Regulators

TRAI says no blackout of TV channels on 29 December

The authority has advised all service providers to ensure there is no disruption of TV services

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MUMBAI: Speculations have been rife about a complete blackout of TV channels on December 29 following the Supreme Court orders of implementing a new tariff regime, as the system allegedly is not ready for such a big move. Squashing all such rumours, regulator TRAI has asserted that it has advised all the broadcasters, DPOs, and LCOs to ensure there is no disruption of TV services.

It says in the release, “The authority is seized of the matter and hereby advises that all broadcasters/DPOs/LCOs will ensure that any channel that a consumer is watching today is not discontinued on 29.12.2018. Hence, there will be no disruption of TV services due to implementation of the new regulatory framework.”

The release further reads, “Keeping in view the interest of the subscribers and to enable a smooth transition, the authority is preparing a detailed migration plan for all the existing subscribers. The migration plan will provide ample opportunity to each and every subscriber for making informed choice. This will also enable service providers in carrying out the various activities as stipulated in the new regulatory framework in a time-bound manner.”

As per TRAI, the new tariff order will give consumers the power to choose and will also lower the prices for TV channels. This new framework allows them to select and pick channels that they like to watch and pay accordingly. It also requires the TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price (MRP) of their respective channels and also of the channel bouquets. As per the Supreme Court verdict of 30 October 2018, the service providers were advised to complete the preparation for migration to the new framework by 28 December 2018.

Earlier, as well, TRAI had asked the broadcasters to work closely with all the service providers to ensure a hassle-free transformation, in the interest of the consumers.

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