Top Story


Home >> Media - TV >> Article

TRAI's amendments to interconnection norms upset MSOs

Font Size   16
TRAI's amendments to interconnection norms upset MSOs

Some amendments made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to the interconnection regulations applicable for Digital Addressable Systems (DAS) as well as the tariff order for DAS have the multi-system operators up in arms.

The amendments highlight three basic things in the DAS agreement, which the MSOs say will adversely impact their business model.

These key highlights are:
• Removal of carrying capacity of 500 channels
• MSOs disallowed from seeking a channel from a broadcaster, while at the same time seeking carriage fees from it
• MSOs forbidden from charging placement fees

Talking to exchange4media, Subhashish Mazumdar, Senior Vice President, In Cable remarked, “Carrying capacity is market driven. MSOs, if they so desire, will carry over 500 channels. However, every increase of channel capacity adds up to the capital cost and sometimes it may not be viable, both in business sense or even customer sense.”

He agreed that seeking a channel from a broadcaster, while at the same time asking for carriage fee was injustice. Mazumdar noted, “This is again based on market needs. If a channel needs advertising revenue, it will try to be there in major networks with maximum reach.”

The amendment in placement fees is the big issue as MSOs are not getting their maximum share in subscription revenues and the debate and evaluation is still going on in TRAI. In order to maintain the balance, MSOs put various channels in different bands such as Prime and Premium, which affects channel visibility.

Commenting on TRAI’s amendment forbidding placement fee, Mazumdar said, “MSOs can decide any placement of channels genre wise. Some broadcasters will have problems. Again these are all mutual business needs.”

While the intention of the regulator in prescribing these conditions is to link the a la carte rate of channels to the bouquet rates in order to ensure effective choice to the consumer, prescription of these conditions, however, does not intend to take away the freedom of the platform operators to price and package their offerings at the retail level.

Talking to exchange4media, Sisir Pillai, Chief Strategy Officer, Digicable felt that the amendment will impact the market a lot. “Abolishing capacity of 500 channels will not work as no one was going to carry it anyway,” he said, adding, “Currently, everybody is carrying 200 channels and if market demands will allow it, we will go beyond 500 channels.”

He further said that various MSOs are in talks and will take up this matter with TRAI soon. If the matter is still not resolved then they might knock at TDSAT’s door to look into the entire issue.

Siddharth Kumar Tewary, Founder, Chief Creative, One Life Studios and Swastik Productions, on owning the IP on his most ambitious project 'Porus,' the risk of recovering its cost and his distribution strategy

Webscale plans to build the brand around smooth operations for the e-commerce sector and then move on to demand generation

Shriya Ghate, Business Head, Tinkle, spills the beans on the company's vision for its special line of merchandise launched to celebrate its 37th anniversary, its pricing, marketing strategies, and more

Vivek Patni, Director of Wonder Cement, on the current marketing strategies and challenges that brand owners face

Viacom 18 promises to announce new release date soon

Luis Fonsi, Rita Ora, Jain of Makeba fame , Dimitri Vegas, Jason Derulo, Charly Black and Dasu, J Balvin, Parineeti Chopra, Tiger & Jackie Shroff speak exclusively to the radio channel

The Film-Maker, as the host of ‘Calling Karan’, Will Be Just A Phone Call Away From Listeners Seeking Advice On Love & Relationship