TRAI restores Rs 19 MRP cap for inclusion of TV channels in a bouquet

A broadcaster can offer a maximum discount of 45% while pricing its bouquet of pay channels over the sum of MRPs of all the of pay channels in that bouquet

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 22, 2022 3:29 PM  | 6 min read
TV

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff (Third Amendment) Order, 2022 (4 of 2022) and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (2 of 2022).

Below are the main features of the ammendedmend:

  1. In consonance with the complete digitization of the cable TV sector, TRAI on 3rd March 2017 notified the ‘New Regulatory Framework’ for Broadcasting and Cable services. After passing legal scrutiny in Hon’ble Madras High Court and Hon’ble Supreme Court, the new framework came into effect from 29th December 2018
  2. As the New Regulatory Framework changed quite a few business rules, many positives emerged. However, upon implementation of the New Regulatory Framework 2017, TRAI noticed some inadequacies impacting the consumers. To address certain issues that arose after implementation of new regulatory framework, after a due consultation process with stakeholders, TRAI on 01.01.2020 notified the New Regulatory Framework 2020. 
  3. Some stakeholders challenged provisions of Tariff Amendment Order 2020, Interconnection Amendment Regulations 2020 and QoS Amendment Regulations 2020 in various High Courts including in the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay and Kerala. Hon’ble High Courts upheld the validity of New Regulatory Framework 2020 except for a few provisions.
  4. The provisions related to Network Capacity Fee (NCF), multi-TV homes and long term subscriptions of New Regulatory Framework 2020, have already been implemented and due benefits are being passed on to the consumer at large. Every consumer now can get 228 TV channels instead of 100 channels earlier, in a maximum NCF of Rs. 130/-. It has enabled consumers to reduce their NCF for availing similar number of channels as per 2017 framework, by an estimated cost varying Rs. 40/- to 50/-. Additionally, the amended NCF for multi-TV homes have enabled further savings to the consumers to the tune of 60% on second (and more) television sets.
  5. However, as per RIOs filed by the broadcasters in November 2021, the new tariffs reflected a common trend i.e., the prices of their most popular channels including sports channels were enhanced beyond Rs. 19/-per month. Complying to the extent provisions, as regards the inclusion of pay channels in a bouquet, all such channels those are priced beyond Rs. 12/- per month are kept out of bouquet and are offered only on a-la-carte basis. The revised RIOs as filed indicate a wide-scale changes in composition of almost all the bouquets being offered.
  6. Immediately after new tariffs were announced, TRAI received representations from Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs), Associations of Local Cable Operators (LCOs) and Consumer Organizations. DPOs highlighted difficulties likely to be faced by them in implementing new rates in the system and migrating the consumers to the new tariff regime through the informed exercise of options impacting almost all bouquets, especially due to upward revision in the rates of pay channels and bouquets declared by broadcasters. Therefore, TRAI engaged with all the different associations and consumer groups including representatives of LCOs.
  7. To deliberate on the various issues related to implementation of New Regulatory Framework 2020 and suggest a way forward, a committee consisting of members from Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF), All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) & DTH Association was constituted under the aegis of TRAI.
  8. The purpose of the Committee was to facilitate discussions among various stakeholders to come out on a common agreed path for smooth implementation of Tariff Amendment Order 2020. Stakeholders were advised to come out with an implementation plan with minimum disruptions and hassles to the consumers while implementing the New Regulatory Framework 2020.
  9. The Committee listed several issues related to New Regulatory Framework 2020 for consideration. The stakeholders, however, requested TRAI to immediately address critical issues which could create impediments for smooth implementation of Tariff Amendment Order 2020.
  10. In order to address the issues as identified by the stakeholders’ committee; TRAI issued a consultation paper for seeking stakeholders’ comments on points / issues which are pending for full implementation of New Regulatory Framework 2020. The consultation paper sought comments and suggestions from various stakeholders, on issues related to discount given in the formation of the bouquet, ceiling price of channels for inclusion in bouquet, and discount offered by broadcasters to DPOs in addition to distribution fee. 
  11. The Authority analysed the comments of the stakeholders and to protect the interests of consumers has notified the amendments to Tariff Order 2017 and Interconnection Regulations 2017. The main features of the amendments are as follows:
    *Continuance of forbearance on MRP of TV channels
    *Only those channels which are having MRP of Rs.19/- or less will be permitted to be part of a bouquet.
    *A broadcaster can offer a maximum discount of 45% while pricing its bouquet of pay channels over the sum of MRPs of all the of pay channels in that bouquet. 
    *Discount offered as an incentive by a broadcaster on the maximum retail price of a pay channel shall be based on combined subscription of that channel both in a-la-carte as well as in bouquets. 
  12. All the broadcasters shall report to the Authority, any change in name, nature, language, MRP per month of channels, and composition and MRP of bouquets of channels, by 16th December 2022, and simultaneously publish such information on their websites. The broadcasters who have already submitted their RIOs in compliance of the New Regulatory Framework 2020 may also revise their RIOs by 16th December 2022. 
  13. All the distributors of television channels shall report to the Authority, DRP of pay channels and bouquets of pay channels, and composition of bouquets of pay and FTA channels, by 1st January 2023, and simultaneously publish such information on their websites. DPOs who have already submitted their RIOs in compliance of the New Regulatory Framework 2020 may also revise their RIOs by 1st January 2023.
  14. All the distributors of television channels shall ensure that services to the subscribers, with effect from 1st February 2023, are provided as per the bouquets or channels opted by them.

  15. TRAI in the present amendments, addressed only those critical issues which were suggested by the Stakeholders’ Committee to avoid inconvenience to consumers while implementing the Tariff Amendment Order 2020. The Stakeholders’ Committee also listed other issues for subsequent consideration by TRAI. In addition, the Authority held multiple meetings with representatives of LCOs including an online meeting which was attended by more than 200 LCOs from across the country. Several issues were put forward during these meetings. TRAI has noted the suggestions and may take further suitable measures to address the ensuing issues, if the situation warrants.


    Meanwhile, reacting to the ammenmends, K Madhavan, President of the Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation and Country Manager and President of Disney Star, said, "NTO 2.0 is the outcome of the strong collaboration between industry and TRAI under the leadership of Dr. PD Vaghela (TRAi Chairman). Rather than pursue a litigative approach to address pending demands, our approach of engaging in constructive dialogue has allowed us to make strong progress in creating a more conducive environment for the industry on the pricing front. We remain confident of moving to an environment of regulatory forbearance.”

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    Will always remember that red mike: Ravish Kumar

    The subscriber count of Kumar's YouTube channel has gone up from 7 lakh to more than 15 lakh in a day since he put out a video talking about his resignation from NDTV

    By exchange4media Staff | Dec 1, 2022 3:44 PM   |   3 min read

    Ravish Kumar

    A day after announcing his resignation from NDTV, veteran journalist Ravish Kumar has released a video on his YouTube channel, saying “he will always remember that red mike.”

    In the heartfelt video uploaded on his YouTube channel called Ravish Kumar Official, the journalist said, “9 PM used to be on my mind as soon as I woke up in the morning. But now there will be no 9 PM, no prime-time.”

    “I don't know what I will do at 9 PM now. I love television. I will always remember that red mike.”

    Thanking people for giving him love and support, Kumar said, “At a time when the people in power tried to silence my voice, it was the people of the country that showed immense love towards me. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without my viewers. I urge them all to continue supporting my work, which will now be on my  YouTube channel and Facebook page,” Kumar said in his video. Kumar shared that viewers have been his real editor, who have praised him for good work as well as expressed disappointement when his work was not good enough.

    Kumar shared that it is the viewers' support which is allowing many journalists to express their views on Youtube and Twitter fearlessly. "You have been supporting many websites through subscription. In today's times, viewers are the biggest institutions of journalism. Journalism does not exist in instituions these days, it exists in the people. It is because of the support of the viewers that journalists are today asking questions fearlessly. This has been the biggest contribution of you viewers to journalism."  

    "It is possible that someone might trample the voice of the people, trample the democracy, but you viewers give us strength. I am proud of you viewers." 

    Commenting on the state of journalism in the country, the journalist said, "Media today has beome the voice of the powerful and not the people. The media in India has changed. The ecosystem of journalism in India is dying. The youngsters who are studying to become journalists will have to do the job of brokers.”

    Looking back at his 26-year-long journey at NDTV, Kumar said he joined the channel in 1996 as a translator. In his initial days at the channel, he said,  his job was to go through the letters written by viewers. “I still do that. Even today, you send thousands of messages…I even get handwritten letters!”

    Kumar also made a special mention of his women colleagues. "On this day, i would specially want to remember my women colleagues. The honesty and ethics with which they work is commendable, he said.

    Ending his long journey with NDTV India, Kumar on Wednesday resigned as its senior executive editor.

    In an internal mail, the channel stated that Ravish’s resignation came into effect immediately. “Few journalists have impacted people as much as Ravish did. This reflects in the immense feedback about him — in the ‘crowds he draws everywhere; in the prestigious awards and recognition he has received, within India and internationally,” read the mail. “Ravish has been an integral part of NDTV for decades, his contribution has been immense, and we know he will be successful as he embarks on a new beginning,” the mail read.

    The subscriber count of Kumar's YouTube channel has gone up from 7 lakh to more than 15 lakh in a day after his resignation from NDTV.

     

     

     

     

     

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    ‘Upset, uncomfortable and definitely in pain’

    Yash Chawla, Digital Account Strategist at Google and a former employee of NDTV, shares his feeling on Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy exiting NDTV holding company RRPR

    By exchange4media Staff | Dec 1, 2022 3:18 PM   |   2 min read

    Yash Chawla

    “I’m upset, uncomfortable and definitely in pain. It’s not because of a certain organization’s takeover of NDTV but due to the exit of Prannoy Roy, said Yash Chawla, Google Digital Account Strategist at Google and a former employee of NDTV.

    Putting up a post on his LinkedIn profile about the founder Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy exiting NDTV holding company RRPR after a takeover by the Adani Group, Chawla remembered his time at the company and his interactions with the Roys.

    “It’s a weird feeling. I’m upset, uncomfortable and definitely in pain. It’s not because of a certain organization’s takeover of NDTV but due to the exit of Prannoy Roy.

    I still remember my first interaction with this maverick story teller. ‘Don’t chase what the Govt is trying to tell you, that’s propaganda, always go for what the govt is trying to hide from you, THAT IS NEWS’,” he wrote.

    “There was a learning in every single interaction with Doc whether it was over coffee, chai or Nimbu Pani. Thank you for the opportunity. My life changed when I joined this beautiful organization some 15 years ago and it was a privilege to learn and grow here for close to a decade. Made some amazing friends, some relations for life and found my partner in crime Namita Mittal for this lifetime and beyond!,” he added.

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    Licences of three MSOs cancelled in a month

    Total number of registered MSOs stand at 1748 as of November 30, 2022

    By exchange4media Staff | Dec 1, 2022 3:03 PM   |   1 min read

    TV

    The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) cancelled the licences of three multi-system operators (MSOs) in a month, October 31 and November 30, 2022. Amaravara Indigital Media Services, Star Digital Cable Network and Digital Homecast Network had their MSO licence cancelled.

    Further, the ministry granted only one new MSO licence between October 31, 2022 and November 30, 2022. ST Broadband Cable Service is the only MSO to receive the new licence on November 11, 2022. 

    MIB also granted three provisional registration to Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd, Godfather Communication Pvt. Ltd and M/s Intermedia Cable Communication Pvt. Ltd.  

    Also, MIB closed the application of SITI Digital Home Cast Narwana Pvt. Ltd. as the applicant failed to submit requisite documents. 

    The total number of registered MSOs has declined to 1748 as of November 30, 2022 from 1753 on October 31, 2022. 

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    NDTV will forever be associated with the Roys: Rajdeep Sardesai

    Senior Indian Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai wistfully remembers the contributions of Prannoy and Radhika Roy to the Indian TV news ecosystem

    By exchange4media Staff | Dec 1, 2022 2:41 PM   |   4 min read

    rajdeep

    The Indian media landscape has undergone a big shift in recent days following Adani Group's acquisition of NDTV. After the media group's promoter firm RRPR Holding Private Limited transferred 99.5% of its stocks to Adani Group, founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy stepped down as its directors, marking a watershed moment in the world of Indian news media.

    The Roys have played an instrumental role in shaping the Indian news media ecosystem. In 1984, they co-founded NDTV, which pioneered independent news broadcasting in India. It is also launched the first 24X7 news channel and lifestyle channel in the country.

    Their stepping down has caused a mixed reaction amidst the media fratnernity, among them is senior India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, who remembers Roys' contributions wistfully.

    He shared a Facebook post in which he recollected fond memories of working with the Roys.

    "There are times in life you ask: yeh kahan aa gaye hum! Last night was one such. On the road in Gujarat through the day, I returned totally fatigued to the hotel room to read the news of Prannoy and Radhika Roy having resigned from the board of the NDTV holding company. A flash of emotions, sentimentality and a wave of nostalgia gripped me but most of all, a sense of acute sadness."

    When the history of Indian tv news is written the Roys will get pride of place along with likes of Aroon Purie as early pioneers. The Roys commitment to building a news institution that nurtured talent and gave so many of us the wings to fly and soar will remain their abiding legacy. In particular, I will always respect the genuinely humane manner in which every staff member was treated through good times and bad, one reason why NDTV was always ‘family’ for so many, an egalitarian work ethic in which the cameraperson or OB driver often became your buddy for life.

    At a personal level, doing live elections with Dr Roy remains an unforgettable memory as does the opportunity to be part of the team that built a network that became a household name . I am just grateful for having been part of those heady days. Maybe it was a quieter, gentler time with less manic competition, maybe we didn’t always get it right but it was surely a period when we didn’t have to look over our shoulder to worry about who in power might be offended by a story or a sharp remark in a live debate.

    I don’t know what lies ahead for NDTV and the Roys but I will always be their well wisher and admirer. Eight years ago, I saw a channel/network that one had worked to build from scratch being taken over overnight leading to a forced exit : it took me some time to get over it, made me realise who my friends really are but I now believe that it’s all part of life’s uncertain journey: main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya is a life anthem!.

    NDTV will now have new owners with their own ideas but the name will forever be associated with the Roys who put their sweat and toil to take a small operation from a GK 1 basement where I first joined in 1994 into a vibrant national network. Let me not say too much more at this moment but leave this post with a photo that says it all: 1998-99 in a general election at the time.

    Guess the figure on the extreme left! As I said: kahan Gaye woh din when a tv studio was space for intelligent conversation with alternate viewpoints and no one being dubbed ‘anti national’! As for those on social media who are rejoicing today. , go get a life. Better still, build a channel of your own!"

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    'NDTV's legacy carries in each one of us'

    Tehseen Zaidi, Head, Communications, Syngenta India, writes on Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy resigning from the RRPR board

    By Tehseen Zaidi | Dec 1, 2022 2:52 PM   |   3 min read

    NDTV

    Tehseen Zaidi, who was formerly with NDTV, has put up a social media post on the resigning of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from the RRPR board.

    End of an era!!!!!! End of an honest television journalism nurtured and promoted by prannoy Roy If the news of Dr Roy resigning is true then its an end of an institution & a big family which Dr Roy and Mrs Roy together created & nurtured. On my last day at NDTV I went teary eyed & got a warm hug from Dr Roy, Mrs Roy and my mentor Sonia Singh who motivated me & encouraged me to take up the new assignment. I refused to work at a competitor organisation who offered me 40 percent hike as I felt I will not have the courage to be an NDTV competitor & chose to join an NGO. My only sentence while saying good bye was apart from anything else I was in love with the staircase from where I will go to my workstation.

    Seeing NDTV been taken over for me is like standing in the rubble of my childhood home after an earthquake. I know things are happening for better but the nostalgia is there. NDTV's legacy carries in each one of us, wherever we go we take our learnings and values of NDTV with us. NDTV is and will be a family with loads of love, affection, discipline & care inculcated in each one of us by @Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy (Mrs Roy as we lovingly call her). I will like to start with 1) as a youngster who joined media out of passion and the love for NDTV, it was a dream come true. After few months of working with NDTV I learnt ethical reporting - reporting which is factually correct, we never bothered about TRPs, content - ethical news was foremost. Dr Roy refused to put the 26/11 visuals saying he doesn’t want TRPs and told me not to make this mistake as it will put many lives at stake.

    2) I found my life partner at NDTV. It was the only media house who encouraged couples and had a creche facility with Dr Nazli personally taking care of each and every aspect from deworming of kids to their study & playtime. 7 dedicated employees to take care of kids round the clock, we had the liberty to walk into the NDTV creche & feed our kids, play with them anytime. Because of NDTV I had a work life balance. 6 months maternity was only provided by NDTV along with maternity benefits.

    3) All our meals were taken care by NDTV and it was one big family who was always there to help and support anyway. Dr Roy told us to address the office assitants and driver as 'Sir', that is the kind of values we learnt at NDTV. Our birthdays were specially celebrated at NDTV, we used to cut cakes together. Dr Roy knew all of us personally & used to address us by our first names. Whenever we meet he will open the door for me to step in and then will in his polite tone ask- when are you making kebabs for us.

    Special pick and drop was available for female employees working late hours. Guards were instructed to escort us till our house in the drop-back. While waiting for an interview outside a minister's house we will receive all our meals, juices and fruits nicely packed. I hope NDTV will be able to maintain the same standards with or without Prannoy Roy.

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    MIB caps no. of PS channels for MSOs at 5% of total channel carrying capacity

    MSOs providing platform services channels are also required to apply for registration of their PS channels with the MIB

    By exchange4media Staff | Dec 1, 2022 1:42 PM   |   3 min read

    TV

    The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has decided to prescribe guidelines for the regulation of platform services offered by Multi-System Operators (MSOs).

    Now, all MSOs providing platform services channels are required to apply for registration of their PS channels with MIB on www.ncw.broadcastscva.gov.in portal and are to comply with the guidelines prescribed by the government. 

    The Cable television Networks Rules, 1994, permit Multi-System Operators to transmit their own programming service, either directly to their own subscribers or through one or more Local Cable Operators. These own programming services referred to as 'Platform Services (PS)', which also include most 'local channels', are exclusive programming services being generated at the local level offered by MSOs. 

    The guidelines for Regulation of Platform Services offered by Multi-System Operators says that all MSOs shall register their PS channels online with the MIB on the Broadcast Seva portal with a one-time registration fee Rs 1000 per PS channel.

    Also, the validity of the registration of PS channels shall be coterminous with the registration of the MSO. Extension of the registration / period of the MSO would simultaneously extend the validity of the registered PS channels offered; consequently, there is no renewal requirement for the registration of PS channels.

    All MSOs are required to be security cleared for offering PS channels. If at any time MIB obtains security clearance, it is determined that the programming service offered on PS and which has been registered on the online system is inimical to India's national security or to the public interest. MIB may require the MSO to withdraw from the distribution of the PS Channel or the programming service or cancel the registration. Security clearance will also be required whenever there is a change in ownership control of an MSO entity. 

    MSOs providing platform services shall make full disclosure about the ownership status and comply with the Programme and Advertising codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

    MSOs shall ensure that no registered TV channel is waitlisted for want of carrying capacity at their level. Subject to this condition, the total number of permitted PS for MSO shall be capped to 5% of the total channel carrying capacity of the MSO including PS of LCOs. 

    The first violation of the PS Guidelines shall lead to a prohibition on transmission of the PS channel for a period of up to 30 days; for the second violation, the prohibition shall be for 90 days.

    For the third violation, the registration of the PS shall be revoked and the channel concerned shall not be transmitted. Consequently, the number of PS channels that the MSO can transmit thereafter will be appropriately reduced.

    MSOs offering PS are to comply with the above regulatory framework within 12 months from the date of issue of these guidelines.

     

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    All about the new directors on the Board of RRPR

    Sanjay Pugalia, Senthil Chengalvarayan and Sudipta Bhattacharya are the three new directors

    By exchange4media Staff | Nov 30, 2022 4:57 PM   |   2 min read

    adani

    After the resignation of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy as directors on the Board of RRPR Holding Private Limited on Tuesday, Sanjay Pugalia & Senthil Sinniah Chengalvarayan were appointed as the new directors on Board with immediate effect.

    Radhika and Prannoy Roy held a total of 61.45% stake in NDTV including 29.18% through RRPRH. Now, Roys together own a 32.26% stake in their individual capacity. Radhika Roy has a 16.32% stake while Prannoy Roy’s stake in the company is 15.94%.

    Sanjay Pugalia is a veteran journalist and is also the editorial director at Quintillion Business Media Ltd., a business and financial news company. Pugalia is the chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of AMG Media. Adani Enterprises inducted the veteran journalist as the CEO and editor-in-chief to lead the Group’s media initiatives in 2021.

    Last September, Pugalia, a veteran journalist, stepped down as president of Quint Digital Media Ltd and was appointed by Adani Enterprises as CEO and editor-in-chief to lead the Group’s media-related initiatives.
    Pugalia has launched and headed CNBC-Awaaz for 12 years. As news director, Pugalia set up Star News in Hindi and was part of the founding team of AajTak.

    Senthil Chengalvarayan is also a trusted name in India's business journalism. He comes with over 35 years of experience in business news journalism and was the founding editor of CNBC TV18. Chengalvarayan has also been the editor-in-chief of Network 18’s business newsroom.

    Sudipta Bhattacharya is the chief executive officer (CEO) of North America for the Adani group. He is also the chief technology officer of the group.
    Prior to his current assignments at the group, Bhattacharya was the CEO of Adani Ports and SEZ and chief strategy officer for the group.

    Before joining the Adani Group, he was the CEO of engineering and IT company Invensys' software business. Invensys is now part of Schneider Electric. Before this, Bhattacharya was the senior vice-president of SAP's supply chain management, manufacturing and engineering product portfolio.
    He has also worked with the Tata group for 10 years, leading chemical plant operations, engineering projects and supply chain operations.

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