TRAI has held interactive discussions with broadcasters of pay channels regarding the rates and packaging of channels being offered by them for IPTV service for facilitating faster growth of IPTV service in the country. TRAI had recommended, among others, that the uplinking / downlinking guidelines should be amended to enable the broadcasters to provide signals to all distributors of TV channels, including IPTV service providers. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has conveyed its agreement with the recommendations of the Authority.
Some of the service providers have experienced difficulties in getting TV channels from the broadcasters at prices on which DTH service providers are getting in line with TRAI’s determination of a la carte and bouquet prices on advisory basis. The Authority has held interactive discussions with the broadcasters on the subject. During the course of the discussions, a general consensus to adopt non-discriminatory price regime has emerged on the composition of bouquets and pricing of channels on a la carte and bouquets basis for IPTV services.
The broadcasters have broadly agreed to offer channels on a la carte basis and also offer the same bouquets to the service providers offering IPTV service as are being offered to DTH operators. It was also broadly agreed that the rates of bouquets and a la carte rates of pay channels so offered for IPTV services would be same as being offered to DTH operators, that is, at 50 per cent of the rates applicable for non-CAS cable TV networks.
The Authority’s clear and unambiguous advice was that DTH and IPTV platform should receive similar and uniform treatment as uniquely addressable system. The Authority views this as a positive step on the part of the broadcasters to move towards uniform pricing for different addressable delivery platforms.