Thamizhaga Arasu Cable TV / IPTV Operators Association (TACOA), Tamilnadu presented their comments to the consultation paper on Tariff related issues for Broadcasting & Cable Service.
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According to this association, the flexibility regarding discount on sum of a-la-carte channels forming part of bouquet has been misused by broad casters. Freedom to price the channels by broadcasters should be reviewed, as they pushed unwanted channels to the subscribers. TACOA stated that broadcasters are taking advantages by indulging in heavy discounting of bouquets of non-implementation of 15% cap on discount. So, reintroducing a cap on discount on sum or a-la-carte channels forming part of bouquet by broadcaster is necessary.
As per TACOA, there is no need to review the cap on discount permissible to DPO while forming bouquet as competition will be obstructed. Broadcasters get revenue from two streams viz. advertisements from advertisers
and subscription revenue from the subscribers. The purpose of introducing unwanted channels in a bouquet is to gain huge advertisement revenue. The price of certain bouquets is less than the price of one Single Channel in the bouquet. The consumer interests are not fulfilled by the provisions in the new regime. The a-la-carte and bouquet rates are higher than expected and pre NTO. Consumers are forced to opt for bouquets with extra payments.
Therefore, apart from prime or Driver Channels, all other Channels must be Advertisement free Channels or must be categorized. Higher the a-la-Carte rate lower the advertisement period and vice-versa. may be implemented. Offering more number of bouquets by broadcasters and DPOs will only help TV Viewers / Subscribers. Once bouquet and a-la-carte rates are reduced, fixed and streamlined, it will allow consumers more options to choose.
The ceiling of Rs.19/- on MRP of a-la-carte channels to be a part of a bouquet need to be revised. The ceiling for SD channel shall be fixed as Rs.7/- (maximum) and Rs.14/- for HD channels. Discount in NCF & DRP for multiple TV in a home should not be permitted. Broadcasters should not be permitted different MRP for pay channels to Multiple Set Top Box in the same home. Implementing different MRPs and discounts leads confusion to customers and can be misused by Broadcasters. Identifying a multi TV connection is technically not possible for a Broadcaster.
Distributors should be mandated to provided choice of channels for each TV separately in Multi TV connection homes. They should not be permitted to offer promotional schemes on NCF, DRP of channels. Few broadcasters have entered directly and indirectly in Distribution Service. No long term subscription should be permitted by DPOs. Quality of service will be maintained if long term subscription is restricted. No long term subscription and discount by broadcasters should be permitted.
Distribution Platform Operators have to distribute the full capacity of their channels for consumer Choice, inclusion of these FTA channels will not affect DPOs and subscriptions.
All channels must be telecasted in SD (or) SD and HD mode. Telecasting only in HD mode must be reviewed.
The Revenue share between MSO : LCO through SIA (Standard Inter Connection) is 55:45 ratio at present. The allocation may be revised to 20 : 80 (MSO : LCO). The LCO’s have involved directly in the distribution and maintenance of the Networks rather than the MSO’s.