The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper to start fresh discussion among stakeholders on specific issues of regulation of tariff in Conditional Access System (CAS) areas. TRAI also observed that since Chennai was the only place where CAS was in force, individual channel prices prevailing in Chennai could be used as a benchmark.
After the order of Delhi High Court on March 10, 2006, CAS has again grabbed the attention of the nation. The I&B Ministry held several rounds of talks with the various stakeholders, which failed to solve the issue of pricing of channels under the new regime.
While the broadcasters were not in favour of fixing any a la carte pricing (of individual channels) saying it was against the free market fundamentals, MSOs and cable operators insisted for it, saying it would bring better transparency and help the consumers make the best choice.
To solve this deadlock, TRAI has again invited fresh comments on the issue from all stakeholders and has outlined several alternatives like allowing the broadcaster to fix the MRP of individual channels, and the methodology and principle to be adopted for the same, etc.