New Delhi: A first order approximation, as per the new notification of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which would come into effect starting from January 1, is likely to raise the monthly cable or DTH (direct to home) bill of India’s TV consumers.
The new tariff order for the broadcast sector gives consumers the option to select and pay only for their preferred TV channels at the maximum retail price (MRP) set by the respective broadcasters.
In the last few days, all the TV networks have come out with the a-la-carte MRP of their channels.
The major broadcasters have also come up with their own bouquets that attach non-performing or non-popular channels with the driver or flagship channels. The sum of these MRPs develops to be higher than the erstwhile prices.
It is important to note that the intention of Trai with the new regulation was to make the entire framework completely transparent, provide choice to consumers, and ensure a fair deal among audience.
Addressing the issue, RS Sharma, chairman of TRAI had earlier said: “Customers should get the choice to select the channels they want to view and no channel should be shoved down the throat of the customer.”
However, with no cap currently on discounting of bouquets (the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court) the broadcasters have kept the MRP of popular channels between Rs 15 - 19.
Effectively, even if a consumer decides to opt for 50 popular channels, they will end up paying equal or more than the current monthly bill.