TRAI’s new DTH, Cable TV rules: Netflix, Hotstar to strike gold; content to be the king, says report

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Updated: February 5, 2019 4:57:55 PM

Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services may be the unintended beneficiaries of the consumer discontent with the DTH, cable TV rules.

Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime may be the unintended beneficiaries of TRAI rules.

TRAI’s new pricing rules for DTH and cable TV subscription have been in the news for quite some time now. As the power now resides in consumer’s hands to choose the channels, the onus on broadcasters to create quality content has become much larger. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services may be the unintended beneficiaries, as the move may bring in more subscribers to the OTT platforms, a CRISIL report said.

The new regime could drive consolidation in the broadcasting industry as content will be the king and key differentiator, CRISIL said in the report. This entails that the broadcasters who have less-popular channels will no longer find it easy to piggyback on packages. The least popular channels run the risk of going out of the business and could go off the air, it added.

The quality content production and procurement hence become pivotal to the broadcasters. This also becomes necessary in the wake of tough competition that the broadcasters are receiving from OTT platforms.

Also read: TRAI’s well-intentioned plan backfires? Here’s the Twitter verdict on new DTH, Cable TV pricing rules

In fact, OTT platforms including players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Viu, Bigflix, Voot, and Hotstar will reap the benefits of the TRAI’s new rules as viewers might see themselves inclining towards OTT platforms. “Viewers could shift because of rising subscription bills. And low data tariffs also encourages viewership on OTT platforms,” Crisil director Nitesh Jain said. This comes in the wake of perpetual tariff wars among Airtel, Jio and Vodafone, each striving to add more subscribers by introducing better pricing and lucrative offers.

Meanwhile, several TV subscribers have already criticised the new rules on social media platforms such as Twitter.

TRAI’s new rules, which were touted to reduce TV prices came in to effect on 1 February 2019. The new DTH, cable TV rules let the subscribers choose 75 channels for Rs 130 (plus 18% GST) out of 100 channels. 25 channels are mandatory for the subscription. They are aired by Doordarshan.

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