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TRAI notifies tariff order, caps TV channel price forming part of bouquet at Rs 19

MUMBAI: Following the go-ahead from the Supreme Court, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified the tariff order for digital addressable systems (DAS) and interconnection regulation that will govern the relationship between broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) like DTH, cable TV, IPTV and headend-in-the-sky (HITS) operators. The quality of service (QoS) and consumer protection regulations has also been notified.

TRAI has capped the maximum retail price (MRP) of a channel at Rs 19. Any channel priced at more than Rs 19 per month (excluding taxes) shall not form part of channel bouquet either by the broadcaster or by the distributor of television channels.

As per the new Tariff order notified by TRAI, consumers will have to pay Rs 130 per month plus taxes for 100 standard definition (SD) television channels.

“The distribution of network capacity required for initial 100 SD channels can be availed by the subscriber by paying an amount not exceeding Rs 130, excluding taxes, per month to the distributor of TV channels,” TRAI said on Friday.

The broadcast sector regulator said that subscribers do not have to pay separate charges other than this Network Capacity Fee (NCF) for opting free-to-air channels or bouquet of free-to-air channels.

For anything beyond 100, subscribers will get channels in slabs of 25. They will need to pay an amount not exceeding Rs 20 (excluding taxes) per slab. However, a subscriber has to pay separate charges other than NCF for subscribing to pay channels or bouquet of pay channels.

Broadcasters will have to declare MRP of each channel and bouquet of pay channels to be paid by the subscriber. They will also have to offer all channels on their network on a la carte basis.

Broadcasters will have to declare MRP per month of their a-la-carte pay channels for subscribers, the TRAI tariff order said. The MRP needs also to be visible to all the subscribers in the Elec