TRAI issues separate tariff for commercial subscribers under DAS & non-DAS areas

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued separate tariff orders for commercial subscribers under digital addressable systems (DAS) and non-DAS areas.

TRAI described a ?commercial subscriber? as one ?who causes the signals of TV channels to be heard or seen by any person for a specific sum of money to be paid by such person.? 

The definition is contained in two Tariff Amendment Orders (TAO) relating to TV services for commercial subscribers, one applicable for TV services being provided through analogue cable TV systems (Non-CAS areas) and the other one applicable for TV services being provided through Digital Addressable cable TV systems were notified today.

The amendments are to the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Second) tariff (Twelfth Amendment) order & the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Fourth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff (Fourth Amendment) order.

For definition of ordinary subscriber, the notification simply says anyone who is not a commercial subscriber under its definition is an ordinary subscriber. 

Total forbearance has been prescribed both at the wholesale and retail level with respect to tariffs for commercial subscribers and broadcasters have the option to enter into tripartite agreements with the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) and the commercial subscribers, if so desired.

The order says that a broadcaster will offer all its pay channels, for commercial subscribers on a-la-carte basis to distributors of TV channels, and may specify separate a-la-carte rate for each pay channel.

This is provided the broadcaster may also offer all its pay channels as part of bouquet consisting of pay channels or both pay and free to air (FTA) channels and specify the rate for each such bouquet of channels offered by it; and a broadcaster may enter into a tripartite agreement with the distributors of TV channels and the commercial subscribers for supply of signals of TV channels to the commercial subscribers.

Broadcasters have been mandated to offer their channels or bouquet of channels for commercial subscribers on non-discriminatory terms and conditions. 

Broadcasters have also been mandated to file their tripartite agreements, if such agreement is done with commercial subscribers, with TRAI within 30 days of entering into such agreement.

TV signals to commercial subscribers have to be provided by DPOs only in accordance with policy guidelines for up-linking and down-linking of television channels.

Following directions by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) on 9 March that there was need for a fresh look at tariff orders, TRAI had issued a new paper on "Tariff issues related to Commercial Subscribers." Stakeholders had been asked to give their comments by 31 July and counter-comments by 7 August and had then held an Open House on 18 August.

The case in TDSAT had been filed by Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and others last year. The tariff orders challenged by IBF were issued on 16 July last year following the Supreme Court's order of 16 April, 2014.

TRAI said in a press release that it ?expected that with the coming into force of these changes in the regulatory framework for commercial subscribers, distribution of TV services to commercial subscribers would be streamlined and would be available to them at competitive rates. It is also envisaged that it would balance the interests of all the stakeholders in the value chain and bring in complete transparency in the business transactions.?

In the consultation paper, TRAI had asked commercial subscribers whether there is need to define and differentiate between domestic and commercial subscribers for provision of TV signals and the basis for such classification. TRAI wanted to know how it can be ensured that TV signal feed is not misused for commercial purposes wherein the signal has been provided for non-commercial purpose.

It had also asked if there is a need to have a different tariff framework for commercial subscribers (both at wholesale and retail levels) and what should be the suggested tariff framework for commercial subscribers (both at wholesale and retail levels).

Latest Reads
TRAI releases paper on OTT expanding its definition

India’s telecom and broadcast regulator TRAI today released another consultation paper on OTT services seeking to expand the definition of the sector and also the regulator’s jurisdiction over a sector hitherto “unregulated”.

Regulators TRAI
MIB extends feedback deadline date on mandatory sports feed sharing norms

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has extended the deadline to give feedback on the draft sports broadcasting signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharti) (Amendment) Bill, 2018 till 31 December 2018.

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB gives permission to two new channels - Khalsa and Nireekshana TV

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) after being lenient for couple of months in awarding channel licenses, is back to being strict. In the month of October, two new channels received licenses while none saw their licenses cancelled as on 31 October 2018.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI, telco chiefs to meet in December over OTT regulation

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is scheduled to meet top executives of telcos in the month of December.

Regulators TRAI
SC upholds TRAI Act over Copyright Act in tariff order case

The two-judge bench of the apex court with Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Navin Sinha dismissed the Star India’s appeal against Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recent tariff order. The principal area of the argument by the broadcaster was that the pricing of the content cannot be...

Regulators Supreme Court
AIDCF welcomes Supreme Court judgement which upholds TRAI jurisdiction

In the matter of the new Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations as notified by TRAI in March 2017, the Supreme Court has today upheld the jurisdiction of TRAI to frame the above mentioned regulations.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI wins tariff order case in Supreme Court

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come on tops in the long running battle between it and broadcaster, cable, DTH operators on whether it has pricing of content comes under its purview. The Supreme Court has finally given the long-awaiting verdict on Star India versus Telecom Regulatory...

Regulators TRAI
MIB proposes to change mandatory sports feed sharing norms

In what could have far reaching effects on the financial viability of sports TV channels or streaming platforms, which acquire exlcusive rights for sporting events for the India region spending billions of dollars.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TDSAT asks SPN, Tata Sky to reach an agreement in 4 weeks

The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has heard the case on the recent commercial dispute between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Tata Sky on a failed negotiation. TDSAT heard the case on 11 October and advised the parties to take four weeks to try and reach a mutually...

Regulators TDSAT

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories