The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued a consultation paper on television broadcasting, raising issues like making conditional access system (CAS) voluntary, subjecting pay channels and advertisements on them to price regulation and a host of quality-related matters.
The regulator said the paper was a sequel to the one released on January 15, and the last date for receiving comments was May 7.
Apart from this, open house consultations on the matter has been scheduled by Trai in Chennai (May 7), Delhi (May 11) and Mumbai (May 15).
Trai sought to know from stakeholders if CAS should at all be introduced for viewing pay channels and whether it should be made voluntary for service providers.
The paper also takes up the practice followed by service operators of offering set-top boxes, their subsidisation and the issue of interpretability of these boxes for cable TV systems.
The regulator has also sought views on whether pay channels should be subjected to price regulations and the methodology used for price determination.
It has also raised the issue of bundling of pay channels into bouquets and a uniform rate of service for cable. It has also sought views on whether the Rs 72 price for basic tier service of cable operations needs to be reviewed.
Trai has also sought the views of stakeholders on whether advertisements on pay and free-to-air channels be regulated and should advertisements be at all allowed on pay channels.
It has also brought into focus the issue of denial of signal of TV channels to cable or direct-to-home (DTH) operators and MSOs denying carriage of channels, asking opinions on whether this would be deemed anti-competitive.
The paper asked if Trai could make it mandatory for the broadcaster to have an open access to their contents on a non-discriminatory basis to all platforms, including cable TV and DTH.