Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) imposed new rule for DTH and Cable TV in India. The new regulation came only one week back and as per the new regulation, many subscribers have the questions such as whether ‘my subscription charge will increase ?’, ‘do my existing channels will be lost ?’ ‘Do the existing pack will work after that ?’ etc.
There are several questions being asked from both Cable and DTH subscribers in the country. But it is not 100% clear, how this new thing will going to happen. As per the TRAI’s statement, the new regulation on cable tv and dth will come into effective on 29th December 2018. It is almost close to the deadline and many users are even not aware of the new change yet.
Now, we will look into the matter and check what is the new rule all about. Also how it is going to make an impact on both subscribers and the providers. If you are confused abou the new rule and thinking how much you needs to pay for it, you can check the details about how much you needs to pay as per the new DTH rule.
What is TRAI’s new rule for DTH and Cable TV ?
Last week TRAI imposed a new rule for the Cable and DTH industry in the country. As per the new rule, all the bundle channel packaging system will come to an end. Each subscriber have to select only those channels they need. And only pay for those channels they need. TRAI asked all the channel networks to publish the pricing of each and every channel.
Currently most cable tv and DTH providers are following per channel based subscription. But here the charges will be different for each cable and dth network. They can increase and decrease based on the demand. This monopoly will come to an end and the rate will be unique for all the network now onwards.
As per TRAI’s statement, major networks such as Star, Zee, Sony, Vaicom 18, Sun Network etc already published the maximum retail price of each channels. Subscribers need to select the channels of their choice from the list and have to pay for each channel individually. It is also noted that, TRAI finally made in a statement that all the users must switch to new plan before January 31st. User failed to do so will be disconnected with their current channels.
Is the new Rule make sense and worth users ?
TRAI’s new regulation is actually for good intention and it is in subscribers favour. They imposed this system in order to reduce the number of unwanted junk channels in each user’s package. Currently most Cable and DTH providers are offering users packages with fixed price. In each package there are getting different channels and the downside of this system is that, each provider is mixing the packages with some unwanted channels. Just only to increase the number of channels.
And in most case, subscribers has to upgrade their package in order to get those channels they like and there is no option to remove those unwanted channels from their package. Even after paying high amount for higher package, users have to pay for those unwanted channels.
This problem can be eliminated by the new rule. As per the rule, each user have the option to select each and every channel they need and only pay for those.
Problem in new rule and its effects on user and the providers
Even though the users have the right to select the channels of their choice, the pricing of each paid channels as per the new list vary from Rs. 0.1 to Rs. 19. Sony is offering their channel at a price of Rs. 12 each where as Star is offering most channels at Rs. 19.
Zee network have the average rate of Rs. 12 per channels whereas SUN network channels will be available at Rs. 12 on an average calculation. So, if users are selecting these channels separately, the price will go up 60% than the current plan. Currently on a base plan, users are paying Rs. 150 to Rs. 250 each month. This will go upto Rs. 450 per month, if they select all those channels.
Similarly all those users enjoying the higher packages, are currently paying Rs. 450 to Rs. 600 per month. This amount will go upto Rs. 800 or Rs. 900.
If the channel networks is going to offer their channel at a comparatively lower price, then this system will help subscribers. Currently some paid channels published their pricing which is very low, starting from Rs. 0.10 to Rs. 4. The most important thing with this new plan is that for the normal users. A large number of subscribers in India are used to watch only a set of channels. They don’t need a large number of channels. For they its very convenient. They only need to pay for the selected channels of their taste only. For those users, the new regulation will reduce the monthly subscription.
If networks such as Star, Sony, Zee also comes forward with a budget base price list. It will increase their viewership and in turns benefits the subscribers. It will benefit those who wish to see more channels in their package, especially premium channels. Otherwise the monthly rate will be higher for them.
What is the minimum amount package ?
In a short time, it is bit difficult for the cable and dth operators to implement this change, since most users are even unaware of the new rule. But what the providers is now looking for is to implement a particular fixed price scale where user can choose a particular number of channel which comes under that price scale.
This still makes users to pay higher amount to get all the channels together because of the high priced channels from some network. But it provides the power to choose only those needed as per each users choice. But this implementation will vary with each service providers. You have to contact your local cable or DTH provider about that.
How much amount to be spent
As per the latest statement by TRAI, each service provider (DTH or Cable) should provider every subscriber to choose one basic package with Rs. 130/- + Tax. In this package, subscriber will have the option to choose any 100 free channels of their choice. If the subscriber need additional channels to their base pack, they have to pay the amount of the selected channel only. The good thing with this option is that, if the subscriber only needs 100 free channels, then they don’t have to pay any additional amount.
Problem caused to Service Providers
The new regulation will cause problem to service providers also. Currently each cable and DTH providers are following package based system. Each user have to choose from the available category. But now onwards each subscriber have their own preference and therefore service providers have to keep and maintain the preference for each individual users separately.
Update (27-12-18): TRAI now, issued a statement saying that all the existing channels should not be removed from their package after December 29th. You can find the full details here.
Update (29-12-18): TRAI made a new amendment to the new law saying that all the channels will be available till January 31 2019 and users need to choose new plan before that.
Update (01-02-19): Now TRAI finalized the things and asked all the cable and DTH providers to stop all the paid channels for those who didn’t choose the plan