Broadcasters to withdraw petitions challenging Trai on NTO 2.0 in SC

Trai will address broadcasters’ grievances through a consultation process soon.

Mumbai: The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) and its members are likely to withdraw their petitions challenging the New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 in the Supreme Court, sources told The apex court took up broadcasters’ applications for withdrawal of the petition while hearing the matter on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had extended the deadline for implementation of the new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 to 1 June. The previous deadline was 1 April.

Trai had then also allowed broadcasters to revise their reference interconnect offers (RIO) by 28 February and publish the same on their websites. Distribution platform operators (DPOs) were directed to report the distributor retail price and composition of the bouquet of pay channels in compliance with the new regulatory framework by 31 March. Those who have already submitted can revise their RIOs by 31 March.

In response to the earlier deadlines, broadcasters had come out with their new RIOs in October-November last year, preferring to pull their popular channels out of the bouquets instead of reducing the price to or below Rs 12. Though still above the cap, many of these prices were revised down later.

Pertinent in this regard is Trai’s intention to form a committee with representation from leading pay-TV industry associations to ensure smooth implementation of the New Regulatory Framework 2020. In a letter dated 22 December 2021, the regulator has asked the IBDF, All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF), and the DTH association to nominate a maximum of two representatives to be part of the implementation committee.

Prior to this, Trai had in November 2021, notified stakeholders that NTO 2.0 implementation would be delayed until 1 April. Speculations regarding backroom parleys between the telecom regulator and broadcasters to end the impasse have also been in the news lately. 

This copy will be updated.

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