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TRAI clarifies tariff regime didn't restrict Ind-Aus T20I match

It called out rumours as being baseless and incorrect.

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MUMBAI: The thrilling last ball finish in the T20I match between India and Australia on 24 February grabbed the attention of many but was not accessible to the consumers of cable TV networks. This was apparently due to the implementation of the new regulatory framework prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), according to reports in certain sections of the media and other social platforms.

However, TRAI clarified that the tariff regime, in no way inhibited or restricted the telecast of India and Australia T20I cricket match. It stated, “The non-availability or non- transmission of the recent cricket matches (T20I and ODI) being played between India and Australia over the cable networks has nothing to do with implementation of new regulatory framework of TRAI for broadcasting and cable services.”

TRAI also pointed out that the transmission are governed by the Supreme Court judgement dated 22 August 2017.

It also quoted the Supreme Court’s direction stating, “Under Section 3 of the Sports Act, 2007 the live feed received by Prasar Bharati from content rights owners or holders is only for the purpose of re-transmission of the said signals on its own terrestrial and DTH networks and not to cable operators so as to enable the cable TV operators to reach such consumers who have already subscribed to a cable network.”

After the decision of the Supreme Court, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued a notice dated 12 April 2018, asking all the DPOs to display a caption, during the broadcast of sports events of national importance, on DD Sports channel that “The match/ game can be viewed in free-to-air mode on DD Sports channel, on DD FreeDish and DD terrestrial network”.

Therefore, the distribution platform operators (DPOs) have to switch off the DD Sports channel from their cable networks during the period of the matches under the recent India-Australia T20I and ODI series.  

“Therefore, the rumours circulating in some sections of the press or in social media platforms holding TRAI regulations responsible for non-transmission of the cricket matches in cable networks are baseless and incorrect,” TRAI concluded.

Recently, TRAI extended the deadline for consumers to pick their television channels under the new tariff regime till 31 March. The subscribers that don’t opt for new channel would be moved to ‘Best Fit Plans’, which would be developed as per usage pattern, language and channel popularity.

According to TRAI, close to 100 per cent of cable subscribers and 57 per cent of DTH subscribers have been shifted to new packs.

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