At the start of 2020, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) published revised tariff order in NTO 2.0 (New Tariff Order) for broadcasters and cable/ DTH operators to provide 200 FTA (free-to-air) channels at Rs 153. At present, the same offers only 100 FTA channels for a network capacity fee (NCF) levy of Rs 153 (Rs 130 excluding taxes).
Not just that, TRAI also reviewed the pricing of channel bouquets compared to a la carte ones. The telecom regulator issued a statement noting that the a la carte channels offered by broadcasters can have maximum MRP of Rs 12, instead of Rs 19. TRAI had initially set January 15 as the deadline for broadcasters to announce their new pricing structure, but the matter went to court instead.
Now, it is possible that the new pricing will get announced after the next hearing on February 12. As per NTO 2.0, the TRAI has directed broadcasters to announce new rates for packages and channels as per the new regime, following which, the cable/ DTH operators will put out the revised packages for subscribers.
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If the court’s decision comes in favor of TRAI, then it is possible that Tata Sky, Dish TV, D2h, Airtel Digital TV and other DTH service providers may announce their new plans on the same day, but these will be implemented from 1 March, 2020. Additionally, DPOs (distribution platform operators) have also been ordered to cap fee below Rs 160, as they will not be allowed to charge more than Rs 160 per month for giving all channels available on their platform.