At present, the pricing of the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) for the Cable TV & DTH Service Providers has been set at Rs 153 per month which the Subscribers / TV Viewers feel is very high.
TRAI’s New Tariff Regime in the broadcasting sector wasn’t well accepted by the subscribers as they faced an increase in monthly TV bills. If the increase in TV bills was an aspect for the subscribers to go against the new tariff mandate, the customer migration from DTH & Cable TV Operators was filled with a lot of pain. In fact, some Cable TV operators did not even provide proper channel packs for migration and at the same time, forced them to choose OTT services over the standard DTH & Cable TV services.
TRAI accepted that the new regime did not meet customer expectations and promised new changes which will become effective in the coming days.
Network Capacity Fee (NCF) Pricing and the Additional Channel Slab
At present, the price of the Network capacity fee (NCF) for the DTH & Cable TV Service Providers has been set at Rs 153 per month for 100 SD channels inclusive of taxes. This is the bare minimum which the subscribers will have to pay no matter what they watch.
On top of this price, the subscribers are required to pay Rs 20 for 25 additional channels and the content charges as well. Intending to bring the costs down, it is likely that the NCF prices mandates by TRAI might see a slight cut down. TRAI might come up with an alternative option to directly reduce the pricing of subscriptions.
Proper Framework for Multi-TV Pricing
Another area which was poorly governed and mandated by the new tariff regime was the Multi-TV policy. Since there was no single guideline regarding this, every DTH operator launched their unique Multi-TV pricing method and there was no consistency between them. Some of the DTH operators went for mirroring of channels, while others allowed independent selection. The pricing of Multi-TV connections also varied a lot from every DTH provider to another. This was seen as a slightly chaotic situation by the subscribers, so it is entirely possible that in the second iteration of TRAI Tariff Regime the sector regulator may come up with a better implementation for Multi-TV pricing.
Guidelines for Long-Term Channel Packs and Offers
Even after so many months, there has still been no clear view about long-term channel packs by DTH providers. Also, because of the initial confusion by TRAI over this issue, a lot of subscribers faced disruption in their connections. As such, it is probable that TRAI might seek elaborate views on this topic and then might come up with a unified decision about how the long-term channel packs should be relayed by the DTH service providers along with some recommendations on the pricing of the same. At present, all the DTH service providers are offering different types of long-term plans which resemble each other in some ways. But still the topic of long-term packs has been a doubtful one since the implementation of the new rules.
TRAI Planning to Invite Comments on Correction of New Tariff Regime
The telecom regulator has said that it will float a consultation paper in the coming months to invite comments about how the new regulatory framework can be improved for the better. TRAI has also agreed to some of the market trends which subscribers have complained about including increased monthly TV bills.