The new TRAI pricing regime for the broadcast sector is aimed at allowing customers to take control of their TV bill
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) promulgated a new set of rules from February 1 for the broadcast sector, wherein TV viewers only need to pay for channels they wish to watch. The overall bill for consumers may change depending on the channels they choose.
Broadcasters have fixed the maximum retail price for each channel, while cable TV or DTH operators like Airtel and Tata Sky have created their own package deals for customers.
Here is what you will have to pay from this month onwards for TV viewing.
All network operators and broadcasters are required by TRAI to have a base package with 100 standard definition channels. Customers can choose these free-to-air (FTA) channels from a list of several bouquet offers. This will cost the viewers a maximum of Rs 130, excluding Goods & Service Tax (GST). You can buy a pay channel separately over this package at its individual cost. There are 330 pay TV channels and 535 FTA channels, according to TRAI. Airtel and Tata Sky are currently offering their base packs for Rs 99.
On its portal -- www.channeltariff.trai.gov.in, TRAI has listed the price of all pay channels as well as bouquet deals provided by all broadcasters. No broadcaster can charge more than the MRP of a channel, although they can offer a discounted prices to sweeten their offer. To add pay channels to one's list, the customer will first have to remove the same number of FTA channels. The overall number of channels in a base package cannot be more than 100.
Customers can add channels by paying Rs 20 for every 25 extra channels. For instance, if you pay Rs 150, excluding GST, you get access to 125 channels.MigrationIf you have already paid for the annual plan, your cable or DTH distributor will provide services till the remaining period without changing tariffs. If you choose to switch to a new package after February 1, the balance amount of the existing package can be used for the new package.