TRAI reduces cable-pricing: 200 channels now available at Rs. 153
After several calls of concern, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made amendments to New Tariff Order (NTO), the regulatory framework that went into effect in April 2019 and gave consumers an option to pay for what they watch. The regulator has introduced several changes, but most importantly, it's giving people a way to watch more channels without paying anything extra. Here's more.
Now, get 200 free-to-air channels at Rs. 153
When the NTO went into effect last year, TRAI had mandated DTH operators to provide a base pack offering 100 free-to-air channels at a monthly price or network capacity fee (NCF) of Rs. 130 (excluding 18% GST or Rs. 23). Now, the number of channels in this pack has been increased to 200, which means you'd be getting more channels at the same price.
TRAI has changed the prices of a-la-carte channels too
In addition to the base pack, TRAI is also addressing the pricing of a-la-carte paid channels which became costlier - a problem that has led to broadcaster-curated joint channel bouquets being sold more. Essentially, the regulator has mandated broadcasters to make sure that the total value of a-la-carte channels shouldn't be over one-and-a-half times the price of the bouquet carrying those channels.
Plus, there is also a limit for individual a-la-carte channels
Additionally, the authority has said that the a-la-carte price of each paid channel should not be higher than three times the average price of a paid channel in any bouquet offering similar channels.
Maximum DPO charges have been restricted to Rs. 160
TRAI has also changed the fee taken by delivery platform operators (DPOs) for providing access to channels on their platform. Currently, they charge Rs. 153 NCF per month for 100 channels and an additional Rs. 20 (excluding taxes) for every 25 more channels. With the latest amendment, they won't be allowed to charge over Rs. 160/month for all free-to-air channels.
Some relief for people with multiple TV connections
Also, to make things a bit more affordable for homes having multiple TV connections on the name of one person, TRAI has said that a maximum 40 percent of the declared NCF will be charged for the second and additional TV connections. In addition to this, DPOs have also been allowed to offer discounts on long term subscriptions of six months or more.