How will TRAI’s new regulation affect Indian TV channel viewers?

The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 has caused ripples in the lives of TV Channel broadcasters. We are seeing several updates on social media regarding the new regulation. It has left the consumer confused as to whether this changed framework of the tariff will help them or will it increase the cost burden.

Through this blog post, DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter urges you to stop falling prey to rumors being spread by vested interests.

Source of information for this blog post is the TRAI website. 

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Fact-based answers to consumer questions:

How will the channel viewer benefit from the new TRAI regulation?

The new regulation is based on a simple principle: a viewer has the right to choose what they want to watch on television and thus should be charged only for those channels they consume.

Will TV viewing become cheaper or expensive?

TV viewing will become cheaper and packages will become more transparent. The basic subscription package will contain 100 channels. From December 29, 2019, 26 channels will be free to air, Doordarshan Channels. Viewers can choose the rest 74 channels as per their own preference.

Why does a consumer need to purchase a ‘free-to-air’ package?

A basic minimum subscription charge of INR 130 plus tax per month will be levied just like a rental model.

What will happen after December 29? Will the cable services be disrupted?

Cable services will run uninterrupted even after December 29, 2018. TRAI is working on a framework that will provide for smooth transition post this date.

If a viewer goes on vacation for a while, is there an option to suspend services for a while?

You can disconnect your cable services if you are going on vacation, the reconnection charges will be INR 25 for up to 3 months. If the time period is more than 3 months then reconnection charges will be INR 100. There will be no fresh set-up charges or any charges beyond this.

What about people who own more than one TV at home?

If you wish to opt for a 2nd set-top box for the second TV unit at home, the rate for subscription channels will be fixed by the provider. However, the INR 130 subscription rate will apply, additional paid channels are totally optional.

Where can one file a complaint against non-compliant/stubborn cable operators

There will be a subscriber corner on the website of your service provider. A toll-free number will be provided by the service provider. The consumer will not be charged for the days on which the services are down. No visit charges will be levied by the operator for inspection of your TV set in case of a complaint.

What about those viewers who have purchased advanced packages from DTH companies?

Such consumers will be able to avail the package’s benefit till the time it expires.

The new TRAI regulation has created confusion among TV viewers. To clear the confusion, India TV aired an insightful interview with TRAI chief SK Gupta.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions answered by TRAI in their official press release present on their website. CLICK TO READ

In my opinion, this regulatory change has come a bit late, the millennials & Gen Z have moved towards Entertainment apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Eros, Zee5 and Alt Balaji among others. Most of them thus don’t watch TV as much as you and I did.  Thus TV channels are already missing out on these audiences and scrambling to reach them through their app subscription model.

However, there still exists a huge population in India that continues to watch TV and prefers it over the smaller screen. The new TRAI regulation will help them to make informed choices and reduce their cost burden.

The above information has been curated from the official website of TRAI. For more information, please visit the official website of TRAI: https://www.trai.gov.in/ OR check their Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/TRAI

Curated & Written by:

Mayura Amarkant 

 

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