The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a direction for the distribution platform operators (DPOs) to ensure compliance with regulations regarding the listing of channels on the electronic programme guide.
This includes regulation 18 of the Interconnection Regulations and regulation 35 of the Quality of Service(QoS) Regulations which state that the cable operators have to declare the channel’s genre and provide a unique placement to each channel in the electronic programme guide (EPG).
The directive reiterates that the MSOs and other operators have been repeatedly told to declare the genre of the channels as mentioned in their records, but some of the MSOs have failed to adhere to the documentation process. The first letter for this declaration was sent to the MSOs in September last year.
The directive undersigned by the Joint Advisor (Broadcasting & Cable Services), Sapna Sharma, outlined the regulations under question. Regulation 18 of the Interconnection Regulations, reads as under:
"Listing of channels in electronic programme guide:
(1) Every broadcaster shall declare the genre of its channels and such genre shall be either ‘Devotional’ or ‘General Entertainment’ or ‘Infotainment’ or ‘Kids’ or ‘Movies’ or ‘Music’ or ‘News and Current Affairs’ or ‘Sports’ or ‘Miscellaneous’.
(2) It shall be mandatory for the distributor to place all the television channels available on its platform in the electronic programme guide, in such a manner that all the television channels of a particular language in a genre are displayed together consecutively and one television channel shall appear at one place only.
(3) Every distributor of television channels shall assign a unique channel number for each television channel available on the distribution network.”
Regulation 38 of the Quality of Service Regulations, states, “It shall be mandatory for the distributor of television channels to display all the television channels available on its platform in the electronic programme guide, in such a manner that all the television channels of a particular language in a genre are displayed together consecutively and one television channel shall appear at one place only.”