India upholds TRAI tariffs

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India’s High Court says the government’s changes to TV ‘a la carte’ channel tariffs are fair, although it has ruled against some of the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) proposals.

The TRAI proposals were mooted in January last year but faced numerous objections.

The Bombay High Court ruled that the TRAI, in its new levy, could not charge a maximum retail price (MRP) of any ‘a la carte’ channel must not exceed a three-time price of the average MRP of a pay channel in the operator’s bouquet (or one-third of the highest-priced channel in a bouquet).

Previously, a sum of Rupees 130 (€1.47) was applicable for all FTA channels and consumers needed to pay more in order to watch additional channels. After the amendments to the broadcast sector tariffs, consumers will pay Rupees 130 as a NCF (Network Capacity Fee) charge, but will be entitled to get 200 channels.

A divisional bench of Justices Amjad Sayyed and Anuja Prabhudessai passed the judgment on a bunch of petitions filed by several broadcasters, like the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, a representative body of TV broadcasters, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Zee Entertainment Ltd and Sony Pictures Network India.


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