Regulators

TRAI assuages broadcaster fears of NTO review consultation paper at VBS 2019

Says that it will not bring any fundamental changes to the regulatory framework.

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MUMBAI: Assuaging fears of  media broadcasters, TRAI advisor (Broadcasting and Cable) Arvind Kumar today said at the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) 2019 that the new consultation paper on broadcast tariffs is only seeking to address some infirmities in the earlier New Tariff Order (NTO) and will not bring any fundamental changes  to the regulatory framework.

“Broadcasters should rest assured that the new consultation paper will not seek to decide their channel prices. The only objective of the new consultation paper is to open a debate on how the NTO is impacting the industry and to address some of the infirmities in the NTO,” Kumar said.

Rejecting industry criticism of floating a consultation paper within months of February NTO, described by many as one of the most fundamental reform in Indian media broadcast industry, Kumar said that serving the interests of the consumers is at the heart of new consultation paper.

“Consumer interest cannot be ignored in the name of regulatory certainties,” he said, adding as a regulatory body maximization of revenues is not the only objective of TRAI and serving the interests of consumers comes first to TRAI.

Commending the fundamental changes brought forward by the NTO, Kumar said that the order has brough transparency to the media broadcast industry.

“Main objective of the industry was transparency and to create a level-playing field for everyone. NTO has empowered the consumer by giving him choice,” he said at VBS 2019, being held today at Hyatt Regency.

Further, the new system has harmonized the business processes, Kumar said as he commended the industry leaders for successfully transiting to post NTO environment.

The much-anticipated VBS 2019 will is being held today in Mumbai with participation from prominent media networks, broadcast distributors, media and advertising agencies, consultancy services, OTT platforms, media monitoring firms, as well as government regulatory bodies.

Among the prominent media networks who will be participating in the summit are Sony Pictures Network, Star India, 9x Media, Enterr10 TV, BBC Global News, IN10 Media, Shemaroo and Zee. From the distributors side DEN Network, Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation, Fastway Transmissions, GTPL Hathway, Tata Sky, SITI Networks, UCN Cable and Ashwini Cable will be participating in the one-day summit at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.

Representatives of India’s prominent media agencies like IndiaCast Media, MediaKind, The Remediation Company, IndusInd Media and Communication, One Take Media, Madison Media will be participating in the event held in the shadows of TRAI’s February 2019 New Tariff Order (NTO) and amidst expectations and fears of further changes to the months-old act, described by many as one of the most significant reform in Indian media broadcast industry.

There will be representation from auditing firms like PwC and KPMG as well. Since broadband service providers are now key to video distribution, there will also be representation from Google, Reliance Jio Fiber, Reliance Jio and Win Broadband.

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