Did TRAI Literally Kill Cable TV By Introducing Pay-Per-Channel Scheme?


The word "cable TV" might give a nostalgia trip to many of us since it was the only source for entertainment back in the day. No smartphones, tablets or computers were as popular and ubiquitous at the time. Many of us grew watching shows like Tom and Jerry on Cartoon Network and Power Rangers on Jetix, and more that are cherished till date. This is something that every millennial can relate to.

Did TRAI Literally Kill Cable TV By Introducing Pay-Per-Channel Scheme


But, gone are the days since streaming platforms and DTH services started bursting onto the scene. However, the cable TV was going fine all by itself but new regulations from TRAI might have created an issue instead of solving one.

A Lot Has Changed Since Early 2000

The year 2000 was probably the prime time in the Indian cable TV market. For the first time, users were able to watch multiple TV shows and movies on colored televisions without investing a fortune. From cricket to cartoons to news the cable TV had everything.

Fast-forward to 2019, we now have OTT platforms that offer movies and shows at our fingertips. Users no more have to wait for the exact time (which is again a nostalgic movement) to watch a show and one can binge it literally from anywhere.

TRAI recently announced a new set of regulations for cable TV users. According to the latest norms a user can subscribe to the channels that she/he actually needs instead of playing for a bulk package made by the service provider. In theory, the new rules were supposed to help customers reduce their cable TV bills. However, the ground reality says otherwise.

Users can choose the channels that they want over a standard fee of Rs. 150 per month that includes 100 free-to-air channels. On top of this plan, one can choose different paid channels that they are interested in.


These weren't the most welcomed rules from the cable operators. In fact, I have spoken with multiple people about this development and the majority of them have either disconnected cable TV and opted for a DTH or gone in favor of streaming services. According to a report, a whopping 25 percent of cable TV subscribers have given up their subscription after TRAI's new regulations.

I used to pay Rs. 250 per month as my cable bill. However, as soon as the new regulations kicked in, I was asked to pay Rs. 350 if I wanted to enjoy all the channels that I previously used to get. I finally gave up cable TV as I barely had time to watch it and I had multiple OTT subscriptions which gave me a plethora of content.

Though the increase in the monthly bill might not be the sole reason to cut my cable TV connection, it was definitely the last push that made me pull the trigger. Thanks to affordable broadband services, I can still watch live TV for free using online services like JioTV. However, sometimes while watching a high-tension cricket match the streaming might not be smooth. That is when I envy the cable TV.

Is This The End Of The Cable TV?

No, it is definitely not the end. There are still a lot of users who do not have access to smartphones and the internet. Some users still prefer to watch cable TV for various channels. However, affordable internet rates and an increase in the popularity of the OTT platforms and TRAI's least planned regulations will definitely take a big bite out of cable TV pie, especially in metro cities like Bengaluru.

If TRAI wanted to cut down the cable prices, then they should have come up with a better plan that benefits both customers and the government.

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