticks with content to all stance

NEW DELHI: The cable and broadcast regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, today reiterated an earlier stand that content should not be denied to any platform or delivery mechanism citing exclusivity as it could lead to anti-competition practices. Extending that line of reasoning, Trai has also struck down exclusive deals taking place amongst stakeholders.

In a draft of the inter-connect regulations issued today, Trai said competition in India for delivery of TV channels is not only to be promoted within the cable industry, but also from distributors of TV channels using other media like direct to home (DTH) and headend-in-the-sky.

It is important that all these distribution platforms are promoted so that they provide consumers with choice. It would be very important that at this stage, vertical integration does not impede competition. 

Vertically integrated broadcaster and distribution network operators would, in the absence of strong regulation, have the tendency to deny popular content to competing networks or to discriminate against them, the draft regulations stated, making it clear that the 'must-provide' clause is an important facet of this set of rules.

Exclusivity had not been a feature of Indias fragmented cable television market and the entry of newer technologies like DTH should not change this, Trai has in effect said, though this has been hotly contested by some broadcasters like Star, Sony and Discovery.

The regulator has given industry stakeholders till 5 November to offer feedback on the draft regulation.

However, a Trai official made it clear that the feedback should not harp on scrapping the 'must provide' (making available TV channels to all platforms on a non-discriminatory basis) clause. We are seeking feedback on the modalities of interconnect agreement and not why certain checks and balances have been put in place, the official explained.

Why issue a draft? According to Trai, subsequent to the release of their recommendations on 1 October, on various issues, suggestions have been made on the inter-connection regulation. Since regulation for non-discriminatory access of TV channels is a major step in the reforms of distribution of TV channels and this regulation will have far reaching and long term impact on the growth of the industry, it was decided that before finalising the regulation it would be appropriate that all stake holders were given an 

opportunity to comment on the draft regulation, Trai said.

Though the regulator has made some significant changes in the draft regulation (like distinguishing between agent or intermediary and distributors of TV channels), industry people said some other important issues could have been better clarified and explained.

For example, what happens to the various minimum guarantee deals that broadcasters had struck with MSOs and cable operators to beat the continuing price freeze on subscription rates?

Though the draft inter-connect regulation admits volume discounts can be given, it fails to clarify who is to define related factors like technology of the distribution of TV channels and geographical proximity.

Latest Reads
SPN India to broadcast Barclays ATP World Tour finals

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) will exclusively broadcast the upcoming ATP events in the month of November. The ATP 1000 Paris Masters will be aired live on Sony ESPN channels and will be streamed live on SonyLIV app and website. The ATP 1000 Paris Masters in Paris will begin on 31 October.

Television TV Channels Sports
Hunt for Zee Business head continues

MUMBAI: Zee Business, an arm of Zee Media Corporation, has seen several transitions in its management this year. The channel was initially headed by Amish Devgan, who decided to move away after serving for 14 years. It was then led by Zee Media Corporation’s then CEO for content Samir Ahluwalia,who...

Television TV Channels People
'King' content will take over monopolistic media entities, says Arnab Goswami

NEW DELHI: The future of news lies in breaking away from the interdependence of politicians and the media on each other.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Animated 'Ramayana' a global Diwali gift on web, mobile

NEW DELHI: Thirty episodes of the animated series Ramayana will be available around the world on the nexGTv web and mobile platforms during Diwali.

Television TV Shows Animation
Sports Minister lauds b'casters, other stakeholders in promoting sports

NEW DELHI: India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel said on Wednesday that digital media broadcasting will play a critical role in bringing about change in sports broadcasting in India but broadcasters must also focus on how sports as a product is delivered to audiences in rural areas so as to popularise...

Television TV Channels Sports
Know your karma on IBN7 with 'Karm Path'

In an attempt to give its viewers a refreshing start of the day, IBN7 is launching a new show titled Karm Path. Starting 27 October, the show will predict what the day holds. The show is a differentiator in its own genre as it connotes the supremacy of deeds over destiny.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Big Ganga available on Tata Sky now

Big Ganga has strengthened its distribution with DTH service provider Tata Sky.

Television TV Channels Regional
TV is story-teller's new novel; audience is Bharat, not India: Star's Banerjee

MUMBAI: Since five to six years, television has become the talking point. Th series such as 'Breaking Bad' to Transparent to Narcos to 'Game of Thrones' to 24, and now POW (Prisoners of Wars) has changed the experience of television viewing.

Television TV Channels GECs
Star World to air 1-5 of 'Homeland'

Star World and Star World HD is all geared up to air the pulse-pounding action series 'Homeland.' The show tackles geopolitical moral conundrums of our current world. It has recently unveiled the teaser for the upcoming season 6 shows how Carrie Mathison will circumvent around another international...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories