Blackout of TV channels in nobody’s interest: R S Sharma, TRAI Chairman

As the new tariff rule kicks in on December 29, there is a fear of an imminent blackout of some channels

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 26, 2018 8:42 AM

As per the recent tariff order notified by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the new pay channel price structure is all set to come in place in three days from today.

TRAI’s new regulations on paid and free-to-air channels will come into effect at midnight on December 28. From December 29, viewers will be able to choose what they want to pay for and will not have to subscribe to channels they never watch. 

As the new regulation kicks in, there is a fear of an imminent blackout of some channels. However, speaking to a publication recently, R S Sharma, Chairman TRAI, ruled out the threat of any blackout.

“We are working on a 20-day transition plan, which we have broadly agreed upon. We will officially come out with it soon. Basically, it says don’t disconnect the channels on January 1,” Sharma reportedly stated.

Speaking about the threat of blackout, Sharma was quoted as saying, “It is in nobody’s interest, so I don’t think it will be there.”

In a recent public statement, TRAI had asserted that the implementation of the new framework for broadcasting and cable services would lead to lower prices for TV viewers, even as it slammed the "misinformation campaign" being carried out by some to fuel "hyperbolic fear" among consumers.

The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view and requires TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price (MRP) of channels individually and that of bouquets.

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