TRAI has decided that the Broadcasting and Cable Service operators will have 200 Free To Air Channels at Rs 130 and the providers can charge a maximum of 40% of declared NCF for second and additional TV connections.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given a New Year gift for Television subscribers in India. According to the new TRAI rule, from coming March 1, subscribers will get at least 200 free to air channels for Rs 130 (without tax). That means Television subscribers will get an additional 100 more channels with comparing to the current 100 channels available for Rs 130.
Operators will not be able to charge more than Rs 160 per month to show all free to air channels. TRAI has clarified that these channels do not include those channels which have been declared mandatory by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The number of such channels connected to Doordarshan is 26.
In the new tariff policy issued on Wednesday (1 January), TRAI has clarified that no cable operator will be able to charge more than Rs 160 per month for all free to air channels on one of its platforms. Apart from this, not all TV channels priced above Rs 12 will be part of any bouquet. Customers will be able to take these channels separately. A separate group can be formed for those cable channels that are priced at Rs 12 or less.
This rule will give a lot of relief to those watching cheap TV channels, because many operators used to create a group of all the channels that a customer did not want to watch, after the name of one channel. TRAI introduced a new tariff system last year, in which viewers will pay only for the channels they want to watch.
TRAI has reduced the maximum NCF fee (tax-free) for 200 channels to Rs 130 after reviewing various provisions. Apart from this, TRAI has decided that the channels that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has declared mandatory will not be counted in the number of NCF channels. Apart from this, TRAI has also allowed distribution platform operators (DPOs) to give concession on long term subscription ie six months or more.
Multi TV NCF Charges Reduced by 40%
TRAI also addressed the high Multi TV charges being taken by the DPOs. Earlier in 2019, TRAI said that the operators have the full freedom of providing a discount on NCF for Multi TV users. This made Tata Sky charges full NCF of Rs 153 from every Multi TV user. This made the consumers highlight huge charges taken by DPOs in the form of NCF for a Multi TV home.
As part of the new amendments, TRAI has decided that the operators will charge a maximum of 40% of declared NCF for second and additional TV connections. Authority has also permitted DPOs to offer discounts on long term subscriptions which is for six months or more.
Revised package to be put on the website by January 15
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also confirmed that the broadcasters should revise the prices of their a-la-carte channels by January 15, 2020. DTH and Cable TV operators are required to publish the revised a-la-carte and bouquets on their website by January 30, 2020. Consumers will be able to benefit as per the amendments from March 1, 2020.