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Israel restricts pay-TV pricing

Israel’s TV regulator (the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting) is limiting the amount that Hot Telecom or DBS Satellite Services (the ‘YES’ DTH operation) can charge for pay-TV, and is demanding much greater transparency in the subscription prices on offer.

The regulator has just wrapped a detailed study of the pay-TV market in terms of competition and transparency in pricing and hit the industry with a wide-ranging batch of restrictions.

Out go many of the “special discount offers” which frequently lasted only days before subscribers were hit with a price rise. From now on price hikes during a period of “special discounts” will be forbidden.

Both Hot and Yes’s price lists and discount offers must be published on their websites, as well as in the subscriber’s monthly bills, and on the broadcaster’s information channels, and must be regularly updated.  In addition, the broadcaster must notify customers both by email and regular mail of a price rise at least 21 days in advance, including details of a new price being levied.

The Council found an “alarming” variation in prices being charged, even for the same services.  The report found that competition was being harmed, consumers were being misled and that there was discrimination between clients.

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