TRAI says broadcasters misused new regulatory framework
A consultation paper issued by TRAI states, ‘flexibility was misused to throttle market discovery of TV channel prices by giving huge discounts on the bouquets’
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper on tariff related issues for broadcasting and cable services today. The paper stated, ‘In all fairness, a lot much was expected from the broadcasters and the DPOs to use flexibility given under new regulatory framework to address the concerns and aspirations of the consumers. However, given flexibility was misused to throttle market discovery of TV channel prices by giving huge discounts on the bouquets.’
TRAI observed 'the tariff declared by the broadcasters under new regulatory framework that broadcasters are offering bouquets at a discount of upto 70% of the sum of a-la-carte rates of pay channels constituting those bouquets. It indicates that in absence of any restriction on the discount on the offering of bouquets, broadcasters are making prices of a-la-carte channels illusory thereby impacting the a-la-carte choice of channels by consumers.’
The paper added that no restriction on number of channels has created another problem wherein broadcasters and DPOs are offering too -many bouquets. TRAI said that too many bouquets are not only creating confusion among consumers but also becoming a hurdle in choosing the channels by consumers.
‘TRAI had extensive interactions with the stakeholders including consumers and consumer organizations, at vanous forums, wherein stakeholders have also raised certain issues such as variable NCF for different regions, NCF for Multi TV home, discount on long term plan, DD channels as part of one hundred channels etc,’ the paper stated.
TRAI said in order to deliberate upon the issues that have come post implementation of the new regime, the consultation paper has been floated seeking stakeholders' views.
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