Regulators

TRAI secretary Sunil K Gupta explains need for tariff order

There will be big campaigns to raise awareness among consumers

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/12/10/Sunil-K-Gupta.jpg?itok=TkIP2ZJv

GOA: After several twists and turns, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new tariff order crossed its last legal hurdle in the Supreme Court on 30 October. Now, with less than one month left for the implementation of the regulations, several questions still concern the industry stakeholders. On the second day of the Video and Broadband Summit 2018, TRAI secretary Sunil K Gupta spoke on the new regime via Skype and answered questions raised by stakeholders. He also threw light on the initiatives taken by the regulatory body to make consumers aware of the radical changes.

Indiantelevision.com needs to clarify here that since the VBS session was held in Goa last month, a development has taken place in the form of TRAI, last week, filing a fresh petition in the Supreme Court for review of the Madras High Court observations on a cap of 15 per cent discount on bouquet prices of TV channels.

Gupta started the session explaining the need to have a comprehensive regulatory framework for dealing with the problems of the broadcasting sector. Talking about the problems faced by different stakeholders, he cited the example of the issues faced by MSOs and LCOs, broadcasters as well as consumers.

In the case of MSOs and LCOs, the biggest problem was discriminatory treatment by broadcasters. As a result, it was almost impossible for smaller MSOs to get the content at the appropriate price from the broadcasters because the agreements were not transparent. Moreover, the problem was concerning customers as well due to the different rate of channels at different platforms. They didn’t have the power to choose and were forced to take channels provided by the DPOs.

Broadcasters also faced various difficulties due to the lack of transparency in the entire ecosystem. While they were giving free-to-air channels, they felt that, in many cases, those channels were being actually charged. This menace reduced the probability of use of those channels resulting in fewer viewers. As the revenue of FTA channels is highly based on viewership, the business was getting affected.

“Similarly, there were problems with broadcasters also as many time broadcasters were complaining that the content which is given to the consumers is not of high quality. Secondly, there are certain channels which were demanded by few stakeholders and because of the cap such channels could not be launched as there were serious issues particularly if you look at channels that are a requirement of a select class of stakeholders,” he said.

“So considering all these issues and also the issues of non-transparency, we have come up with a very comprehensive framework. The comprehensive framework gives rights to the broadcasters to price their channels properly and transparently communicate to consumers,” he added.

Gupta also explained that TRAI has made arrangements so that price of a particular channel can clearly be displayed on the electronic programme guide. He later added that due to the new regime, subscribers would have choice of channels as well as all the information. Moreover, Gupta said subscribers can get all the related information on the website of the MSOs in the tab which is called ‘customer corner’.

“As far as MSOs are concerned, there were issues that they did not have funds to upgrade their network for good quality experience to consumers. Now, there will be dedicated money for MSOs and LCOs so the network can be upgraded and good quality service can be given to consumers. Broadcasters also have the freedom to choose what price they can get from subscribers and also appropriately optimise the prices so that they can get maximum revenue of advertisement as well as subscriptions from the consumers,” he added.

Responding to a question from the audience, Gupta said there is no change in the license of the LCOs and they are supposed to take registration form from the post office only. But he also mentioned that they are working with MIB so that the process can be made online.

Many MSOs and LCOs raised the concern that it looks like they are being reduced to merely a commissioned agent. Gupta said the functions of LCOs and MSOs have properly been described under the Model Interconnect Agreement (MIA) and the Standard Interconnect Agreement (SIA) divisions.

“Here the framework is that a channel price which is being prescribed is the broadcaster’s understanding of the price of the particular channel. Now 20-35 per cent discount which is being given is to do certain work for that particular channel. Here, Rs 130 is being given differently and separately to MSOs and LCOs as they are providing the connectivity to consumers and consumers are getting the service from them. In addition to that, the portion of the discount on the content which is either 20 per cent or anything in between 20-35 per cent will also be accounted for sharing between the MSOs and LCOs,” he explained rejecting the claim that MSOs are only about to get commissions.

TRAI is also taking measures to inform consumers properly about the upcoming change. There will be big campaigns as well as meetings in cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bhopal. In addition to that, TRAI is also going to start a programme to inform the consumers. Even jingles will be played on radio and other media to grab consumer attention.

Latest Reads

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/14/mib_0.jpg?itok=C5qjNUiB
India has 11.7 cr cable TV subscribers: I&B minister

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said that there are 11.7 crore cable TV subscribers in India as on 30 November 2019. The ministry has accumulated the data through seeding data available from MSOs/LCOs.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/14/mib.jpg?itok=ffqECECg
I&B ministry seeks change in language for credits in Indian films

Should titles and credits in feature films in Indian languages be shown in English?. That’s what the Ministry of Information And Broadcasting (I&B) would like to get the industry’s feedback on.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/13/ravi-mittal.jpg?itok=0YxFimpN
I&B ministry gets new secretary in Ravi Mittal

MUMBAI: There’s change at the top of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). The appointments committee of the cabinet today approved the appointment of Ravi Mittal as the I&B secretary.  Mittal will replace outgoing secretary Amit Khare who has been shifted to the department of...

Regulators People
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/11/trai.jpg?itok=oUp8K9iK
TRAI assuages broadcaster fears of NTO review consultation paper at VBS 2019

Assuaging fears of media broadband, TRAI advisor (Broadcasting and Cable) Arvind Kumar today said at the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) 2019 that the new consultation paper on broadcast tariffs is only seeking to address some infirmities in the earlier New Tariff Order (NTO) and will not bring...

Regulators TRAI
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/10/trai.jpg?itok=8bq3NIX-
TRAI extends time to receive comments on STB interoperability consultation paper

TRAI has extended the deadline for receiving comments on the consultation paper ‘Interoperability of Set Top Box (STB)’ for digital TV broadcasting services by 10 days till 18 December. Earlier, the deadline for the same was 9 December.

Regulators TRAI
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/12/04/tdsat.jpg?itok=P49K3aLL
Final TDSAT order on Raghav Bahl’s plans to launch Bloomberg Quint expected on 9 Dec

MUMBAI: The final TDSAT order on Horizon Satellite Services’ petition, seeking a name change for its TV license to ‘Bloomberg Quint,’ is expected on December 9. Horizon Satellite Services, that owned licenses of two news and current affairs TV channels, was acquired by Quintillion Business Media...

Regulators TDSAT
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/28/digital.jpg?itok=5V6AsqPA
Draft bill proposes to regulate digital news media

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has proposed changes to the archaic, colonial-era Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867, which will make it mandatory for digital news sites to register themselves with the Registrar of Newspapers of India in “such manner and...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/28/mib.jpg?itok=RgjFxNaI
MIB grants registration to 139 MSOs in 2019

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has published a document listing all the registered multi system operators (MSO) in the country. As per the document, there are 1606 registered MSOs in India as on 26 November 2019. Eleven MSOs were granted registration in the month of...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/25/star.jpg?itok=lalfFI0Q
Dish TV pays Star India 2nd instalment towards outstanding arrears

Dish TV has paid the invoice for the month of September to Star India amid the ongoing payment dispute between the leading direct-to-home (DTH) operator and the broadcaster. Along with the current invoice, the second instalment towards the outstanding arrears has been paid as stated in a daily...

Regulators TDSAT

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories