18 Dec, 2018 11:46p.m.

TRAI new pricing policy comes into effect from January 1, 2019

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) tariff order on channel pricing and packaging will come into play from January 1, 2019. As part of the new pricing system, the consumers will be able to choose the only channels which they want to watch, and they won’t be forced to pay for the channels which are bundled unnecessarily by the DTH providers. DTH provider will also have to ship a base pack to the subscribers which will not be priced more than Rs 130 plus tax. The users will have the power to add or subtract any channel to their base pack. Apart from the base pack, the DTH providers will also have to provide top-up packs to the subscribers which will consist of 25 SD channels, which will be entirely chosen by the customers.

Another facet of this new pricing is between the DTH providers and the channel owners. Trai has now mandated that the channel owners will be required to declare a single price for their channels plus one price for the package of channels. These prices will be applicable for all DTH and cable providers. 

TRAI tariff order summary

  • All channels are to be made available on a-la-carte basis
  • Broadcasters have to announce the MRP of each channel
  • The base pack, which includes 26 channels from public broadcaster Doordarshan, can have 100 channels, and cable and DTH operators can charge up to Rs 130 (exclusive of taxes) for the same. This fee includes the operators’ network capacity fee
  • Beyond the base pack, consumers can either choose individual channels, or bundles as offered by the broadcasters or cable/DTH operators. However, for every 20 channels, the consumers will have to pay an additional Rs 25 to the cable/DTH company, apart from the individual channel/bundle rate
  • The channel pricing has to be the same for cable and DTH operators
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