Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had set 1st March 2020 as deadline for revised channel rates which should be published in Broadcaster’s website.
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TRAI had issued a notice on 12 February 2020, asking all stakeholders to take steps for the smooth transition of New Tariff Order (NTO 2.0).
According to TRAI’s instruction, some channels now have published their new price lists. TRAI had said the maximum price should not exceed Rs 12. The authority also decided that only channels with an MRP of Rs 12 or less will be permitted to be part of the bouquet offered by broadcasters.
For example, Discovery Communications India has changed the MRP of 8 bouquets of pay channels of the network, which will be effective from 5th March, 2020. It has also discontinued three bouquets priced at Rs 6 and Rs 8.
This broadcaster mentioned that the MRP of all a-la-carte pay channels of Discovery Communications India shall remain the same unless revised and uploaded on the website of the company as required under Tariff Order.
ZEEL also published the channel rates on their website which says that Reference Inter-Connect Offer (RIO) for the network will be effective from 1st March, 2020. However, this RIO/interconnection agreement does not factor the amendments to TRAI regulations since the matter is sub-judice, the network has said. ZEEL currently has over 25 bouquets but the MRP of a-la-carte for most of the pay channels has also been priced at Rs 19.
Another renowned broadcaster Sony Pictures Network India has also published their revised rates on its website, which is effective from 1st March, 2020. Star India & Viacom18 also launched new bouquets. However, in the case of Viacom18 the MRP of most a-la-carte pay channels remains unchanged.
The case between broadcasters and TRAI over NTO 2.0 before the Bombay High Court has been adjourned eight times with the ninth hearing scheduled to take place on 3rd March 2020.