We plan to announce new packages at attractive price points, says AIDCF’s SN Sharma

The All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) is taking steps to reduce the burden on cable TV customers who are reeling under high prices under the new tariff regime. The AIDCF, which represents India’s top multi system operators (MSOs), is offering 50 additional SD channels for base network capacity fee (NCF) of Rs 130.

It has also stated that the price cut announced by broadcasters on their leading channels will be passed on to the customers. The MSOs also plan to announce new packages at attractive price points.

AIDCF president SN Sharma spoke about the new pricing regime, the new consultation paper floated by TRAI and federation’s plans to reduce cable TV bills.

How do you see the impact of the new tariff order (NTO)?
We would like to thank TRAI for empowering the customer through the NTO. The new regime is truly revolutionary and unique as it enables customer welfare by enabling choice.

Has the NTO been able to achieve its objective of enabling customer choice?
To follow the spirit of NTO, despite all technical challenges, cable operators enabled true customer choice by providing each customer the choice to select any combination. Today, a number of unique combinations are enabled as separate plans by cable operators. This is true consumer choice and the level of customisation that is provided by the broadcast sector is unmatched.

What are your views about the issues raised in the TRAI’s consultation paper on broadcast tariffs?
TRAI has been a very effective regulator whose exemplary work is recognised at the global stage as well. We must remember that TRAI had thought through the NTO fully and the 15% discounting cap was an integral part of NTO. This, however, wasn’t implemented at the last minute due to some constraints. In our view, the current consultation process isn’t a new thought process. TRAI has been consistent in its stand and bringing its full NTO regulation to life. I think TRAI has been trying its best for maximising consumer welfare.

How are MSOs trying to reduce the burden on customers?
To give advantage to consumers, AIDCF has voluntarily announced its members will include 150 SD channels instead of 100 SD channels for those subscribers who renew their subscription on or before the due date. All members are pushing the boundary and plan to announce new packages at attractive price points to offer superior value to our subscribers.

How is the subscriber benefitted by the recent festive discounts announced by broadcasters?
AIDCF is committed to working for the welfare of its LCO partners and consumers. Keeping in line with this, 100% of festive discounts announced by broadcasters on a-la-carte channels will be passed on to the consumers.

How important is the role of LCOs in the successful implementation of the NTO?
We would like to thank the LCOs for their continued association for the past 25 years of serving the subscribers all across India. LCOs have indeed played a pioneering role. Our operator partners have always upheld the consumer service and successfully seen so many transitions, right from analogue regime to post NTO world today. We intend to keep this partnership going strong in the future as well. LCO community has been working very hard in helping implement the new NTO and enabling the consumer to choose channels as per their wish.

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