Television

Trai fixes revenue share for stakeholders; carriage fee to stay with MSOs

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NEW DELHI: The Indian broadcast regulator has finally legitimised carriage fee or the payment TV channels make to be on tunable bandwidths and cable networks. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also set the revenue sharing model for industry stakeholders.

Trai said today that from the revenue generated from pay channels, broadcasters will keep 45 per cent, multi system operators (MSOs) 30 per cent cable operators 25 per cent.

Additionally, carriage fee is to be retained fully by MSOs, while the basic tier services fee will be retained fully by local cable operators.
MSOs, according to Trai, can operate throughout a CAS area without any restriction on area of operation.

The objective of having standard interconnection agreements is to ensure that implementation of CAS does not get delayed in case service providers fail to enter into mutually acceptable interconnection agreements through negotiation within the stipulated time.

In a statement, the regulator said that apart from providing standard interconnection agreements, those dated 10.12.2004 have also been amended to prohibit such clauses in interconnection agreements that would require a distributor of TV channels using an addressable system to pay a minimum guaranteed amount as subscription fee.

Some of the highlights of the standard interconnection agreements are as follows:

# The service providers are at a liberty to enter into mutually acceptable interconnection agreements which are different from the standard interconnection agreements

# If any of the service providers in the CAS areas are not able to arrive at a mutually acceptable interconnection agreement within a time-period specified by the Authority, then they shall be required to enter into interconnection agreements as per the standard interconnection agreements

# The standard interconnection agreements between broadcasters and multi system operators have been provided only for pay channels.

# Term of standard interconnection agreements to be 12 months.

# All service providers in CAS areas who do not have pre-existing interconnection agreements as on the date of issue of this Regulation and who are not able to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement shall enter into interconnection agreements as per standard agreements within 10 days of the receipt of permission by MSOs from the government.

# All the service providers in CAS areas who have a pre-existing interconnection agreement appropriate for operating in a CAS area as on the date of issue of this regulation, but are unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement within 30 days of the expiry of the pre-existing interconnection agreement, shall enter into standard interconnection agreements within 30 days of the expiry of the pre-existing interconnection agreement.

Other details of the regulator's latest directives on interconnect are available on www.trai.gov.in.

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