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Trai asks Cable TV operators to withdraw legal notice

The Association had filed a legal notice against the increase in the price of TV channels

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Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Tuesday wrote to the Tamil Nadu Digital Cable TV Operators Association to withdraw its legal notice filed through Utkrishtha Law Agency seeking directions for pay channels not to inflate the prices of Cable TV channels.

In a letter dated 4 January, the regulatory body said it had already issued a letter to broadcasters, and distribution platform operators in November 2021 and asked them to report to the authority any change in name, nature, language, MRP per month of channels, the composition of the bouquets of channels as per the New Regulatory Framework 2020 by 31 December 2021. It had also asked them to simultaneously publish such information on their websites.

The plan was to provide enough time for the migration of consumers to the New Regulatory Framework, 2020 to avoid any inconvenience to consumers. The broadcasters who had already submitted their Reference Interconnect Offers (RIOs) in compliance of the New Regulatory Framework, 2020 were also asked to revise their RIOs by 31 December 2021. Further, it informed the Association that there was no permission granted by MIB for OTT platforms at present, therefore, tariff orders issued by Trai are not applicable to OTT platforms.

“In light of this, broadcasters including Star India has intimated about deferment of all changes made in the RIO filed on 15 October 2021. Therefore, you are advised to withdraw the legal notice against Trai,” it wrote.

The Association had filed the legal notice last year, after several TV channels revised their prices, in compliance with Trai’s amended tariff order. The regulatory body had later extended the timeline for implementation of the new order to 1 April, 2022.

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