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Broadcasters required to declare MRP within 60 days from publication of tariff order

MUMBAI: Removing the ambiguity regarding the declaration of nature of channels in the tariff order and the declaration of reference interconnection offer (RIO) in the interconnection regulation, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has amended Clause 3 (b) of the tariff order.

As per the amendment, broadcasters will now have to declare the nature of a channel as pay or free to air (FTA) and the maximum retail price (MRP) of the channel after 60 days from the date of publication of the tariff order in the official gazette

As per the principal tariff order, broadcasters had to declare the same after 30 days from the date of publication.

Accordingly, Clauses 6 and 8 of the order will come into force after 30 days from the date of its publication in the official gazette.

Clause 6 states that every broadcaster will have to furnish within 30 days the (a) name, nature and language of each channel offered by the broadcaster; (b) maximum retail price, per month, of each pay channel, if any, offered by the broadcaster; (c) list of all bouquets of pay channels, if any, offered by the broadcaster, along with respective maximum retail prices, per month, of each bouquet and the names of all the pay channels contained in each such bouquet.

Clause 8 states that “every broadcaster and distributor of television channels shall, within thirty days from the date of commencement of this clause, designate a compliance officer.”

The amendments have been carried after some stakeholders contended that the tariff order, on the one hand, stipulates that the broadcasters declare the nature and MRP of pay channels within 30 days from the date of publication of this order in the official gazette while, on the other hand, the interconnection regulation mandates every broadcaster to publish its RIO within 60 days.

The stakeholders further mentioned that it was not clear where the broadcasters would declare the nature and rates of channels as RIOs are required to be published within 60 days.

In addition, in sub-clause (2) of Clause 10 of the principal tariff order, the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Fourth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2010 has been mentioned as the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (second) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2010 due to typographical error. The same has been corrected.