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3-min read

TRAI’s New Rules For Cable And DTH: Dishtv, Sun Direct and Tata Sky Try to Reduce NCF Burden on Subscribers

The way TRAI had visualized this is that subscribers will pay Rs 130 plus 18% GST for 100 free-to-air and paid channels that they subscribe to, and an additional Rs 20 for up to every 25 channels that they additionally select.

News18.com

Updated:February 18, 2019, 10:43 AM IST
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TRAI’s New Rules For Cable And DTH: Dishtv, Sun Direct and Tata Sky Try to Reduce NCF Burden on Subscribers
The way TRAI had visualized this is that subscribers will pay Rs 130 plus 18% GST for 100 free-to-air and paid channels that they subscribe to, and an additional Rs 20 for up to every 25 channels that they additionally select.
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Even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) continues to fiddle with the rollout of the new tariff guidelines for cable and direct to home (DTH) subscriptions, popular DTH operators Dishtv, Sun Direct and TataSky are updating their new tariff packages yet again in an attempt to reduce the burden of the network capacity fee (NCF) on subscribers.

Sun Direct has announced that it is removing the NCF on free-to-air channels beyond the base subscription pack called FTA 1 Basic which is priced at Rs 130 per month of NCF for 140 channels. This means that if a user wishes to select more free-to-air channels as part of their subscription, they can do so within the Rs 130 per month subscription and not have to pay any extra NCF (which is charged at Rs 20 per 25 channels subsequently)—and Sun Direct offers around 330 free-to-air channels. This, when coupled with some pay channels that a subscriber may sign up for, will certainly be lesser than the cost they would have paid for the same subscription prior to this change by Sun Direct.

Earlier, Dishtv had announced that they are removing the NCF for free-to-air channels when coupled with pay channels in the same subscription, which further reduces the monthly subscription burden for your TV. The amount of savings will vary based on how many and which all channels you pick.

Tata Sky had also announced earlier that they will waive off the NCF for certain free-to-air channels when you select your subscription pack—you will get the complete list when you choose your subscription pack.

With the new tariff regime that came into force this February, cable TV and DTH subscribers have to now additionally something that is known as the network capacity fee, or NCF. The way TRAI had visualized this is that subscribers will pay Rs 130 plus 18% GST for 100 free-to-air and paid channels that they subscribe to, and an additional Rs 20 for up to every 25 channels that they additionally select. The way this works is that you pay Rs 130 plus taxes for 100 channels, and if you choose even one more channel, you will be liable to pay Rs 20 for the next band of 25 channels, irrespective of whether you choose as many as 25 channels are not. For instance on our Tata Sky subscription with up to 175 channels (includes free-to-air and paid channels), the network capacity fee that we pay is Rs 222.

Earlier this month, a report by research firm Crisil had suggested that "The network capacity fee (NCF) and channel prices announced by broadcasters and distributors as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s new guidelines could increase the monthly bill of most subscribers of television channels. Our analysis of the impact of the regulations indicates a varied impact on monthly TV bills. Based on current pricing, the monthly TV bill can go up by 25 per cent from Rs 230-240 to Rs 300 per month for viewers who opt for the top 10 channels but will come down for those who opt up to top five channels." The TRAI has since refuted that report, suggesting that they expect the channel prices to come down within the next few months.

Last week, the Delhi High Court has taken note of the regular alterations in implementation as ordered by the regulatory, since February 1. The one change in particular which the Delhi High Court wants an explanation for is the extension of the deadline for the implementation of the new tariff to 31 March, despite the new tariffs becoming applicable on 1 February. Chief Justice Rajendra Menon has asked TRAI to file an affidavit on 23 February, to explain the reasons for extending the deadline of implementation of the new tariff plans to 31 March.

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