NTO 2.0 Amendment: TRAI sets price cap for TV channel at Rs 19

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has amended the new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 on Tuesday, setting the price cap for a television channel to Rs 19. This NTO 2.0 will be implemented in February 2023. Note that earlier, the price cap for a television channel was Rs 12.

TRAI on Tuesday issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Tariff (Third Amendment) Order, 2022 and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2022.

The regulator for both the telecom and broadcast sectors first mooted the NTO 2.0 in NTO 2.0, setting a price cap of Rs 12 per channel for those which were part of a bouquet.

Now, after three years, the regulatory body has restores the maximum price cap for a television channel to Rs 19 from Rs 12.

This NTO 2.0 will be implemented in February 2023 as the order was opposed by broadcasters as well as direct-to-home operators.

The amendment was welcomed by K Madhavan, president, Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF) who said that the order was a result of constructive dialogue between the industry and TRAI.

Apart from this, Trai has also capped the channel bundle discounts at 45 per cent while continuing with forbearance on the maximum retail price of TV channels.

TRAI notified the Broadcasters and direct-to-home operators about the amendments to protect consumer interest. The regulator said that they have addressed only those critical issues, which were suggested by the Stakeholders’ Committee to avoid inconvenience to consumers while implementing the Tariff Amendment Order 2020.

As per official notice, the broadcasters will now have to submit details of changes in the name, nature, language, MRP of their pay channels, bouquets and composition of bouquets to TRAI by December 16. They will also have to simultaneously publish such information on their websites.

While the DTH players and Multi-System Operators (MSOs) will need to submit amended Distributors Retail Price (DRPs) by January 1.

“All the distributors of television channels shall ensure that services to the subscribers, with effect from February 1 2023, are provided as per the bouquets of channels opted by them,” Trai said.

 

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