TV channel prices are expected to settle down to the advantage of consumers: I&B min

MUMBAI: Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Prakash Javadekar has told the Rajya Sabha that the TV channel prices, which have gone up under the new tariff regime, are expected to settle down to the advantage of the consumers.

Responding to a question on the impact of the new tariff order (NTO) on the consumers, Javadekar said that the new framework is successful in establishing harmonised business processes in the sector, level-playing-field among stakeholders, transparency in TV channel pricing, reduced disputes among stakeholders, better tax compliance and reduced entry barrier.

He also denied that the consumers are not happy with new regulatory framework notified by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 3rd March, 2017 for Broadcasting and Cable services.

TRAI, he stated, has conducted survey through an independent agency for gauging consumers’ view with respect to new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable TV services. “The survey confirms that new regulatory framework has been good for different stakeholders including consumers,” Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha.

He, however, admitted that the MIB has received complaints about the increase in TV subscription rates post the implementation of the NTO.

“Some complaints have been received from the consumers regarding increase in price after implementation of the new regulatory framework. These complaints were analysed. In some cases, it was noticed that broadcasters have increased the prices of their popular channels and in some subscription prices of multi TV homes have also increased,” he added.

Javadekar also said that the TRAI has released a Consultation Paper on Tariff related issues for Broadcasting and Cable services seeking comments from the stakeholders. Through this consultation, TRAI calls upon all stakeholders to participate and provide their considered inputs duly supported with analytical details and data points to enable meaningful outcomes.

“Accordingly, the TV channel prices are expected to settle down to the advantage of the consumers,” he noted.

Javadekar also stated that the main objectives of new regulatory framework are to ensure: (i) transparency, non-discrimination, non-exclusivity for all stakeholders in the value chain, (ii) adequate and real choice to subscribers/customers, (iii) alignment of commercial interests of broadcasters and distributors of television channels to enable the distributors of television channels to recover their network and distribution cost and the broadcasters to monetize their channel prices, and (iv) Reduction in disputes among stakeholders.

You may be interested