Major broadcasters unveil revised channel rates to comply with TRAI deadline
However, the revised MRP of most channels are not as per TRAI’s Rs 12 limit
With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India having set March 1 as the deadline for broadcasters to unveil the revised tariff rates, some channels have now made public their new price lists.
For instance, Discovery Communications India has changed the MRP of 8 bouquets of pay channels of the network, saying this will be effective from March 5, 2020. It has also discontinued three bouquets priced at Rs 6 and Rs 8.
The broadcaster has also mentioned that the MRP of all a-la-carte pay channels of Discovery Communications India “not expressly included herein shall remain the same unless revised and uploaded on the website of the company as required under Tariff Order”.
Similarly, Sony Pictures Network India has also published the revised rates on its website, effective from March 1, 2020.
However, all the revisions are subject to the final outcome of the writ petition filed by SPNI before the Bombay High Court for a stay on NTO 2.0. The network has mentioned prices of 31 bouquets while the MRP of a-la-carte pay channels remains almost similar. The major channels of the network have been priced at Rs 19, whereas TRAI had said the maximum price should not exceed Rs 12.
The authority has also decided that only channels with an MRP of Rs 12 or less will be permitted to be part of the bouquet offered by broadcasters.
The rates that are currently published on ZEEL’s website says that Reference Inter-Connect Offer (RIO) for the network will be effective from March 1, 2020. However, this RIO/interconnection agreement does not factor the amendments to TRAI regulations since the matter is sub-judice, the network has said. ZEEL currently has over 25 bouquets but the MRP of a-la-carte for most of the pay channels has also been priced at Rs 19.
Star India and Viacom18 too have new bouquets. However, in the case of Viacom18 the MRP of most a-la-carte pay channels remains unchanged.
The case between broadcasters and TRAI over NTO 2.0 before the Bombay High Court has been adjourned eight times with the ninth hearing scheduled to take place today.
On February 12, TRAI had issued a notice, asking all stakeholders to take steps for the smooth transition of NTO 2.0.
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