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TRAI draft policy caps carriage fee at 20 paisa per SD channel per subscriber

For HD channels, the carriage fee cap is 40 paisa per channel per subscriber per month. To enhance transparency and minimise discretion, service providers may list all possible reasons which may lead to denial of signals/access of network and the same should be published in RIOs

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | October 17, 2016

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2016 which caps the charge that a distributor can charge at 20 paisa per SD channel per subscriber per month. For HD channels, the carriage fee cap is 40 paisa per channel per subscriber per month.

It also states that there will be no carriage fee levied on the broadcaster for the channels which have a subscription of more than 20 per cent of the total subscriber base of the distributor. Further, the carriage fee will decrease with increasing subscriber base. The distributors of TV channels may offer discounts on the carriage fee rate declared by them not exceeding 35 per cent of the declared carriage fee.

A common interconnection regulation has been released for all the addressable systems including Direct-To-Home (DTH), Head-end In the Sky (HITS), Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS).

TRAI has asked for suggestions/ comments and views on the draft regulations latest by October 28, 2016.

The regulations also mention the need for transparency. It has stated: “To enhance transparency and to minimise discretion, it has been decided that the service providers may list down all possible reasons which may lead to denial of signals/access of network and the same should be published in the RIOs. Needless to mention, such conditions should be fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. Any unreasonable, discriminatory or unfair terms put up by a provider is prohibited.”

The regulation has stated a “Must carry” provision for all addressable systems, on first come first serve basis.

Further, the regulation suggests that a broadcaster offer a distributor a minimum of 20 per cent of the maximum retail price of its pay channel(s) or bouquet(s) of pay channels as distribution fee. They may also offer discounts on the maximum retail price provided that the sum of discounts and distribution fee in no case shall exceed 35 per cent of the maximum retail price, so declared.

The format of subscription report is to be provided by a DPO to a broadcaster including free to air channels. Other important notices in the draft regulation include: updation in the technical specification for addressable systems, and the framework for subscription audit and technical audits.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

Tags: TRAI
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