TRAI Might Bar Broadcasters From Discounting Channel Packs

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper where the regulator is relooking at imposing restrictions on discounts offered by broadcasters on channel bouquets.

While issuing the consultation paper, TRAI informed that broadcasters are offering bouquets at a discount of up to 70 percent of the sum of a-la-carte (pick-and-pay) rates of pay channels constituting those bouquets.

TRAI pointed out that in the absence of any restrictions on the discounts on bouquet pricings, the "illusory" pricing of a-la-carte channels by broadcasters is impacting consumers' choice to opt for a-la-carte channels.

TRAI Might Bar Broadcasters From Discounting Channel Packs

 

It is worth mentioning that the regulator highlighted that no restriction on several channels has created another problem wherein broadcasters and Distribution platform operators (DPOs) are offering too many bouquets.

TRAI has observed that too many bouquets are formed by the broadcasters/distributors and many of them contain a very similar set of channels, with very few changes. These too many bouquets are not only creating confusion among consumers but also becoming a hurdle in choosing the channels by consumers.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court dismissed special leave petition by TRAI on 15 percent discounting of channel bouquets. In its initial tariff order, the regulator has said that channel bouquets should not be priced lower than 85 percent of the sum of the MRPs of all the channels in the pack.

TRAI is currently is inviting comments from the stakeholders on the correction of a new framework for cable TV and DTH operators. This includes the ceiling price of channels for inclusion in a bouquet, need for the formation of a bouquet by broadcasters and DPOs, variable NCF and discount on a long-term plan.

The move hasn't gone well with the users as they are facing increased monthly bills.

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