Broadcasting companies urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to adopt a pro-competition and free-market approach in handling the pay-TV channel pricing issue.
They added that the regulator should also avoid administered pricing of channels.
In a presentation to the Trai, the broadcasters — under the aegis of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) — said the Trai should not take steps to restrict advertisement revenues as it would stifle the industry’s growth and its ability to reinvest.
The broadcasters have also petitioned the regulator to take steps to foster competition among the cable service providers through multiple operators or technologies.
The broadcasters have asked the regulator to encourage other distribution platforms, like the direct-to-home and broadband, to bring in additional distribution technologies.
They also feel that the interim order on pricing of pay channels without consulting the players has resulted in uncertainty leading to potential litigation among the stakeholders and confusion among the consumers.
Referring to bundling and packaging of channels, the broadcasters have said distinctions were needed between bundling and packaging of channels in a manner to offer additional value.
Pointing out the advantages of bouquets, broadcasters have said that they are the most cost effective delivery mechanism and multiple platforms the consumers will have a choice and may go for value-added packages.
Appealing to the regulator not to get into the administered revenue share agreements, broadcasters said revenue sharing agreements and arrangement should be left to the market.
With regard to conditional access system (CAS), the broadcasters want the regulator to follow a wait-and-watch policy.