Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has clarified that new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services won’t result in your TV blacking out on December 29. Amid speculation that there may be a blackout of subscribed channels, TRAI on Wednesday assured consumers that there will be no disruption.
In March 2017, TRAI had notified the new regulatory framework for the first time, which was later re-notified this year on July 3, 2018 prescribing the implementation schedule. The new regulatory framework for TV services is due on December 29, after which consumers will have a choice to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view. It even asked TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price of channels individually as well as of complete bundle. TRAI added that new regulation are based on viewing pattern of 80 percent users given by BARC.
“The Authority has noticed that there are messages circulating in the media that there may be a black-out of existing subscribed channels on TV screens after December 29. The Authority is seized of the matter and hereby advises that all Broadcasters/DPOs/LCOs will ensure that any channel that a consumer is watching today is not discontinued on 29.12.2018,” a TRAI statement said.
According to the implementation schedule, all the service providers were required to complete the preparation for migration to new framework by December 28, 2018. It stipulates a network capacity fee with upper limit of Rs 130 for 100 channels.
Additionally, as per new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services notes that network capacity fee for 100 channels includes ‘free to air’ channels or pay channels or both. Consumers subscribing more than 100 channels will be able to choose additional channels in each slab of 25 channels with a maximum price of Rs 20 per slab.