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TRAI addresses tariff issues in TV services

In its consultation paper, TRAI has tried to examine the tariff dispensation in a holistic manner given the changing nature of the broadcast sector

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 1, 2016

traiThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday, January 29, issued its latest consultation paper on tariff issues related to TV services. The body has invited written comments from stakeholders by March 4, 2016 and counter-comments, if any, by March 18, 2016.

Today, television has become a basic social need and it has transcended across different social strata of society. The evolution of broadcast industry in India has been driven largely by satellite TV distribution business and unorganized growth of cable TV.

The growth of multiple digital addressable platforms will inevitably lead to a sunset of analog cable TV system in the country. The sheer number and diversity of platforms delivering digital TV signals in an increasingly converged scenario requires an overhaul of the tariff regulatory framework.

In order to cater to innovative growth while protecting the interests of the stakeholders across the value chain, there is a need to institute a consolidated technology neutral regulatory framework for digital addressable systems.

The consultation paper is an attempt to create an enabling environment for growth of the broadcast sector in the light of the above mentioned developments. The consultation process also looks at futuristic issues and emerging challenges.

TRAI has listed a few objectives in light of emerging trends in TV broadcasting and changing consumption patterns of consumers. It feels there is a need to examine the tariff dispensation in a holistic manner.

Objectives of current consultation:

  1. To carry out a review of existing tariff arrangements and developing a comprehensive tariff structure for Addressable TV distribution of “TV Broadcasting Services” across digital broadcasting delivery platforms at wholesale and retail level.
  2. To ensure that the tariff structure is simplified and rationalized so as to ensure transparency and equity across the value chain.
  3. To reduce the incidence of disputes amongst stakeholders across the value chain encouraging healthy growth in the sector.
  4. To ensure that subscribers have adequate choice in the broadcast TV services while they are also protected against irrational tariff structures and price hikes.
  5. To encourage investment in the TV sector
  6. To encourage production of good quality content across different genres.

In the consultation paper, TRAI has addressed various questions pertaining to issues like tariff models, models at wholesale level, RIO based models and other models, channel pricing framework and methodologies, introduction to niche channels, pricing of High Definition (HD) channels, ease of channel or bouquet subscription and other issues related to broadcasting tariffs.

Tags: TRAI
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