Continuing his arguments on Thursday, Chawla said a broadcaster
could start a channel irrespective of whether there was a
demand for it or not, but an MSO would have to place it as
part of the 500 mandated television channels. He said the
regulations were clear that if a channel had a viewership
of less than 5 per cent of the subscribers, then it could
be taken off the bouquet for up to one year but this meant
that it would still have to be received from the broadcaster.
counsel said every MSO would have to create infrastructure
for carrying 500 channels even if the demand was for much
less, which benefits the broadcasters.
"A broadcaster is free to set up a channel, but I (MSO)
cannot be forced to provide a platform for it even if there
is no demand,' Chawla said.
11A of the regulations says there is no need for a placement
fee to be charged in view of the electronic programme guide
(EPG), but this favoured the broadcasters since Trai had at
the same time mandated that the channels had to be placed
genre-wise in the EPG.
Chawla said, Trai was creating a market for broadcasters through