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SC orders status quo on TRAI’s inflation-linked tariff hike

Broadcasters get a breather the Supreme Court halts TRAI’s order urging 54 broadcasters to review their wholesale tariff for non-DAS and DAS areas

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 27, 2015

SC-TRAI

Within 24 hours of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issuing a letter asking broadcasters to review their wholesale tariff for the non-DAS (Digital Addressable System) and DAS areas, the Supreme Court asked TRAI not to pursue with this directive till the matter came up for further hearing.

The move comes as a breather for 54 pay TV broadcasters.

Earlier on Thursday, July 23, 2015, TRAI had issued a letter asking these 54 broadcasters to not go ahead with the earlier approved inflation-linked tariff hike order. It had also asked them to file the revised tariff with the Authority within 10 days from the date of receipt of the letter.

TRAI had, in March 2014, first approved an inflationary increase of 27.5 per cent in the wholesale prices for non-DAS areas in two tranches. A 15 per cent hike was to come into effect from April 1, 2014, while the further hike of 12.5 per cent was to come into effect on January 1, 2015.

However, the order was then challenged in the Telecom Disputes and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which quashed the TRAI order.

Later, the broadcasters – Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Star India, Viacom18 and Sun TV – had challenged the TDSAT order.

The SC order is a shot in the arm for the broadcasters as they need not revise their wholesale tariff rate to those that prevailed before the implementation of the two tariff orders till the next hearing.

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