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Broadcasters can enter into tripartite agreements with commercial subscribers: TRAI

The regulatory authority has urged the broadcasters to offer their channels/ bouquet of channels to commercial subscribers on non-discriminatory terms

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | September 9, 2015

traiThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified two Tariff Amendment Orders (TAO) relating to TV services for commercial subscribers – one, applicable for TV services being provided through analog cable TV systems (Non-CAS areas), and the other, applicable for TV services being provided through Digital Addressable cable TV systems (DAS).

The key amendment sees TRAI opening the window for broadcasters to explore the option of entering into tripartite agreements with the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) and the commercial subscribers, if so desired. This amendment is with respect to commercial subscribers only.

TRAI has urged all parties to adopt self-restraint at the wholesale and retail levels with respect to tariffs for commercial subscribers.

The regulatory authority has also urged the broadcasters to offer their channels/ bouquet of channels to commercial subscribers on non-discriminatory terms and conditions. The broadcasters are required to file their agreements with the authority within 30 days of entering into such agreements.

TRAI has also underlined that TV signals to commercial subscribers have to be provided by the DPOs only in accordance with policy guidelines for up-linking/down-linking of television channels.

These Tariff Amendment Orders have been notified in accordance with the TDSAT’s order dated March 9, 2015 in the matter of Indian Broadcasting Foundation and Others versus TRAI (Appeal No 7(C)/2014).

The amendments to the regulatory framework for commercial subscribers as well as distribution of TV services to commercial subscribers would be streamlined and would be available to them at competitive rates.

TRAI is of the view that this amendment would balance the interests of all the stakeholders in the value chain and bring in complete transparency in the business transactions.

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