Regulators

TRAI recommends DTH platform services be capped to 3% of carrying capacity

The total channels are restricted to 15.

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come out with its recommendations on platform services (PS) offered by DTH operators. It suggests capping the total number of permitted PS for a DTH operator to 3 per cent of the total channel carrying capacity of the DTH operator platform and subject to a maximum of 15 platform services channels.

It also has a new definition for platform services as: “Platform services (PS) are programs transmitted by Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) exclusively to their own subscribers and does not include Doordarshan channels and registered TV channels. PS shall not include foreign TV channels that are not registered in India."

The programme transmitted by the DTH operator as a platform service shall be exclusive and the same shall not be permitted to be shared directly or indirectly with any other DPO. DTH operators shall ensure and provide an undertaking to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that the programme transmitted is exclusive to their platform and not shared directly or indirectly with any other DPO.

In case the same programme is found available on the PS of any other DPO, MIB/TRAI may issue a direction to immediately stop the transmission of such programme. MIB also reserves the right for cancellation of registration of such PS of the DTH operator.

Programme transmitted by the DTH operator as a platform service shall not directly or indirectly include any registered TV channel or Doordarshan channel or foreign TV channel. Time-shift feed of registered TV channels (such as +1 services) shall not be allowed as a platform service.

A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator.

The platform services channels shall be categorised under the genre 'Platform Services' in the Electronic Programmable Guide (EPG. The respective maximum retail price (MRP) of the platform service shall be displayed In the EPG against each platform service.

A provision for putting a caption as 'Platform Services' may be required to distinguish the platform services from the linear channels. The government may decide the caption in a size which is visually readable by the consumers.

TRAI sought suggestions from stakeholders in a notice on 2 July 2019. After which it issued a consultation paper on 28 August 2019. 

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