TRAI orders lower channel prices for India

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India’s Telecom Regulator (TRAI) has ordered DTH and cable operators to use lower bundled prices from January 15th.

TRAI’s new rate (New Tariff Order, NTO) requires operators to offer 200 channels at R153 (€1.93) a month which doubles the number of channels in the R153 bundle. Analysts say this will lower ARPU revenues for all players in the market.

TRAI says it has taken the views of all stakeholders and consumers. Last year TRAI gave consumers the legal right to pay only for the channels they wanted to view. While the à la carte scheme was expected to result in lower fees for viewers the opposite has happened.

TRAI has now modified its previous NTO rules saying that the sum of the a la carte rates of pay channels forming part of a bouquet is not to exceed 1.5x the rate of the bouquet of which such channels are a part. Second, the à la carte rates of each pay channel, forming part of a bouquet, are not to exceed 3x the average rate of a pay channel of the bouquet of which the channel is a part.

Moreover, TRAI says that only channels which are priced below R12 can be part of a bouquet.


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