This Saturday onwards, TV viewers will have the freedom to select and pay for individual channels on their DTH or cable connections, potentially cutting their monthly bills significantly.
This Saturday onwards, TV viewers will have the freedom to select and pay for individual channels on their DTH or cable connections, potentially cutting their monthly bills significantly, as opposed to the current system where they pay for a bouquet of several channels.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in new notification on Friday that the migration to the new framework is due tomorrow, ie 29 December 2018. TRAI’s new notification comes after its assertion that the TV channels already subscribed and paid for will not be blacked out after the roll out of the new plan.
Clarifying about the fate of the existing subscribers, TRAI release states, “All existing packs/plans/bouquets to the subscribers will continue uninterrupted till 31st January 2019.” In other words, customers may continue with their existing plans till 31 January 2019, while they decide which channels do they wish to continue to watch later.
TRAI has asked the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) to migrate all the subscribers to new framework from 1 February 2019 according to the options exercised by them, the release said. Also, no service provider is to disconnect any signal/feed to subscriber till 31 January 2019.
So what is new for the subscribers tomorrow onwards?
First of all, congratulations since you won’t be paying for unwanted content. Subscribers can now choose the channels they wish to watch for a certain price that has already been decided by the broadcasters.
TV viewers will have to subscribe to a base pack of Rs 130 + GST@18% (total Rs 153). This base pack will include 26 Doordarshan channels, and a choice of up to 100 free-to-air channels from a selection of 500 channels, TRAI secretary told India TV in a recent interview.
Over and above this base pack, subscribers can choose their own channels and pay accordingly.
DTH and cable operators will still be free to make bundles and offer bouquets of channels, apart from giving the customers the choice for individual channels. TV viewers can even opt out of individual channels from the bundle, when subscribing to bouquets. The pricing of the entire bouquet can not be less than 85% of the sum total of the prices of individual channels in it.
- By Prachi Gupta