New DTH, Cable TV pricing: What about your existing pack, remaining balance — all queries answered

By: | Published: January 18, 2019 6:15 PM

As the new TRAI rules kick in this February, taking into account confusions regarding the new plan, the telecom regulator released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing most of the consumer queries. Read on to know all about the new TV rules.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, DTH, cable TV, free-to-air television channels, pay channels, a-la-carte basis, bouquet of a-la-carte pay channels, network capacity fee, list of MRP of pay channelsYou may now cherry pick the channels you want or may choose a bouquet of channels of your choice.

 

As the new TRAI rules kick in this February, taking into account confusions regarding the new plan, the telecom regulator released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing most of the consumer queries. Read on to know all about the new TV rules.

 

What has changed?

By changing the previous TV broadcasting rules, TRAI has transferred the power to the consumers so that they can choose the channels they wish to watch and pay accordingly. No more having to pay for unwanted channels!

 

All about the base pack

The base pack which is priced at Rs 153 (including GST) includes a network capacity fees of 100 channels. Customers can either choose up to a 100 free-to-air or pay channels or even bouquet of channels as well. Whatever combination one chooses, if it exceeds 100 channels, they have to pay an additional network capacity fees of Rs 20 per 25 channels. However, a BARC report found that only 10-15% customers watch more than 100 channels. Also, for every pay channel, one has to pay the MRP of pay channels over the network capacity fees.

 

FTA channels will air after 31st Jan if you don’t exercise your choices

TRAI has prescribed the migration to the new rules by 31 January 2019. The subscribers have been requested to inform of their new choices by then. In case one does not exercise their choices, TRAI says that they’ll be put on the Basic Service Tier pack. The customers might be contacted by the Distribution Platform Owner or DTH provider. Even if that fails, the broadcast of pay channels will get disrupted and only free-to-air channels may continue.

 

What happens to the existing subscriptions?

For those who have subscribed to longer durations with advance payments, TRAI says that their services will continue till the subscribed plan exhausts without any increase in price/charges and without altering the other terms of subscription. No disadvantage will be borne by the customer.
However, if the subscriber decides to switch over to a new package after 1 February 2019, an adjustment will be made by the service provider in the already paid amount to switch over to the new package prices.

 

SD channels and HD channels

TRAI said that one HD channel will equate to two SD channels for the purpose of determining the Network Capacity fee. That means, if you choose one HD channel in your 100 channel base pack, you will be given 99 channels.

 

Will another TV connection in the same house cost cheaper?

TRAI says that it is the discretion of the service provider to provide some discount on the second installation in the same house. However, each connection should be counted as an individual set up. Also, even though TRAI has recommended Rs 153 as the base price, the DPO’s are free to price it even lower, TRAI added.

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