The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has updated the bouquet rates and a-la-carte rates reported by broadcasters regarding their pay channels for cable TV operations in non-CAS area.
Earlier, TRAI had amended the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Second) Tariff Order, 2004 (principal Tariff Order) on October 4, 2007, and the amendment made by the said amending order came into effect from December 1, 2007.
As per provisions of the principal Tariff Order, as amended by the Eighth Amendment Order, every broadcaster is required to offer all its channels on a-la-carte basis on a non-discriminatory basis to multi-system operators (MSOs)/cable operators for such channels in non-CAS areas. The prevalent bouquets as on December 1, 2007 are required to be offered by the broadcasters. Additional bouquets of channels can also be offered by the broadcasters.
Prices of some of the bouquets are as follows:
1. Bouquet 1 pack – Zee Turner Ltd with channels like Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Cartoon Network, Zee Café and Zee Studio, among others, priced at Rs 61.20
2. Channel Plus’ Bouquet VIII of 16 channels with channels like Sun, Gemini, Udaya, Udaya Music, and Sun News among others, priced at Rs 91.50
3. Sportscaster and Nimbus have priced Neo Sports Plus at Rs 34, while ESPN and Star Sports come for Rs 33.13
4. Channel [v] has been priced at the lowest with its single channel for just Re 1
Several broadcasters of pay channels had inter alia reported earlier the a-la-carte rates and bouquet rates of their channels to the TRAI. In order to ensure that the MSOs and cable operators get the content in a non-discriminatory manner, the scanned copies of the said reportings, excluding the confidential portions, containing the rates reported earlier by the broadcasters were placed on the TRAI website for information of the stakeholders on January 18, 2008.
Subsequently, the regulatory authority had extensive interactive discussion with various broadcasters, who have now voluntarily updated the bouquet rates and a-la-carte rates of their channels for cable TV operation in non-CAS areas. These rates, as reported by the broadcasters, are being placed on TRAI’s website to enable the service providers to have interconnection agreements on non-discriminatory basis among themselves, which would also be beneficial for the consumers and protect their interests.
“It should be noted that these published rates are only meant to provide a basis for appropriate interconnection agreements on non-discriminatory basis between broadcasters on one hand and MSOs/cable operators on the other. These rates as published on TRAI’s website should not be taken as approved by TRAI or as rates applicable at the consumer’s end,” maintained TRAI.