TRAI has today notified two Tariff Amendment Orders (TAO) relating to TV services for commercial subscribers, one applicable for TV services being provided through analog cable TV systems (Non-CAS areas) and the other one applicable for TV services being provided through Digital Addressable cable TV systems (DAS).
In this tariff order TRAI has defined Subscriber, Ordinary Subscriber and Commercial subscriber. The total forbearance has been prescribed both at the wholesale & retail level with respect to tariffs for Commercial subscribers and the broadcasters have the option to enter into tripartite agreements with the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) and the commercial subscribers.
The order also states that Broadcasters have been mandated to offer their channels/bouquet of channels for commercial subscribers, on non-discriminatory terms and conditions and also mandated to file their tripartite agreements, if such agreement is done with commercial subscribers, with the Authority within 30 days of entering into such agreement.
TRAI said that the TV Signal to commercial subscribers have to be provided by DPOs only in accordance with "Policy Guidelines for Up-linking/Down-linking of Television Channels".
The regulator also highlighted that these Tariff Amendment Orders have been notified in accordance with the TDSAT's Order dated 9th March, 2015 in the matter of Indian Broadcasting Foundation& Ors Vs TRAI(Appeal No 7(C)/2014) .
It is expected that with the coming into force of these changes in the regulatory framework for commercial subscribers, distribution of TV services to commercial subscribers would be streamlined and would be available to them at competitive rates. It is also envisaged that it would balance the interests of all the stakeholders in the value chain and bring in complete transparency in the business transactions.