To reduce cable TV bills, AIDCF members to provide 150 SD channels at Rs 130 NCF

MUMBAI: In a bid to reduce the monthly TV bills of the consumers, the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) members have decided to provide up to 150 standard definition (SD) channels for network capacity fee (NCF) of Rs 130 plus GST.

AIDCF president SN Sharma, who is also the CEO of DEN Networks, has written to the TRAI secretary informing him about the federation’s decision. The move will come as a major relief for the regulator which has been under criticism ever since the new tariff order (NTO) has been implemented.

The decision by AIDCF members will result in savings of Rs 40 for cable TV customers. Normally, the customers would have paid Rs 170 + GST as NCF for availing 150 SD channels.

“This is with reference to our meeting on 12th September 2019 with the Authority to discuss on the challenges being faced by the member of Associations in implementation of the new Regime and yourself was kind enough to have given assurance to look into those issues and resolve the same at the earliest,” AIDCF’s Sharma said in the letter to the TRAI.

“At the same time, you had also requested the Association to look into measures for getting the price of the consumer reduced, one of the measures being to look into the possibility of offering around 150 SD channels in Rs. 130 (excluding taxes),” he further stated.

“In this regard, we would like to inform you that our members have discussed among themselves on the same and as of now the member of the association have agreed to charge Network Capacity Fee “NCF” of Rs. 130 (excluding taxes) up to 150 SD channels for those subscribers who renew their channels/bouquet/DPO packs on or before the due date. We are hopeful that this would take care of the concern of the Authority and help in reducing the consumer price,” Sharma noted.

As per the existing regulation, the distribution platform operators (DPOs) have to provide 100 SD channels including mandatory DD channels for NCF of Rs 130 plus GST.

For every 25 additional channels, the consumers have to foot another Rs 20 as NCF. This is over and above the pay channel cost that a consumer incurs. As a result, the monthly TV bills have seen an exponential increase due to the dual cost of NCF + pay channels.

AIDCF is India’s apex body for Digital Multi System Operators (MSOs). The members of the federation have a combined market share of more than 80%.

The AIDCF members include Hathway Digital, DEN Networks, InDigital, Siti Networks, GTPL Hathway, Fastway Transmission, UCN Cable, Ortel Communications, ICNCL, Asianet Digital, and Kerala Communicators Cable.

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