Trai issues consultation paper on amended broadcast tariffs

A month before the deadline to implement the amended tariff order for the TV broadcasting sector, popularly known as NTO 2.0, the sector regulator has sought the stakeholders’ views on issues related to the regulatory framework.

In a new consultation paper issued on Saturday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which also is the regulator for the broadcasting sector, sought views on issues including the ceiling price of a la carte channels for inclusion in bouquet, discounts given in the formation of the bouquet and discount offered by broadcasters to the distribution platform operators (DPOs).

Trai asked the stakeholders to send their comments by May 30 and counter comments by June 6.

The regulator said in a statement that immediately after new tariffs were announced, it received representations from the DPOs, associations of local cable operators (LCOs) and consumer organisations.

“DPOs highlighted difficulties likely to be faced by them in implementing new rates in the system and migrating the consumers to the new tariff regime through the informed exercise of options impacting almost all bouquets, especially due to upward revision in the rates of pay channels and bouquets declared by broadcasters. Therefore, Trai engaged with all the different associations and consumer groups including representatives of LCOs,” said Trai.

Trai had constituted a committee to deliberate on the issues related to implementation of the tariff order and suggest an amicable way forward. It included members from the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation, All India Digital Cable Federation and DTH Association.

“The purpose of the committee was to facilitate discussions among various stakeholders to come out on a common agreed path for smooth implementation of NTO. The committee listed several issues for consideration,” said Trai. “The stakeholders, however, requested Trai to immediately address critical issues which could create impediments for smooth implementation of the tariff order. In order to address these, the authority is issuing this consultation paper for seeking stakeholders’ comments.”