TRAI to conduct open house discussion on broadcast tariff issue
The discussion will be held on October 18 in Delhi
TRAI will hold an open house discussion on the broadcast tariff issue on October 18 at the Scope Convention Centre auditorium in Delhi.
The regulatory authority had issued a consultation paper on ‘Tariff-related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services’. Through the consultation paper, it aimed to ‘fine-tune’ the new tariff order (NTO), which came into effect from February. Considering the ramifications involved, the consultation paper has received comments from a large number of individuals, organisations, and companies. TRAI received 282 comments with a large number of local cable operators (LCOs) also providing their suggestions on the way forward for the NTO.
“The consultation paper has clearly divided the broadcast sector into two groups. While the broadcasters have told the TRAI not to tinker with NTO as it has just been implemented six months. An overwhelming majority of the distribution platform operators (DPOs) have welcomed the points raised by the TRAI in the consultation paper,” TRAI said.
One of the main issues that the TRAI seeks to address through the consultation process is that of mismatch between a la carte and bouquet pricing. The existing regulation has a clause that caps the discount on bouquets offered by the broadcaster at 15%.
TRAI observed that broadcasters are offering bouquets at a discount of up to 70% of the sum of a-la-carte rates of pay channels constituting those bouquets.
As per TRAI, major broadcasters are offering 40-54% discount on various on an average. It also observed that in some cases, broadcasters have declared MRP of their bouquet such that their bouquet price is equal to or less than the MRP of a single channel present in that bouquet.
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has refuted TRAI’s criticism that broadcasters are resorting to heavy discounting to push bouquets.
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