Four major broadcasting networks — Star, Viacom18, Zee and Sony — have come forward and decided to waive off all tariff charges for their four FTA-turned-pay channels for two months.
Sony-run Sony Pal, Star India-run Star Utsav, Zee TV-operated Zee Anmol and Viacom18’s Colors bouquet channel Colors Rishtey will be available for all viewers across the country for a period of two months free of charge on all DTH and cable networks.
All four channels that run repeat shows of mainline channels of their respective networks were free to air (FTA) until a year back before TRAI’s New Tariff Order came last year on April 1. These channels turned pay in the NTO regime for between 10 paise and Re 1.
These four broadcasting networks are major constituents of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). A statement by the industry body said, “While the constituents of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) face significant uncertainties given the impact on advertising revenue for the industry due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we stand together to support the Government’s effort to help people in these difficult times.”
“The broadcasting fraternity feels this will provide people who are restricted to their homes, wholesome entertainment and invigorating content and will help provide relief during the lockdown,” IBF said.