Bombay High Court has given no interim relief to broadcasters and this means that networks like Star India, Sony, Zee Entertainment will have to reflect new tariffs by January 15.
According to reports, the division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla has directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) to file its response in a week.
The HC will hear the matter of TRAI-implemented tariffs again on January 22.
Broadcasters along with Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) moved the court on Monday against amendments to the New Tariff Order (NTO) which were notified by TRAI on January 1.
Broadcasters have expressed their apprehensions regarding the changes to NTO saying that frequent changes to the media and entertainment space can prove detrimental to the industry.
IBF President NP Singh had recently pointed out that the collective cost to the broadcasters was around Rs 1,000 crore in communicating the changes to the consumers for NTO 1.
Also, there was an overall loss of 12-15 million subscribers during the transition period.
While the broadcasters are opposing NTO 2.0, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma on Monday came out in full support of the amendments. He said that NTO 2.0 is to address issues that were observed in one year after the implementation of NTO 1 and that the changes to NTO are consumer friendly.
He said that the top five broadcasters moved some of their Free-To-Air (FTA) channels to pay channels after NTO came into effect and some also increased channel prices by 200 percent which is not fair to the consumers.
Under the new amendments, MRP cap has been reduced from Rs 19 to Rs 12 for channels to be part of a bouquet.
Sharma said that many broadcasters misused the Rs 19 ceiling rule in NTO 1. He explained that in any bouquet, things were either on the ceiling or at the bottom, nothing in between. Even HD and SD channels having different prices are fixed at Rs 19, he said.Hence, the amendments have been introduced to remove distortions and unfair practices, he added.
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