DPOs will have to pay broadcasters based on new pricing beginning Feb: IBF

MUMBAI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has said that the pay broadcasters will be raising invoices based on the pricing under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new MRP regime beginning 1st February.

The IBF issued this clarification after some its member broadcasters received queries from the distribution platform operators (DPOs) regarding submission of monthly subscriber reports (MSRs) and billing for the month of February after the deadline for migrating remaining TV users was extended till 31st March.

In a statement, the foundation stated that its member broadcasters have executed the Reference Interconnect Agreements (RIOs) under the New MRP Regime with the DPOs and have implemented the New MRP Regime effective 1st February 2019 as mandated by TRAI.

It also said that the DPOs have to provide their monthly subscriber reports (MSRs) as mandated under the New MRP Regime in respect of each of their subscribers on the duly notified dates of 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of every month.

“Kindly note that from the month of February 2019 onwards our member broadcasters will be raising invoices on DPOs in accordance with the provisions stipulated by TRAI under the New MRP Regime,” IBF said in the statement.

It also clarified that the media release is being issued by IBF on behalf of its member broadcasters for the purpose of clarifying the position in regard to the foregoing.

The TRAI had issued a letter dated 4th February to the IBF categorically stating that all provisions of the New MRP Regime must be enforced from 1st February 2019 and directed IBF to inform its member broadcasters to ensure compliance with the New MRP Regime from the said date. “IBF and its members have unequivocally affirmed their support for the smooth implementation of the New MRP Regime,” the statement said.

The new MRP regime came into effect from 29th December 2018. However, the TRAI had given a one-month grace period to the customers to shift to the new regime. The DPOs were expected to migrate customers to packages under the new regime from 1st February.

On 12th February, the TRAI had extended the deadline for the customers who had not exercised their choice under the new regime till 31st March. It had also asked DPOs to migrate customers to ‘Best Fit Plans’ till they exercise their options.

It also said that subscribers will be free to change their ‘Best Fit Plan’ at any date and time on or before 31st July 2019 and DPOs shall convert their ‘Best Fit Plan’ into the desired pack (channel/Bouquet) within 72 hours from the time choice exercised by the subscriber.

TRAI has also acknowledged that 65% of cable services subscribers and 35% of DTH subscribers have already migrated to the new MRP Regime.