18 Nov 2017
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TDSAT supports TRAI’s directive on basic service tier packaging

MUMBAI: Appearing on behalf of MSOs, Navin Chawla said that the TRAI’s requirement of providing 100 FTA channels in basic service tier (BST), which includes five channels each from seven genres namely news, sports, infotainment, kids, music, lifestyle, movies and general entertainment channels.

However, the TDSAT observed that the clause of providing 100 FTA channels does not take away the right of the MSOs to provide a package of their choice. The MSOs still have the right to a package of 100 FTA channels out of 250 channels.

The TDSAT said since the regulator has made separate provisions for BST and pay channels, there was no reason for it to interfere with the clause.

The tribunal also did not see any reason to set aside the clause 6 (1C) of the tariff order that mandates providing 45 channels from the seven genres since the MSOs are under no obligation to fulfil the said provision if sufficient number of channels from a particular genre are not available. In the event of enough channels not being available from one genre, the MSOs can add channels from other genres to the BST.

The MSOs contended that the clause 6 (1D) that calls for providing 100 FTA channels would result in large number of permutations and combinations as it provides a wide discretion to subscribers. However, the tribunal did not see any merit in the argument as the MSOs are capable of providing even more FTA channels. Moreover, the consumer would be free to decide which channels he wants to subscribe whether in package or a la carte.

The retail tariff in DAS is under forbearance, the TDSAT pointed out.