Free To Air Channel Viewership High as per New TRAI Tariff Regime

TRAI Regime

TRAI Tariff Regime to Effect Channel Viewership, FTA Channels Gain Viewers While Pay Channels Slip. The new TRAI tariff regime forced the subscribers to reselect their channels thus rearranging the ratio between FTA channels and pay channels.

The new tariff implementation by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has brought some significant changes to the pricing pattern of channels, broadcasters and DTH providers. With the introduction of the new pricing regime, the subscribers / TV Viewers have to select their channel subscriptions once again, and this time around they will only be paying for the channels which they subscribe to. As such, there is expected to be some change in the viewership of channels, and that is precisely what has happened. As per the Chrome LIVE Data, pay channels have witnessed a dip in their viewership by 24% following the 4th week of 2019. Speaking of FTA channels, these channels saw a rise in viewership from 21% to 26% between week 4 and week 9.

Fluctuations for Pay and Free Channels

Before the introduction of the new tariff regime, the Distribution Platform Operator (DPO) ie Cable TV Operators, IPTV, HITS, DTH operators were operating in the fixed fee model, but with the coming of the rules, there has been a massive impact on the viewership of channels, channel reach, and subsequently ratings of non-driver channels and overall revenue. The pay channels suffered fluctuations in this period after the introduction of the new directions, Hindi GECs saw a variation between 0.5% and 10%, whereas FTA channel fluctuation was lesser in comparison. For the FTA channels, this fluctuation stood at 0.1% to 5%.

Effect of the New Trai Regime on Channel Viewership

As part of the new tariff regime, the subscribers / TV Viewers will only get the channels which they subscribe to, and they will just be paying the amount of those channel selections. Given this situation, the subscriber’s channel selection will depend on the DPO and will also be influenced by the communication between the subscribers and the DPOs. On top of that, the data already shows that the subscribers are opting for DPO curated packs which further puts a lot in the hand of the operators. This is also true for the fact that if there is any communication gap between the DPOs and the subscribers, then it might result in significant erosion for the broadcasters as well as the DPOs.

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